Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a tourism bill into law yesterday, HB 1031.
The bill is intended to help cities certify “creative districts” – through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade – to promote cultural growth and attract artistic industries.
HB11-1031, sponsored by Rep. Joe Miklosi, D-Denver, defines a creative district as a “mixed-use area of a community in which a high concentration of cultural facilities, creative businesses, or arts-related businesses serve as the anchor of attraction. … Creative districts may be found in all sizes of communities, from small and rural to large and urban. Creative districts may be home to both nonprofit and for-profit creative industries and organizations.”
Although it may be quite beneficial for towns in rural areas, whether the law will help larger, urban areas, which typically already have cultural districts, remains to be seen.
“It’s a great victory, and were thrilled today, but it’s an ongoing battle,” said Doug Price, CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This helps protect our state tourism funding and shows the governor understands that investing in our industry provides a measurable ROI (return on investment) for state and local tax revenue.”