Monday, August 22, 2016

Pennies from heaven (taxpayers) sponsor events

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 12:25 PM

click to enlarge A few pennies and add up. - KATE TER HAAR
  • Kate Ter Haar
  • A few pennies and add up.
Two percent doesn't sound like much, but it can add up when tacked onto hotel rooms and automobile rental fees. In fact, it's expected to add up to more than $5 million next year, from which money is taken to sponsor local events.

Monday, Colorado Springs City Council will get a report on the recommendation of a citizen committee for where that money should be spent.

Not surprisingly, a bunch will go to events associated with The Broadmoor, which is owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, who also owns the local daily newspaper. One of those is the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, which now bears The Broadmoor's name. The recipient of the $150,000 from the city is Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb Educational Museum Inc. 

The other event getting city funding is the U.S. Senior Open, $165,000, which will be held at the resort. The recipient is listed as the Bruno Event Team.

This is apparently a for-profit outfit that manages professional events. Here's a company description from its website:
Bruno Event Team is a Birmingham, Alabama-based sports marketing and event management company formed in 1995 by Ronald Bruno and Gene Hallman. We are experienced in all facets of event management, employing a year-round staff of more than 60 employees. Bruno Event Team services each client with expertise in all aspects of event management, marketing, and operations.

We maintain a steadfast commitment to excellence utilizing vast experience, strong work ethic and demanding attention to detail.

Others at this public trough include the Colorado Springs Sports Corp., $70,000, which brings in more than $2 million a year from contributions, grants and program fees, according to its 2014 IRS filing, the most recent available. Its events include the Rocky Mountain State Games.

The biggest recipient by far is the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, which receives two-thirds of the Lodging and Auto Rental Tax revenue, which in 2017 will be $3,678,667.

You can read for yourself who will be on the receiving end next year:

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