The first public hearing on the six projects vying for Regional Tourism Act funding was barely over when the state's Economic Development Commission announced that the sign-up list for the second and -- and final -- hearing was already full. Who were some of the notables shut out?
Businessman Steve Weil, former lawmaker Joel Judd and Andrew Hudson, for three. The trio wanted to talk about the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center Resort, the proposal that Aurora is pushing -- and which has already received a hefty subsidy from that city.
And not talk in favor of it.
At the first hearing, on April 10, half of the speakers talked about Gaylord: ten in favor, and only one against. And on April 11, Weil, Judd and Hudson learned they hadn't made the cut.
Coincidence or conspiracy? Weil fired off an e-mail to the commission, questioning the process; Judd asked for the time-stamps on the requests of people who'd made the list of speakers.
And by Monday, the commission had decided to extend the April 23 hearing, says spokeswoman Kathy Green, and also start it early, in order to accommodate more speakers -- including Weil, Judd and Hudson, who served as press secretary to Wellington Webb when he was mayor of Denver. Webb is now one of the nine members of the group that will be weighing the six RTA proposals.
Legislation passed in 2009 set up the RTA, and allows for up to two tourism projects a year to get up to $50 million in sales-tax increment financing. The law currently caps the largesse at six projects over three years, but a bill that passed the House yesterday would allow up to six projects to be approved at once -- and conveniently, that's the number that applied this round..
Each speaker will get five minutes. Here's the current lineup, as well as the projects they've signed on to talk about:
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12:50 p.m.: Bizzy Palmer or Suzanne Jurgens/The Elkhorn Project
12:56 p.m.: Susie Kenney/The Elkhorn Project
1:02 p.m.: Chris Dunn/ Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center Resort
1:08 p.m.: Sue McGinley/Gaylord
1:14 p.m.: Jaye McPherson/Elkhorn
1:20 p.m.: Leslie Olson/Gaylord
1:26 p.m.:Amy Sherman/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
1:32 p.m.: Larry Harte/Glendale Riverwalk Project
1:38 p.m.: Nancy Sharpe/Glendale
1:44 p.m.: Debbie Brinkman/Glendale
1:50 p.m. Cliff Dodge/Glendale
1:56 p.m.: Barrett O'Brien/Glendale
2:02 p.m.: Patrick Guthrie/Glendale
2:08 p.m.: Elizabeth Fogarty/Elkhorn
2:14 p.m.: Richard Johnson/Elkhorn
2:20 p.m.: Billy Ward/Elkhorn
2:26 p.m.: Lynette Lott/Elkhorn
2:32 p.m.: Jim Haugsness/Great Colorado Adventures
2:38 p.m.: Harold Smethills, Jr./Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
2:44 p.m.: Maxine McBrinn-Howard/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
2:50 p.m.: Gary Ellis/Great Colorado Adventures
2:56 p.m.: Nathan Boyless/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
3:11 p.m. Jeff LaForte/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
3:17 p.m. Jerry Flannery/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
3:23 p.m.: Jill Repella/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
3:29 p.m.: Tony Milo/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
3:35 p.m.: Kim DeGrande/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
3:41 p.m.: Gregg Jurgens/Elkhorn
3:47 p.m.: Glen McWilliams/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
3:53 p.m. Jennifer Riefenberg/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
3:59 p.m.: James Tawney/Elkhorn
4:05 p.m.: Kandice McKeon
4:11 p.m.: Tami Door/Gaylord
4:17 p.m.: Tom Ashburn/Gaylord
4:23 p.m.: Doug DeBord/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
4:29 p.m.: Gary Debus/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
4:35 p.m.: Joel Judd/Gaylord
4:41 p.m.: Steve Weil/Gaylord
4:47 p.m.: Andrew Hudson/Gaylord
4:53 p.m.: Edmond Johnson/Gaylord
4:59 p.m.: Mike Cahill or Chris Stein/Gaylord
5:14 p.m.: David Bell/Gaylord
5:20 p.m.: Marcelo Birckenstaedt/Gaylord
5:26 p.m.: Monica Pitt/Gaylord
5:32 p.m.: P.W. McCallum/Gaylord
5:38 p.m.: Jaren Ducker/Gaylord
5:44 p.m.: Arne Sjodin/Glendale
5:50 p.m.: Greg Leonard/Gaylord
5:56 p.m.: Blaine Longnecker/Colorado Sports and Prehistoric Park
The public hearing will be Monday, April 23, at the Wells Fargo Center, Hershner Room, 1700 Lincoln Street. Find more information here.
Who's boosting the Gaylord project? Get details in our post "Gaylord hotel project: Meet the locals in love with it (and one guy against it)."