Colorado Springs not only won the Regional Tourism Act jackpot this week, but it won more money than the state was recommending. Whereas the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade suggested giving the city about $53 million in tax rebates over thirty years, the state Economic Development Commission approved $120.5 million -- which should help lessen the long-term cost of the city's plan to build an Olympic museum, a sports arena, a sports medicine clinic and a new U.S. Air Force Academy visitors center.
Colorado Springs was the only applicant for RTA tax incentives this year. Last year, six municipalities applied for the rebates, but only two -- Aurora and Pueblo -- were chosen. Aurora's project, the controversial 1,500-room Gaylord hotel, was awarded the most: $81.4 million over thirty years -- less than the state granted Colorado Springs. But almost immediately, the hotel project began experiencing problems. The city of Aurora is now suing a group of eleven hotels who had earlier sued to stop the Gaylord hotel from being developed.
Last year's RTA losers included the city of Glendale, which is moving forward anyway with its plan to develop a $400 million riverwalk along the banks of Cherry Creek.
Will the Colorado Springs project -- dubbed City for Champions -- fare better than Aurora's? Read the state's recommendations below and decide for yourself.
More from our Business archive: "Photos: Which Shotgun Willie's strip club auction items sold for the most money?"Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.