Tourism boosters kick off the summer season at a rally today at the State Capitol. And what a season it should be: Come July 1, the state's annual tourism budget will increase from $5 million to $20 million (pending final legislative approval). But at the same time those boosters tout the $3.4 billion spent in Colorado by "heritage tourists" -- a new emphasis here -- they might want to update the state's heritage tourism information for the new millennium.
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At least www.Colorado.com, the state's official web site, has updated its page on Black Hawk, removing the photograph of the "Lace House Museum" — a historic structure that has been shuttered for over a decade, and soon will be ignominiously moved from its home of almost 150 years to another site — that was there last month ("A House Divided," April 13). Now the picture on that page is of the Black Hawk and Central City Tramway, a high-falutin' name for the bus that shuttles gamblers. But under "History & Heritage," the only listing is for the Riviera Casino — a six-year-old gaming emporium with little history, although it's probably done its bit to help shake $3.4 billion from those "heritage tourists." And for more information about Black Hawk, the site suggests contacting not Black Hawk's town hall, but Central City — its longtime rival a mile up the hill. Considering that all of the state's new tourism money will be coming from gaming revenues, and that Black Hawk collects two-thirds of the cash dumped at this state's casinos, you'd think the town might get slightly better treatment.
And the rest is history. -- Patricia Calhoun