Breckenridge aims for Locomotive No. 9 in 2009 |

Breckenridge aims for Locomotive No. 9 in 2009

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE ” Having decided on the “Grand hotel” plan for the gondola lot area, the Town of Breckenridge is working with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance toward temporary placement of Locomotive No. 9.

“The agreement with the (Colorado) Historical Society is that they will give us No. 9 if we will run it ” we’re saying we plan to do that ” but we want it in place for the 150th anniversary,” town spokesperson Kim DiLallo said.

Designs for the roughly 28-acre gondola lot include a place for the locomotive. However, the multi-phase project is early in development and won’t be completed for several years. The town aims to display the locomotive among attractions for its sesquicentennial celebration next year.

“(We) don’t want to do a project and then tear it up because we didn’t think far enough ahead,” town councilor Eric Mamula said at Tuesday’s budget retreat.

A few years ago, the town entered an agreement with the historical society to exchange its Locomotive No. 111 with No. 9, which is stored on the Georgetown Loop. DiLallo said the two are similar, “but engine nine actually ran here in Breckenridge for a number of years.”

The steam locomotive is known as a town icon, having brought people and supplies on a narrow-gauge system into Breckenridge from 1884 through 1937.

“Having an engine that would run is really exciting,” DiLallo said.

Discussions include using compressed air to bring the locomotive to life, and perhaps having it move along a short segment of track. Possible locations vary; the “Grand hotel” development plans use the locomotive as a “bread crumb” to lure visitors from the parking garages to Main Street.

It remains to be concluded whether the historical society will allow the town to install the train at a static, temporary site for its 2009 celebration.

Plans for the gondola lot to be developed around a “Grand hotel” ” similar in stature to that of Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs ” were presented to the public in the past few weeks.

“(It’s) basically overwhelmingly what the public input favored, as well the council,” DiLallo said.

The development is planned to include two three-story parking garages as well as additional commercial and residential space.

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