National travel industry publication covers local dustup

Wecome to Colorado signHere’s a quick look at our quarrelsome city political landscape from the website of “Meeting and Conventions Magazine.” And following is yet another blistering email from Broadmoor Hotel CEO Steve Bartolin to City Council.

City Council Slashes Colorado Springs CVB Budget

by Sarah J.F. Braley | December 11, 2013

According to local news reports, the Colorado Springs City Council has cut the convention and visitor bureau’s funding from $2.7 million to $1.3 million for 2014, pending a council review of the year’s planned budget for a second time. The CVB’s money comes from the city’s Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax. “From a marketing plan standpoint and media standpoint, we’ve been planning for that (money) all along,” Doug Price, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs CVB, told the Colorado Springs Gazette. “To wait until January is very late in the game to be withholding and cutting budgets for someone who operates a business.” Price told the paper that if the cuts are permanent, he would have to reduce the annual $900,000 advertising budget and the number of trade shows that CVB representatives attend each year, which was 40 in 2013. The council plans to make a final decision in January.

“For your information,” Bartolin wrote, “I have been contacted by Meetings and Conventions Magazine, which is the leading trade publication in the United States in the meetings and convention industry.  I am not sure how they got wind of this but they are flabbergasted with what our City Council is doing with tourism promotion and want my comments.  This is not a good message to be sending to all the other CVB’s who compete against us and the meeting and convention customers, all of which are readers of this publication.  As I stated previously, there are negative repercussions to your actions that haven’t been considered.”


2 Responses to National travel industry publication covers local dustup

  1. Not to sound too sarcastic, but did anyone expect anything different from Bach and the Council regimes – cut the budget that promotes our city nationally?

    Yet this same stupid squad continues to push personal agendas to convince the taxpayers to spend $$$ for a museum for USOC (didn’t we already eat $50m under Rivera for this group in building them a new HQ downtown), stadium facility downtown (like to see that $$ for a convention center) and a USAFA visitors center (about the only one that makes minimal sense).

    Gotta wake up COS – we need real leadership to make our city comeback, not the buffoons we keep electing….

    Ken G (
    December 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm

  2. Once again the powerful Broadmoor Hotel wants to be subsidized. Forgotten in the discussion is the amount of money this city already spends to support or favor the Broadmoor’s activities. First in my mind is the amount of money spent to support the Olympic Committee, a distinctly Broadmoor favorite, heavily promoted by Bill Hybl. The number I remember is over three million dollars a year. Might even be higher.

    There are several hundred thousand residents here who pay taxes and receive NO benefits from the Broadmoor operation. They go out of their way to hire foreign citizens, to avoid hiring local residents. Mr. Bartolin also demanded that the city not compete with the Broadmoor by opening a downtown convention center. I agree with him that the City not compete with the Broadmoor’s convention center, but it is very disingenuous for the Broadmoor to contradict themselves in such issues. The Broadmoor is a big powerful business. They will do very well without subsidies. The city should use the money to reduce the awful imbalances in the PERA retirement packages, which apparently exceed half a billion dollars.

    December 16, 2013 at 2:19 am