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Colorado Springs RTA Summary

Colorado Springs RTA Summary

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Published by Michael_Lee_Roberts
Colorado Springs RTA Summary
Colorado Springs RTA Summary

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Published by: Michael_Lee_Roberts on Dec 17, 2013
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12/21/2013

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (Commission) PROJECT SUMMARY REGIONAL TOURISM ACT (RTA) December 16, 2013 APPLICANT:
 City of Colorado Springs (“Colorado Springs”).
PROJECT NAME:
 City for Champions Project (“Project”).
PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
 The City for Champions Project has four distinct not-for-profit elements intended to leverage existing assets in Colorado Springs, particularly ties to the U.S. Olympic movement as summarized in the table below.
Element Name Description Size Cost Projected Opening
The United States Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame “Iconic complex” in downtown Colorado Springs with “state of the art” interactive exhibits, Hall of Fame, memorabilia, theater, retail, restaurant,  broadcast studio. Complex will include Winter and Summer Olympic and Para-Olympic Games. 60,000 SF $59.4M June 2016 Colorado Sports & Event Center 10,000 seat outdoor and 3,000 seat indoor multi-use stadium and event center targeting Olympic-style sports (potential for minor league professional soccer) and other events located near Olympic Museum in southwest downtown Colorado Springs. 340,000 SF $92.7M 2017 Sports Medicine & Performance Center UCCS facility which is part of Health and Wellness Village designed to attract “medical and athletic training tourism” including wounded warriors to Colorado with a concentration of sports medicine and wellness clinics and research on injury recovery. 77,000 SF $27M June 2016 Air Force Academy Visitor’s Center Located near Falcon Stadium outside the security  perimeter and visible from I-25. Will include: museum, Pikes Peak welcome center, grand atrium, retail gift store and food service. 30,000 SF $20.5M 2017 Infrastructure Southwest downtown improvements: 500 foot iconic  pedestrian bridge, Wall of Fame in America the Beautiful Park, structured parking, streetscape improvements, utility upgrades.  N/A $51M 2016-17
TOTAL PROJECT COSTS ACROSS ALL ELEMENTS $250, 603,650 ECONOMIC IMPACTS:
The State’s Third Party Analyst (TPA) estimates that the Project could create 3,114 temporary construction related jobs and 867 ongoing operations jobs
 
including direct, indirect and induced jobs (see Appendix I for details). TPA predicts that an adequate labor supply exists within the Colorado Springs metro area to fill the jobs created by the project. The Project is therefore not expected to result in any significant new permanent employment migration to the area which would generate new school enrollment.
ANALYSIS OF PROJECT VERSUS APPROVAL CRITERIA:
For the reasons stated  below, we believe the Project meets the statutory requirements for RTA support including the elements* listed below:
 
U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame
 
Colorado Sports and Event Center (Outdoor Stadium and Indoor Arena)
 
UCCS Sports Medicine & Performance Center
 
U.S. Air Force Academy Visitor’s Center *Includes southwest downtown enabling infrastructure This Project is unique and extraordinary (in varying degrees) and is likely to draw net new tourism to the State of Colorado. The existing U.S. Olympic Movement is one of Colorado’s under-leveraged crown jewels and the State has a strategic interest in strengthening this asset in Colorado Springs. The Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and Economic Development Commission (Commission), received many letters and emails about this Project, and OEDIT held a public hearing which provided a forum for the Commission members to hear support and concerns from the public. Those concerns included criticism of the process for local public input regarding this Project in Colorado Springs. We acknowledge valid concerns regarding this Project; however our recommendation for approval is based solely on the statutory requirements in C.R.S. § 24-46-304(3). Rationale For Approval of the Project: 1.
 
These elements are “of an extraordinary and unique nature and are reasonably anticipated to contribute to economic development and tourism in the state.”
See
 C.R.S. § 24-46-304(3)(a).
 
The synergy between the elements of the Project with the existing Olympic assets in Colorado Springs - U.S. Olympic Committee Headquarters (USOC) and Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center (CSOTC) and 19 National Governing Bodies (NGBs) - have the potential to leverage the Olympic brand and enhance a constellation of Olympic-themed destinations in Colorado Springs that would be difficult to replicate elsewhere.
 
Although arguably not unique and extraordinary by itself, the UCCS Sports Medicine and Performance Center, if effectively tied to USOC, CSOTC and NGB activities, can contribute to the unique nature of the entire Project.
 
The Air Force Academy and its campus, architecture, personnel and mission are unique and extraordinary across Colorado and the U.S. The proposed visitor’s center could attract additional visitors through the potentially larger, better designed, and more accessible facility.
 
 
All elements are projected by the Applicant to be completed by 2017, meeting the statute’s goal of economic development in the foreseeable future.
 
Projected creation of more than 3,000 construction jobs and almost 900 ongoing operations jobs represents a notable economic gain. 2.
 
The Project will lead to a “substantial increase in out of state tourism”.
See
 C.R.S. § 24-46-304(3)(b).
 
Based on the work of the TPA, the Project is estimated to draw more than nine million net new visitors into Colorado over a thirty year period which represents a substantial increase in out of state tourism.
 
Based on the work of the TPA, a new visitor center at the Air Force Academy, (the element with the smallest net new draw of the various Project elements) can bring 20,000 new visitors into Colorado each year of stabilized operations. 3.
 
A significant portion of the sales tax generated within the zone can be attributed to non-residents of the zone.
See
 C.R.S. § 24-46-304(3)(c).
 
The Olympic brand has a national and global appeal and should attract visitors from outside the zone. The Colorado Sports and Entertainment Complex plans to target and host events that do not currently take place in Colorado because they lack an appropriate venue. This new sports complex should attract participants, fans, officials and families from outside Colorado Springs into the zone.
 
The nine million new out of state visitors will contribute a significant portion of sales tax revenue from non-residents of the zone. 4.
 
Absent RTA funds the Project is not likely to be completed within the foreseeable future.
See
 C.R.S. § 24-46-304(3)(d).
 
The State RTA support will accelerate and improve the chances of the Project moving forward in the foreseeable future. All four Project elements have identified some  potential specific public, private and philanthropic sources of funds. Concerns/Weaknesses: 1.
 
 None of the Project elements have a detailed funding plan, committed capital structure, or development pro-forma which demonstrates their viability with RTA funding and their lack of viability without funding. 2.
 
The lack of contractual commitments between the three Olympic-related Project elements and the USOC, CSOTC and the NGBs. 3.
 
Large differentials in the estimated amount of new visitors and the size of the net new state sales tax increment available for the Project between Colorado Spring’s application and TPA. 4.
 
The Air Force Academy Visitor Center as a stand-alone project may not satisfy the “substantial increase in out-of-State tourism” criteria. Many visitors come to the academy for its athletic, academic or specialized events. Visitors also come for sightseeing at the Cadet Chapel, Terrazzo, and other elements of the working campus including the cadets themselves. A new visitor’s center adjacent to Falcon Stadium may not by itself draw new visitors to Colorado. 5.
 
The UCCS Sports Medicine and Performance Center has a substantial possibility of being  built in the foreseeable future without RTA funds particularly given the comments in the

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