Ballot Initiative Could Be Saving Grace For Railroad Museum Facing Uncertain Future

By Matt Kroschel

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A favorite tourist stop in Colorado’s high country faces an uncertain future and could be forced to close.

The Glenwood Railroad Museum welcomes thousands of people to learn about the rich history of the railroad through the Western Slope community.

gettyimages 1814377571 Ballot Initiative Could Be Saving Grace For Railroad Museum Facing Uncertain Future

Image of two California Zephyrs side by side as they meet in Glenwood Canyon in Colorado (credit: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago/Getty Images)

According to volunteers Jan and Pat Girardot the prospect of losing the museum is brought about by the Union Pacific Railroad, the landlord for the museum space, upping the rent to a point beyond what the museum board says they are is able to pay.

According to the museum board, the UP contention is that it should be getting rent equal in amount to other retail property in the area. Lengthy arguments that this space is not suitable for any other use, that the museum is most suited for that space, and that relocating it (not to mention clearing it out) would be an almost impossible undertaking — so far, all of that has fallen on deaf ears.

train museum Ballot Initiative Could Be Saving Grace For Railroad Museum Facing Uncertain Future

(credit: CBS)

Union Pacific Railroad officials shared the following statement with CBS4 after the initial publication of this story:

“Union Pacific is negotiating a lease agreement with the tenant; however, out of professional courtesy, we do not disclose terms. Union Pacific values its relationship and history with the Glenwood Springs Railroad Museum and seeks to be a good community partner.”

Museum officials point to an upcoming local ballot initiative as a possible saving grace for the museum and other local organizations struggling with budget shortfalls.

train museum 2 Ballot Initiative Could Be Saving Grace For Railroad Museum Facing Uncertain Future

(credit: CBS)

Ballot initiative 1A, titled Garfield County Museum and Cultural Heritage Preservation Fund, which establishes a levy of .45 mills to fund continued operation of these agencies will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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