(CBS4) - After years of planning, a luxury train that will make runs between Denver to Utah has hit the tracks.
The Canada-based Rocky Mountaineer took off for its maiden voyage in Colorado on Sunday.
"We're excited, we're ready and I can feel the energy as everyone is boarding the train," said Wendy McMichael, Senior On Board Manager.
Ray and Debbie Lee from South Carolina were among the excited passengers waiting to board.
"We're veterans from the Canadian version of the Rocky Mountaineer and we wanted to be on the maiden voyage for the American version," Ray said.
After leaving from 36th and Wazee Street in Denver, the train makes an overnight stop in Glenwood Springs and then continues into canyon country in Utah with a final stop in Moab. The train also makes separate trips from Moab back to Denver.
The ticket price to ride the train in one direction starts at around $1,200. It may seem pretty expensive, but the idea is similar to an all-inclusive cruise with elaborate meals and wine. It's a luxury experience as guests sit back and enjoy the mountain views from huge windows.
"It may be the only time in my life that I've ever refused food because they feed you and drink you so much," said Ray.
The runs will provide a boost for Colorado's economy, in particular Glenwood Springs, which has been not been getting its usual tourist dollars since destructive Glenwood Canyon mudslides blocked normal interstate access there for more than two weeks.
"They have been warm, they have been welcoming," said McMichael of the businesses they've been working with in Glenwood Springs. "We know we are going to have a great partnership with them. And the fact that we get to help support that community that has been going through such rough times, that is just heartwarming to us."
The Rocky Mountaineer's inaugural season will last through mid-November with 56 trips through the Rocky Mountains. Learn more at rockymountaineer.com.
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