Some don’t make the cut — 20 years of Springs Business

Filed under: Opinion | Tags:,

Some day, perhaps very soon, one of the immensely talented young people at the Colorado Springs Conservatory will write a song about the Colorado Springs Business Journal, and the song’s title will include the verb “snubbed.”

That’s because today, we are publishing the book “20 Years of Springs Business,” and it has no mention of the conservatory, a personal favorite of mine.

I wish we had room for all the organizations and residents that have distinguished themselves over the course of the CSBJ’s two decades of chronicling the progress, as well as the setbacks. But the book is strong representation of the city.

Many of the powerbrokers of the last 20 years have moved on into their golden years and have great stories to tell.

I am not insinuating that Steve Schuck has moved on by any means, but Schuck’s excerpt from an interview in the “20 Years of Springs Business” is worth noting.

Asked about growth limits, he commented, “That’s like trying to defy gravity and is self-defeating. The more you try to limit it (growth) within city limits, the more attractive your city may become in the short run, as doing so forces most development outside the city limits where it can’t be controlled as effectively.

“The better alternatives are to grow within, relying on consensus. You can’t have a vibrant community if you don’t grow, even in a controlled way. And if you don’t grow, you can buy your kids a one-way ticket to some other place where they can find jobs to support their families.”

Schuck is a long-time Springs resident and developer. He ran for governor in the mid-1980s. He spent $2 million and didn’t get the nomination of the Republican Party.

With chapters on icons, (yeah … Doug Bruce is one of the them) buildings, infrastructure, people who led the way, power brokers, then and now, and in memoriam, the “20 years of Springs Business” is pretty complete.

Inevitably, someone will wonder why Mayor Bob Isaac wasn’t included or this developer or that banker.

From the cutting-room floor, here are some worthy pieces that came close. The Palmer Center, home to the Antlers Hotel, Wells Fargo tower and the First Bank building is not in, a tough call because such a prime downtown office-hotel plaza is important to the community.

The American Numismatic Association headquartered in the Springs gets its mention here, but not in the book.

T. Rowe Price’s move and expansion with a $55 million facility and the Van Briggle Memorial Pottery building, one new institution and one that has been part of the Springs for years, are absent.

Please give us your ideas for the next book, to be out in 2014, our 25th year here. Just don’t expect that all of your ideas will be published. Heck, this time even some of our own ideas didn’t make the cut.

As I look toward the next 20 years, I wonder who will be the next power brokers and who will lead the way?

Our book, like this city, is not complete. It is a snapshot of a city taken with a lens that stretches from 1989 to the present, and like all good journalism, it will inform, amuse and, no doubt, lead to arguments, maybe even protests.

If that musician I mentioned at the start does write a protest song criticizing the CSBJ for leaving out the Colorado Springs Conservatory, I offer this thought: Great art often springs from strong emotions, even anger.

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at or 329-5202.

One Response to Some don’t make the cut — 20 years of Springs Business

  1. Let’s not forget MCI–remember THAT compahy? The one that let itself get bought out by some pipsqueak outfit in Mississippi called Worldcom, which pretty quickly got caught up in MCI’s internal culture of corruption and ethical failures and became the largest Federal corporate bankruptcy in history until the Lehman Brothers implosion recently.

    The City of Colorado Springs lavished all kinds of benefits on MCI, only to have the whole thing virtually disappear just short of the 10-year window that many of those benefits operated. What a coincidence!

    And where is MCI now? It no longer exists, and what is left of it is sitting out there on GoG Road languishing in the massive buildings that house maybe 20 percent of what used to be there. Thousands of employees gone. Tens of millions of dollars gone. People died because of what happened at MCI/Worldcom.

    MCI is THE cautionary tale for Colorado Springs, worse–much worse–than Enron..

    August 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm