Creating vision through City for Champions

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As Steven Covey says, “All things are created twice.” First there is the mental creation and then the physical creation.

Vision pertains to this first creation. We have to see it before we can shape it into reality. Vision is the bridge between present and future reality. Colorado Springs now is facing a bridge between mental and physical creation. We have formulated a mental vision through the City for Champions application that builds upon our history as a health destination, a training ground for servicemen and women, and a sports and fitness hub by advancing a vision of new, unique Colorado attractions.

These venues will attract new visitors, extend visitor trips, elevate our image as a destination and improve the quality of life for residents of the region and state.

The four project anchors include the United States Olympic Museum, an iconic destination museum dedicated to the Olympic and Paralympic movement; a Downtown Stadium and Event Center, a venue hosting more than 200 annual events headlined by the Colorado Springs Sky Sox; a Sports Medicine and Performance Center, a destination clinic for training and healing elite athletes and wounded warriors and for the study of aging at UCCS; and The Gateway at Falcon Stadium Visitors Center, a complete visitor experience for those interested in the training of the world’s top Air Force located at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Now is the time to come together and support an awesome project that puts us on the map.

It is interesting to note that these projects have been talked about for many years. Some have actually had starts and stops along the way, but have been on the radar screen without ever coming to fruition. The state’s Regional Tourism Act is the perfect vehicle for Colorado Springs to bring these projects to life. Colorado Springs and the surrounding region need to take advantage of this special opportunity for state funding; otherwise, these dynamic projects will remain ideas and concepts.

We’ve seen our community come together and support one another during recent times of disaster. Now is the time to come together and support an awesome project that puts us on the map in a positive way.

Research indicates the creation of these four anchor projects will bring more than 1 million new visitors to the area annually including 449,000 new out-of-state visitors that will boost the state and local economy. City for Champions will also generate more than $7 billion in net new retail sales and $200 million in new state sales tax revenue over the next 30 years. In addition, more than $300 million in new sales tax over the next 30 years to the city of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority and El Paso County. And finally, 1,000 new jobs with more than 750 permanent jobs and 310 construction jobs.

Recently there have been exciting developments around the project. A website is now live at www.cityforchampions.com. Also, a local firm, Monster Zero Cinematography, is producing a video surrounding the project. Several municipalities have passed unanimous resolutions of support including El Paso County, Manitou Springs and Monument. The University Of Colorado Board Of Regents has also unanimously endorsed City for Champions.

Anytime a city does something this bold and unique, it causes great conversation to occur. We have just begun the public conversation and will continue to offer many more opportunities to hear questions and comments related to the proposal. Big crowds attended two local events to see a presentation and get answers to questions about the application process and financing options that lie ahead. If you are part of an organization that would benefit from a similar sort of presentation, please get in touch with me at the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau.

As we cross the bridge from mental vision to physical creation of the four City for Champions anchor projects, collectively they will strengthen and catalyze the city’s economy, increasing economic health for decades to come.

The state Office of Economic Development and International Trade will be fully briefed on the application in approximately eight weeks. We need to rally behind City for Champions as it will mean a better future for Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. Now that is a vision worth capturing for current and future generations.

Doug Price is president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.