FREMONT COUNTY – Repurposing of the former Buckskin Joe frontier town theme park and Royal Gorge Scenic Railway property near Cañon City continues. Owner Ty Seufer, who bought the former tourist attraction and its surrounding 805 acres in October, gave News 5 a tour of the property and progress Wednesday afternoon.
Now called Royal Gorge Ranch & Resort, the property includes what was, until 2012, railroad tracks for the narrow-gauge miniature train. Seufer and a crew of a dozen workers have spent the past six months removing the tracks and converting their 3-mile loop into what will eventually be part of a network of hiking and mountain biking trails, including passages over five of the railway’s elevated trestles.
Workers are ensuring the stability of the trestle structures and decking the track beds, as well as installing railings on the structures which will give users views of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Arkansas River previously not accessible to the public except when riding the railway. The loop leads to Point Alta Vista, a lookout over the Arkansas River providing an unobstructed view of the Royal Gorge Bridge from the west. Seufer says he’s aiming for a July 1 opening of the trails network.
The ranch and resort will eventually also include more than 300 “tiny mansions,” 400-square-foot luxury one-bedroom homes, on one acre each. Seufer says he envisions it as a Moab-like seasonal getaway for mountain biking enthusiasts with abundant disposable income.