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Pikes Peak Summit Visitors Center Tour
Red Leg Brewing
2323 Garden of the Gods Road;
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Friday, August 26, 2022, 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM MDT
Category: SOCO

Join the SMPS SoCo Committee for this once-in-a-lifetime tour with the design and construction team of the new Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center, followed by an optional networking event.

Pikes Peak, also known as America's Mountain, is one of the world’s most visited mountains and a top tourist attraction in Colorado. The summit is a National Historic Landmark that holds a special place in America's heart, with breathtaking views that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write the poem America the Beautiful in 1893. Visited by more than 1,000,000 people annually, it is unique in that is the only “fourteener” (a mountain of 14,000 feet in altitude) that everyone can access regardless of age, fitness level, or physical disability.

About the Project
With a failing structure and deteriorating conditions, the 1960s-era Pikes Peak Summit House could no longer meet the needs of its ever-growing number of visitors. In 2015, the City of Colorado Springs embarked on a decades-long vision to design and construct a new Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center to provide an immersive visitor experience while lightly touching its environment. The facility's careful placement and sensitive design puts the focus on the stunning landscape, allowing the boundless sky and views to take center stage.

The new Summit Visitor Center, designed by GWWO Architects as Design Architect and RTA Architects as Architect of Record and constructed by GE Johnson, features:

  • A facility specifically designed for the harsh arctic environment on Pikes Peak
  • Sustainable design, high performance mechanical systems, and pursuit of Living Building Challenge certification, the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings
  • The highest elevation total pre-cast structure in the world
  • The highest ongoing construction site in North America during its construction
  • Multi-media interpretive exhibits
  • Improved accessibility for all visitors
  • New dining, retail, and back-of-house support spaces
  • Outdoor gathering and dining areas, outdoor interpretive exhibits, wide elevated walkways, and a new overlook platform.

About the Tour
Hear directly from the architects, engineers, and general contractors who brought this incredible project to life. Event attendees will get the unique opportunity to tour both the public and back-of-house spaces of the Summit Visitor Center to learn:

  • How the systems were designed to meet Living Building Challenge
  • The challenges with design and construction at altitude
  • The design of the facility supports an immersive visitor experience, both inside and out.

The Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center is 14,115 feet above sea level. Lightheadedness and disorientation can occur at this elevation, regardless of age and/or level of fitness. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may be experiencing altitude sickness. People with existing cardiac and respiratory conditions and people who cannot communicate their symptoms should proceed with caution or not attend this event. 

Plan to bring your own water bottle, sunscreen, and weather-appropriate layered clothing. While there are no hiking components to this event, non-heeled sensible shoes are highly encouraged. The weather at the Visitors Center is typically 30-40 degrees colder than at the base in Colorado Springs and can change quickly, especially at the summit where rapidly deteriorating conditions are typical.

In addition to the tour, we will be hosting a free informal social hour and networking time at Red Leg Brewing Company’s new brewery, which is also our bus pickup location, off Garden of the Gods Road, once we return to Colorado Springs. This will be a great place to connect more industry leaders from the tour and other SMPS members. Let us know when registering if we can expect you at this cash-bar social hour from 2-4PM.

Transportation to and from the summit (from Red Leg Brewing Company), a light breakfast and a hearty boxed lunch is included in your registration.

Area of Interest Selection
In your registration please rank your first, second, and third choice area of interest from the options described below. Your selection indicates general topic interest. All of these topics will be touched upon, but tours will be crafted to the emphasize the areas of greatest interest of the majority of registrants. We will make every attempt to accommodate your first-choice. However, tour group size is limited and groups will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Thank you for your understanding! 

  • Design Focus: Learn about the history of Pikes Peak and its famous Summit House before it became the Pikes Peak Summit Visitors Center. This tour will also cover the research and process that went into how the new design supports an immersive visitor experience both inside and out, coordinates with complex engineered building systems, and withstands a harsh arctic environment.
  • Engineering Focus: Hear how the Visitor’s Center systems were designed and engineered to meet “Living Building Challenge” criteria, the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings and get a chance to see the innovative systems for yourself.
  • Construction Focus: During construction, this project was the highest ongoing construction site in North America. Learn what was unique about the building construction process as it met high-elevation building challenges.

Lunch Selection 
In your registration you will be asked to choose a lunch. Please see the options below.

  • Veggie Hero Sandwich: Lettuce, tomato, carrots, cucumbers, avocado, provolone & cheddar on Italian bread. Comes with drink, pasta salad, fruit, cookie and a mint.
  • Roast Beef Hero Sandwich: Boars Head Italian roast beef, provolone, mayo, mustard, lettuce, and tomato on Italian bread. Comes with drink, pasta salad, fruit, cookie and a mint.
  • Chef Salad: Fresh greens topped with tomato, ham, turkey, Swiss cheese and gluten-free dressing. Comes with drink, bread, fruit, cookie and a mint.


Ticket Prices
$135 Members
$165 Non-members


CEUs Available: 1 for Client and Business Development
Registration closes August 19th and is limited to 65 attendees! NO walk-in attendees will be allowed for this special event.

Note: Only SMPS Colorado Members may register at member pricing. Any cancellations must be emailed to [email protected] at least a week prior to the event.
If you are a member of another SMPS Chapter and would like a member rate, please email the admin. Job seekers, students and other new professionals, please visit our Colorado Believes page for details on our student membership programs and professional development scholarship opportunities.

Summit Sponsors






Trail Sponsors

Provision Sponsors

HCDA Engineering

JVA Consulting Engineers