The 27th annual National Space Symposium opened today, and the prestigious event is expected to have an economic impact of more than $25 million, says Carol Hively, with the Space Foundation, which hosts the event.
She says attendees, who come from across the globe, have booked roughly 6,100 hotel room nights. And who knows how many cab fares, rental cars, meals and other spending they'll account for?
The event is unfolding at the Broadmoor International Center and Broadmoor Hall, which this afternoon were overrun with suits, such as during this speech by Maj. Gen. Richard E. Webber, commander of the 24th Air Force, and Chief Master Sgt. Kevin G. Slater, (pictured on the big screen) also with the 24th Air Force, about cyber warfare today and in the future.
"The fight is on," Webber said.
The display area, where 150 exhibits are going up, is an awesome sight, filled with the biggest names in the space business, from Ball to Boeing to Northrop Grumman, which took over a substantial section of the exhibition hall, as you can see.
The symposium, though, isn't just for business people. The Space Foundation is hosting nearly 1,800 local students and 95 teachers from 18 states at various educational activities during the symposium. The programs include educator professional development, recognition of an outstanding educator, a surprise teacher grant announcement, student tours and sessions including "Audience with an Astronaut" and "An Introduction to Chinese Culture and Space Activities."
Given the economic impact and how the Space Foundation embraces the educational process on many levels locally, it's no wonder this community stepped up to keep the organization here.
In January, a deal was announced whereby the foundation will move from South 14th Street to 4425 Arrowswest Drive, near Garden of the Gods Road. Here's the press announcement:
The Space Foundation will remain in Colorado Springs thanks to generous support from El Pomar Foundation, the Anna Keesling Ackerman Fund, the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the State of Colorado Economic Development Commission.
The Space Foundation, a locally based international space advocacy organization, will move into 45,715 square feet of space at 4425 Arrows West Drive in the Gardens of the Gods high tech corridor under a condominium agreement with the Foundation for Colorado Springs Future (FCSF), a 501(c)(3) organization established by the EDC. The facility is part of a 171,500-square-foot office and warehouse structure recently purchased by the FCSF. The Space Foundation plans to move its headquarters staff into the facility by next summer.
The approximately $960,000 purchase of the Space Foundation's portion of the building was funded primarily by El Pomar Foundation and its internal Ackerman Fund, which granted a total of $610,000 - $385,000 in the name of El Pomar and $225,000 in the name of the Ackerman Fund. The EDC helped locate the property and broker the real estate deal and the State of Colorado Economic Development Commission provided $350,000.