C4C backers: Let's party!


Mayor Steve Bach, behind singers from the Colorado Springs Conservatory. The kids reprised their Dec. 4 performance for the Economic Development Commission in today's news conference at UCCS. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Mayor Steve Bach, behind singers from the Colorado Springs Conservatory. The kids reprised their Dec. 4 performance for the Economic Development Commission in today's news conference at UCCS.

Those who've been pounding the drum for City for Champions, a $250 million, four-project tourism package, got together today at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for an atta'boy session.

Developer Chris Jenkins, the developer who owns a good share of the downtown property where two venues will be built, acted as emcee. He praised UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak. He praised Springs Mayor Steve Bach. He praised El Pomar Foundation general counsel Kyle Hybl. He praised County Commission Chairman Dennis Hisey.

You get the idea.

It was a red-letter day, they all agreed, because the state Economic Development Commission had given the green light for the city to receive $120.5 million in state sales tax rebates, shunning recommendations from its third-party economic analyst and its own staff, both of whom recommended only $53.1 million.

The venture calls for construction of an Olympic museum and stadium/events center downtown, a sports medicine center at UCCS and a new visitors center at the Air Force Academy.

Convention and Visitors Bureau chief Doug Price said the decision is noteworthy.

"The state told us that we think tourism is so important in the Pikes Peak region that we're going to partner with you for 30 years," he said. "Let's celebrate a gold medal victory for City for Champions and the city's Olympic center."

Supporters were so fired up by the 7-2 vote to fully fund the projects that they quickly organized a street party, which reportedly gets under way right about now in the Tejon Street area near the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum and the Plaza of the Rockies. But when the music stops, city leaders will be looking at these provisions (among others) required as part of the state's conditions of approval:

— Regional Tourism Project - Pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-46-304(3), the Regional Tourism Project is defined as follows: The City of Colorado Springs via the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority shall partner with a non-profit corporation to build and run the U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame, a Colorado Springs Stadium Authority to build and operate the Colorado Sports and Event Center, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs or affiliated non-profit entity to build and operate the Sports Performance and Training Center and the U.S. Air Force Academy to build and operate the visitor’s center. Each element of the Project must be of the approximate cost and size described in the first table of this recommendation and with the conditions and eligible improvements described in this recommendation.
— Regional Tourism Advisory Board. The City of Colorado Springs indicated in its application that it will create a Regional Tourism Advisory Board which will make funding allocation decisions between approved RTA Project elements. This Board should be created and will operate subject to the conditions recommended below.
— Stadium Authority – The City of Colorado Springs indicated in its RTA application that it will create a Stadium Authority to oversee the construction and operation of the Colorado Sports and Event Center. Such a body shall be created by the city.
— Financing Entity Designation - Pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-46-303(6), the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority (CSURA) is designated to be the Financing Entity.
— Before any use of RTA funds can begin on the Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame, the non-profit entity that will operate the Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame must obtain a long-term (period to the satisfaction of the Commission) license or other agreement from the USOC for the use of the Olympic name, trademarks, symbols and logos and the exclusive right to operate the Official U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame within the United States. Additionally the non-profit entity that will operate the Olympic Museum and Hall of fame must sign an agreement with the USOC and USOTC for coordinating exhibits, events between the facilities, sharing memorabilia and operating a shuttle service between the facilities for visitors. These agreements must be provided to OEDIT for Commission approval.
—  Per the statements in the City for Champions application, the Olympic Museum Complex must have an “iconic” design and architecture, with a “World Class Facility” with “State of the Art” technology.
— Before any use of RTA funds can be spent on the Colorado Sports and Event Center,  the facility must sign and provide to OEDIT, letters of intent, memorandums of understanding, contractual agreements or other similar documents to host at least 20 Pre-Olympic and amateur sporting events such as Olympic Time Trials, Qualifiers, Playoffs and World Championship events that will draw participants from outside Colorado or other events and meetings associated with the Olympic Sports National Governing Bodies for each of the first two years of Project operations. At least 10 of these events each year must be new to the State of Colorado meaning that they have not been previously hosted in Colorado within 5 years prior to the opening of the CSEC.

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