City for Champions: Build it and ...? 

Street Smarts

Colorado Springs is proposing to open the tourist faucet wider by building three sports-related facilities and a new Air Force Academy visitor center.

click to enlarge Mark Copley

Mark Copley of Cheyenne Cañon is an engineer

What's your take on the City for Champions proposal? It might be a good way to bring people downtown. It would be a no-brainer if [the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs] or the Air Force paid for it, or if the businesses themselves did.

To what extent should we brand ourselves an Olympic city? I have friends and acquaintances that have come here to specifically visit the Olympic Training Center.

What sort of attraction does downtown most lack? We already have a concert center and places to see movies. Personally, I miss the Chinook bookstore.

If you had $100 million to do it, how would you attract tourists? I'd use a quarter of it to subsidize the arts — maybe an endowment for the Philharmonic. I'd build a convention center near to downtown, and I'd encourage UCCS to move a part of its campus downtown.

click to enlarge Erica Plumlee

Erica Plumlee of the Colorado College area is a student

How do you see the City for Champions proposal? I appreciate that Colorado Springs is out to increase tourism, but I don't find this project very interesting. Anyone wanting to visit the Air Force Academy can just go there.

Can we legitimately brand ourselves an Olympic city? When I think about Colorado Springs, it's not the Olympics that comes to mind. This town has yet to find its niche as a tourist destination.

What kind of attraction is missing from downtown? I was in Boulder last night and every store or restaurant I passed felt like it had more culture, and more happening in it, than all of Colorado Springs put together. We need more late-night options than a few bars downtown.

click to enlarge Michael Cox

Michael Cox of Pueblo is a librarian

What's your take on the City for Champions proposal? Tourism is real dollars, but is this the right type of tourism for Colorado Springs? I'd be more interested in something focused on the arts and the outdoors.

Should Colorado Springs brand itself an Olympic city? Branding itself as that might attract potential Olympic athletes, but would it make me visit as a tourist?

What kind of attraction does this downtown most lack? Independent, homegrown businesses that provide authentic local culture and arts.

How would you draw tourists downtown if you had $100 million at your disposal? Put up some façades and create a walking district for shopping and unique local experiences.

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