@LivesLocally - Don't we already have a walking mall? I'm pretty sure you can walk several blocks along Tejon and shop, eat, conduct business...
General Palmer founded Colorado Springs with the dream of a thriving, quality resort town... a travel destination. The city was actually named for nearby Manitou's springs as a marketing ploy to get people here, according to the good people over at the Pioneer's Museum, NOT because of the abundance of natural springs within city limits. I think the decision to go after the Regional Tourism Act (RTA) funds perfectly embodies Gen Palmer's original vision for Colorado Springs.
Now, the rule for applying for RTA funds is that it must be a large-scale regional tourism project with tourism or entertainment facilities in regional tourism zones that:
• are of an extraordinary and unique nature,
• are anticipated to result in a substantial increase in out-of-state tourism, and
• generate a significant portion of their sales tax revenue from transactions with nonresidents of the regional tourism zone.
• the local government must provide reliable economic data demonstrating that in the absence of state sales tax increment revenue, the project is not reasonably anticipated to be developed within the foreseeable future.
Sorry, but a walking mall (beyond what we already have) and a water feature are not "of an extraordinary and unique nature" and are not going to attract many out-of-state visitors. HOWEVER, the extra money collected from sales tax revenue from any of the four City for Champions venues could help pay for those two suggestions, in addition to assisting with our stormwater problems, and a slew of other great improvements.
Nobody is saying the plan is currently perfect, but we as a city DO need to get behind it if we want to receive those RTA funds. First things first. And THEN we can start working on making it perfect.
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