Preservation Essential Feature of Colorado Byways

February 4, 2014 - Statewide Transportation Plan - This Week’s 2014 Saving Places Conference in Denver reminder of connection between history & highways

DENVER – The Colorado Byways program is celebrating its 25thanniversary this year and historic preservation plays a significant role in enhancing the experience for travelers along the state’s lesser-traveled roadways.

Nationally, the priority of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is saving historic places and growing America’s preservation movement.  The National Trust plays an important role in these issues at a national level through policy, research, advocacy, and outreach. These priorities include building sustainable communities, promoting diversity and place, protecting historic places on public lands, and re-imaging historic sites.   Please see:

At the state level, History Colorado’s Economic Benefit’s Report addresses preservation and how it relates to the economy, community and environment. The economy section states that since 1981, historic preservation projects in Colorado have created almost 36,000 jobs and generated nearly $2.5 billion in direct and indirect economic impacts.  In one year alone (2008), heritage tourism (interconnected with Byways travelers) in Colorado generated $244 million in visitor spending. The report also states that historic preservation builds strong communities. In Colorado, the byways tell a story and feature a theme, with communities building on that to enhance their uniqueness.  Even the environment can benefit from preservation. Another report concludes that reusing older buildings almost always offers environmental savings.  Please see:

Colorado’s Most Endangered Places is the annual prioritized list created through Colorado Preservation Inc. (CPI).  CPI hosts the annual Saving Places Conference and promotes historic preservation by providing information, education, training, expertise, and advocacy.  It achieves this mission by partnering with historic property owners, non-profit organizations, educators, and local governments throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. Of the 96 sites named to the list since its inception, 32 have been designated as saved, 41 are in progress, 18 remain in alert and five have been lost.

The 2013 list included five sites, four which are on a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway: Fort Lyon, Homesteading Resources of Escalante Canyon, Hotchkiss Barn, and the Kennedy/Mancos Grain Elevator.  Please see:

Tourism is one of Colorado’s major industries, with domestic visitors contributing $11.2 billion to the state’s economy in 2012.   The most recent Colorado Byways Economic Report indicated interest in historic places topped the list of what specifically attracted visitors to the state in 2012, followed by interest in cultural activities and attractions.  It also stated that nearly six of 10 out-of-town visitors came to Colorado in their own vehicle.  More information is available at:

The conclusion: Preservation is significant to the state’s Scenic and Historic Byways because of their importance to communities and visitors.  For more information about the Scenic and Historic Byways, visit


Colorado has 25 Scenic and Historic Byways, 42 state parks, four national parks, 26 ski areas and resorts, 12 mountain ranges, 54 fourteeners, 10 scenic and historic trains, six national monuments, 11 national forests, and 345 state wildlife areas.