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Lineworkers Rodeo just the beginning for 115 power poles   

  by  Steve Berry  on  3/6/2019

​On March 30, Colorado Springs will host the American Public Power Association’s Lineworkers Rodeo. The event – which will take place at the Rock Ledge Ranch – will bring in more than 78 lineworker teams, 125 lineworker apprentices, 400 total competitors, over 100 volunteers, and hundreds of spectators from around the nation. If these forecasts hold true, it will be the largest APPA Lineworker Rodeo ever. Poles 3.1.19.png

The logistics involved for such an event are enormous and complex. One of the more visible challenges of the pre-event planning is the installation of 115 power poles, while also remaining aware of the historical nature of the surrounding property. Thanks to our own dedicated and skilled lineworkers, all 115 poles have been installed in less than three weeks -- despite difficult weather conditions.  

The western red cedar poles have been sourced from Idaho and Eastern British Columbia. Each pole is 40 feet in length, with 6 feet embedded into the soil. 

Even after being climbed on by dozens of competitors during the rodeo, most of the poles will go on to serve an important purpose in delivering reliable electric service to our customers.

“After the event, we’ll remove the poles from the Rock Ledge Ranch site and then inspect each one,” says Bryan Babcock, Energy Construction, Operations and Maintenance manager. “We expect that most will be reusable and will be placed into our inventory for future use throughout our service territory.”

For customers and citizens concerned about temporary disturbances to the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic site, Babcock emphasizes the collaboration with the City of Colorado Springs on planning the rodeo and restoring the site after the event.

“The collaboration with the City has been fantastic and we greatly appreciate them permitting us to hold the event at Rock Ledge Ranch. We both agree that this is a wonderful opportunity to bring national attention to one of our community’s most unique and treasured parks,” says Babcock. “From the first day of planning the rodeo, we’ve focused on minimizing disruption to the Ranch, the surrounding neighborhood and visitors to Garden of the Gods.”

As part of mitigation efforts, Babcock notes that no event parking will be permitted at Rock Ledge Ranch, Garden of the Gods, 30th Street or Chambers Drive. All participants and spectators will be brought to the site by shuttle buses.    

Once the rodeo is over, we are committed to moving swiftly, yet carefully, to remove the poles from the Ranch property and restoring the land to its pre-event aesthetics.


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I'm just wondering who is paying for all of this. My utilities are high enough as it is. This should not be an expense of the customers.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019  1:09 PM  Myra

Hi Myra - much of the cost will be offset by sponsorships and volunteer work, but the total cost for hosting an event like this is approximately $160,000. The final dollar amount that comes out of our budget will be much lower due to the above factors. I can assure you that this event will not impact your rates. What directly influences your rates are fuel costs, maintenance and operating costs required for a large 4-service utility, and the costs to build or upgrade new facilities to meet regulations and customer demands. Hope this helps - Steve

Tuesday, March 12, 2019  5:33 PM  Steve

I see the post about this not affecting rates. That's not the point, you are using our tax dollars to hold a private organization event, what a waste of my money!

Thursday, March 21, 2019  3:47 PM  Randy

Hi Randy - Colorado Springs Utilities is not funded by tax dollars, nor is this event. Additionally, as I noted to you on Facebook, the event will bring in well over $1 million to our local economy -- I think that's a huge return on investment for our customers and the community. - Steve

Thursday, March 21, 2019  4:06 PM  Steve