Ralph, I used to respect your voice and opinion but as of late you've been nothing more than a voice for the cronies. I won't go so far as to say you sold out because I'm sure you have logical and substantiated reasons for your "business" and economic perspective...RIGHT? I'd LOVE to hear your analysis and please use actual facts and metrics not "hopes and dreams".
Has anyone asked or looked elsewhere for COS "vision" or shall we just change the name of the City to Nor'Wood? I'm not against anyone making money, sustainable growth and making COS a national or even global iconic city but when we keep going to the same ol' well we will get the same ol' water. Not a single "outside" consultant really is because they are being paid. The CSBJ should try looking up the term "perverse incentive" and maybe write something that doesn't sound like you have Pom Poms in hand.
What happened to authentic journalism? What happened to REAL community engagement and leadership? You "clique" people just want us to be quiet and just let you all do whatever you want because you "know best" and we are just too negative and dumb to understand. Yet, most of us that oppose much of the crony directives being flung around are HIGHLY educated and experienced beyond those in the "clique". Maybe you all should drop some of the hubris and start leading the right way. Maybe through genuine care and love of COS and REAL leadership we would realize some community initiatives we could all get behind and that creates a win-win for everyone. The short term and self serving style of leadership we have in COS needs to stop.
Odd, both Hisey and King stated they had lunch with Bach and that Bach's indication to them was that he didn't feel it needed to change. Sounds like someone is lying.
I mentioned this to the state and within many forums regarding the level of prospected attendance. The amount of people based on how many events and the venues meant they would have to be at 100% capacity for nearly the entire year. I will dig up those numbers from my email before. Of course it was ignored because hope and dreams overrides facts and metrics.
Callie, you also didn't answer if you had read the details and are able to speak to them. If you haven't can you explain how you justify formulating a supporting opinion without knowing the details? From what I've seen and with great dismay, most like the concept and fell for the marketing campaign and video. That isn't enough when it comes to a project of this magnitude or serious nature. Strategic and urban planning isn't something that if we make a mistake is easily corrected. So wouldn't it be in our best interest to due our due diligence up front? When I spoke with the developers about how our urban sprawl pulled economic vitality North and East because they didn't consider the ramifications of building there either…we can't afford to continue to make HUGE mistakes and so far, that is what C4C is.
Thank you for the dialogue and I'd love to hear more about your background and what you're involved with locally. I didn't find anyone by your name in any of my networks and that's nearly impossible with all the people I know and groups I'm affiliated with. So I'd love to hear more…please share.
Callie, thank you for that but I just do what I believe needs to be done not for praise or recognition. The same is true of speaking out against the City for Champions.
Are the concepts themselves cool and would they be nice to have? Sure. What we are talking about here are the details. The entire purpose of the RTA is to attract tourists, the RFP requirement is also that without this money the projects wouldn't be built. We all know the projects at UCCS are going forward no matter what. Pam Shockley even said, "This would be accelerant money". It is NOT free money and I don't want my taxes going to private ventures. So if it would be built anyway, let them build it. Back to the numbers…the projections of new tourism and revenue is completely off and extremely idealistic. If you know how economics, finance and how this RTA funding works that is extremely important to understand.
The redundant efforts of pulling attraction away from the OTC by putting in a museum with identical components also contradicts the RFP requirements. Of all the projects I actually like the museum idea but it needs to be located at the OTC where over 130K tourist already go. The perverse incentives behind building a new one downtown…ever ask what those are? I could tell you but prefer to keep this focused on the data for now.
You mentioned more people want and support this but what is that based on? EVERY survey that has been done (I think the last count was 3/4) has indicated an overwhelming negative response from the community. Read through most online comments and newspaper articles…over 70% negative. The reason the surveys done by Bach weren't released and are held as "confidential" is because they didn't support the endeavor. Ask yourself this, "why all the PR, marketing and lack of transparency?"
All I have asked of Chris Jenkins, Bach and others is that we do this the RIGHT way. What if there is a better project that aligns with this? Why the locations chosen, where is the geographic economic comparison? Where is the public buy-in on project design? I am NOT okay with just being afforded an option to vote down the tax increase as a say in what direction MY city goes. I am NOT okay with the manner in which this was developed. I am NOT okay with the politics and disingenuous manner the proponents have blindly supported the project and haven't answered questions or realized there are MAJOR errors that could be disastrous for us. In urban planning and economic development there are a lot of studies that show megastructures being a very negative thing for communities that haven't done their research and as you must admit, "let's get the money first and figure out details later" is indicative of that lack of research. I do not want to be the next Phoenix who placed faith in megastructures as an economic catalyst and failed.
Let me ask you this…would the proponents be okay locating the museum at the OTC to bolster the existing toursim? Why the fake soccer team as smoke and mirrors? Why the lie about not moving the sky sox but still intend to? The "why's" go on and on. All I'm saying with my extremely well-qualified background, education and experience is that we are NOT doing this the right way and the ramifications could ruin our community. It will NOT hurt us to stop, redesign and apply again later. That is the great thing about one of the requirements…the elements have to be innovative or unique (so far they aren't) so NO other community can "steal" our concepts. Let's just do it RIGHT.
Callie, you're welcome to look up anything about me…it will show I am. Everything from working both fires on the front lines providing critical support and being part of the Storm Water business task force to volunteer work and owning a community outreach group, odd…we've never met if you are engaged in the community. Actions speak louder than words; you're welcome to come get involved and learn if you'd like.
I am well aware of how vision and business operates, it's what I teach and do for a living. I've reviewed all the plans, the financials, the analysis and much more. My opinion was not made lightly. Chris Jenkins (President of Nor'Wood and one of the major authors) even asked to meet with me and we discussed this for nearly 3 hours. Now I don't expect you to know what frame of reference, context or who you're addressing when posting but please know you're barking up the wrong tree when trying to "educate" me on what a COS Champion is or business/project planning.
As for the details themselves…have YOU read it all? Show me the agreements and hard metrics. If you are willing to support and invest in such a proposal without having a good understanding of those details I invite you to invest in this start up fund I have going too. Don't question what it's about, the product or our financials just get on board! Oh wait, there is a risk evaluation with that vision and support process? That is all I've asked of all the proponents…plan it more, research the details and SHOW US! I am friends with one of the partners of the economic firm that did the study, served under Gen. Gould and have connections at all the levels of planning yet NONE can do so. It's all based on hopes and dreams…so like I said, you may write that investment check out to me directly and I'll keep you posted on your dividends. ;)
The dog and pony show was a complete farce. Cronyism and the good ol' boys were out in force yesterday. All the ethical issues of this proposal aside, the facts speak for themselves. Public funding is NOT secured, private funding is merely a promise, the economics are inaccurate and fallacious, the sustainable business model is "best case scenario" with a low ROI, there was NO geographic economic analysis, the projects are not wholly unique and some aren't tourism draws.
Every single proponent I spoke with to include retired General Gould of the AFA, an Olympic NGB young professional and a fellow young professional friend stated the details weren't ironed out, they didn't know the details, or hadn't read all the details but they supported "something" for Colorado Springs. That is NOT a good business practice or how I formulate my investment decisions; if that is how we plan to invest in our community it equates to a gamble. Financial and City development decisions must be based upon research, facts, risk analysis, urban modeling, and strategic planning. Every successful city we've visited and toured for ideas has done the work and research to do just that. We take components we like and try to cram them into a community and culture that doesn't match and try to generate justification by providing skewed and inaccurate statistics, assumptions and poor economic analysis.
The biggest message I have is not that we are against doing great things for the City but that they need to be done the right way which includes community buy-in, in-depth research, community analysis, real projections and better project planning. If anyone operated this way at work or ran their business this way they'd be fired or bankrupt.
I am a Champion for Colorado Springs and I don't support the City for Champions.
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