FOLLOWING GOVERNOR POLIS’ LEAD, THE ROYAL GORGE ROUTE RAILROAD TO SUSPEND OPERATIONS STARTING MONDAY, MARCH 16 IN REACTION TO COVID-19. Train scheduled to reopen April 18th.
Train Establishing $10,000 Emergency Fund for Staff
CANON CITY (March 14, 2020) — The Royal Gorge Route Railroad will close Monday, March 16 for at least a week, according to Mark Greksa, owner of the train and 34-year resident of Summit County. Guests who have reservations aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad from March 16 – March 22, 2020 may call 719.276.4000 to reschedule or receive a full refund on tickets purchased. Should the train extend its closure, guests will be offered the same options. In 2019, more than 155,000 people from 20 countries rode the train. It is the Royal Gorge Region’s top destination attraction and one of the top scenic and dining trains in the United States.
“While this is a very difficult decision, we are following Governor Polis’ lead in the tourism sector and suspending operations for at least a week.” said Greksa. “This has a clear ripple effect on our staff, our guests from around the world and our local economy. But it is clearly in the best long-term interest of everyone we serve to lead by example in the Royal Gorge Region. We must do our part to flatten the curve of COVID-19.”
While some staff will be retained during hiatus, most staff will be laid off until operations resume. The train will be assisting laid off staff members throughout the process and helping them access federal emergency dollars that may become available. Greksa also has established a $10,000 emergency fund for laid off staff.
“There is so much stress and uncertainty right now for so many hard-working people. All of us at the Royal Gorge Route are turning our anger at the federal mishandling of this situation into positive, helpful action. We know unemployment and federal funding may take more time than is reasonable during this crisis, so we have established an emergency fund for our laid off staff who may need a hand during this time. It may help them pay for groceries, heating bills or medicines — the must-haves that are just required for basic human dignity and survival.”
The Royal Gorge Route Railroad has been closely following the guidance issued by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the WHO (World Health Organization), and the Colorado Governor’s office daily. Greksa and his team will continue to monitor the situation closely to determine when trains will again travel through Colorado’s Royal Gorge.