Economic Development

Colorado College Robson Arena Community Meeting #2

Focus: Arena Building and Architecture

Colorado College continues work on planning and design of a multi-purpose, best-in-class sustainable sporting event venue as the new home of the CC Tigers Hockey Team and venue for City for Champions events.

Parking for the meeting is available at several areas within the campus as well as on-street. (Lots include: Cornerstone, Armstrong, Southeast Tejon, Wooglins, Central Services, 3D Arts, Dale Street and Numismatic (north side)).

Event dates

Location Cornerstone Art Center (map)
825 N. Cascade Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Date/Time Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

Shooks Run EPA Grant Community Meeting Presentation

In a continued effort to identify funding for projects outlined in the Envision Shooks Run Corridor Master PlanA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property., a coalition of the Cities of Colorado Springs and Fountain, Colorado Springs Utilities, and School District #11 is applying for a Brownfield Assessment Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  If awarded, this grant would revitalize abandoned, contaminated, and underutilized properties, particularly around Shooks Run and the City of Fountain.

View the powerpoint presentation from the January 15th meeting to learn more about the grant and how it can help in our efforts to advance Envision Shooks Run projects and enhance our community.

View PowerPoint

Brownfield Revitalization Informational Meeting

In a continued effort to identify funding for projects outlined in the Envision Shooks Run Corridor Master PlanA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property., a coalition of the Cities of Colorado Springs and Fountain, Colorado Springs Utilities, and School District #11 is applying for a Brownfield Assessment Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  If awarded, this grant would revitalize abandoned, contaminated, and underutilized properties, particularly around Shooks Run and the City of Fountain.

Please join us to learn more about the grant and how it can help in our efforts to advance Envision Shooks Run projects and enhance our community.

Presentation at 6:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Chelsea Gaylord at (719) 385-6803 or cgaylord@springsgov.com

Event dates

Location City Auditorium (map)
221 East Kiowa Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Date/Time Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm

12 Days of COS #12: Colorado Springs Tops a Number of "Best Of" Lists in 2018

“The fact is, as a result of unprecedented levels of public and private investment, 
Colorado Springs has taken its place among the great cities of America.”
-Mayor John Suthers, 2018 State of the City-

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The City of Colorado Springs remained in the nation’s spotlight as a best-in-class city in 2018, earning the number one spot by U.S. News and Report as the #1 Most Desirable Place to Live in the U.S. in April, and garnering assorted awards through the year. 

Long-regarded as a top destination by tourists seeking panoramic views from atop Pikes Peak, and by athletes searching for optimum resistance in a high altitude, Colorado Springs was recognized for its housing market to its vacation offerings. Below is a sampling of some of the newsworthy ranking that Colorado Springs garnered in 2018.

Honorable Rankings for Colorado Springs within the Top 5

#1 Real estate listing as the “top housing market to watch in 2019”

Trulia

“Of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, Trulia identified 10 that we think are poised for takeoff due to job growth, vacancy rates and good starter home affordability.”

#1 Best Place to Live for Vets in 2019

Military Times

“Locations were selected by veteran and military culture and services, economic indicators — some veteran-specific and some not — and livability factors such as crime, health, school quality and traffic.”

#2 Best Place to Live in the USA

U.S. News & World Report - Real Estate

“This data was categorized into the five indexes: Job Market Index, Value Index, Quality of Life Index, Desirability Index, and Net Migration”.                       

#2  Top 10 Hottest Zip Codes

USA Today

“Once a year, we zoom in even further, to focus on the neighborhoods where homes are flying off the market and listing views get constant clicks. That's how we arrive at our list of the hottest ZIP codes in America.”

#2 Best Places to Retire (in the West)

Forbes

“This year's roundup spotlights 25 cities in 18 different states across the country. They were selected based on an assortment of retirement-friendly features—from walkability to affordability.”

#3 Cheap Winter Family Vacations

We3 Travel

“Based on research on destinations that could host a family of four (2 adults and 2 children under 12) for at least five days between December and February for under $3,000. This would include lodging and activities.”

#4 Colorado Springs ranked nation’s 4th most “Business-Friendly” city

Thumbtack

“New business startups and relocations, along with low unemployment and a tax reduction for small businesses earned COS the nation’s 4th most “Businesses-Friendly city by Thumbtack in 2018.”

#5 Colorado Springs ranked "5th Best American City to Work in" Tech

SmartAsset.

“Reviewed data for 190 cities and compare them across metrics like average salary, the average cost of living, tech employment concentration, unemployment rate and the ratio of average pay-to-tech pay.” 

#5 in Top 10 Most Affordable College Towns in Colorado

Great College Deals

“Reviewed data costs for housing, food, healthcare, transportation, and utilities, and compared them to the national average. We also considered features like amenities, crime rates, public transportation, and overall quality of life before narrowing our list down to the 10 most affordable college towns in Colorado.”

For more detailed information on the methodology that was used for these rankings please visit the website for each listed publication.
 

12 Days of COS #1: City for Champions Bounds Forward

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -   Two major ground-breakings, one huge announcement and an extension to accomplish the fourth project energized the five-year anniversary of the passing of the state’s Regional Tourism Act, which will infuse $120.5M into catalytic sport and tourism-focused projects in Colorado Springs. Among the benefits of the City for Champions projects, they will: 

  • Attract about 1.2M visitors to the region annually
  • Increase gross metropolitan product by $217M per year
  • Add more than a half-million out of state visitors annually
  • Create more than 5,100 new jobs

The past year has seen multiple milestones in the advancement of the City for Champions initiative. 

A Downtown Double: Media, fans and stakeholders alike gathered with baited breath at the unveiling of the renderings of the new Colorado Sports and Events Center, which will occupy not one, but two locations book-ending downtown Colorado Springs. The renderings were revealed on July 25, 2018, on the dirt lot that will serve as home to the Colorado Springs Switchbacks as early as April of 2020. The stadium will hold 10,000 sports fans and will expand to a capacity of 20,000 for outdoor concerts and other events that utilize the field space. The project is being funded by the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, Weidner Apartment Homes and the RTA funds. Along with the stadium, the space will feature mixed-use residential and commercial development.  

The much-anticipated development of the Colorado Sports and Event Center will provide beneficial urban renewal for our downtown and will stimulate positive economic development of the blighted southwest area. By bringing fans, businesses and improvements to the CityGate property, the Switchbacks and Weidner Apartment Homes will absolutely spark a revitalization that is extremely exciting for the future of southwest downtown." Jariah Walker, CSURA

The Indoor Arena: The indoor arena, to be named Robson Arena, will be built on the southern end of the Colorado College campus where the 3,000-seat venue will serve as home to the Colorado College ice hockey team. It will mark the first time in the program’s 80 year history that Tigers will play on campus. 

The U.S. Olympic Museum Comes Out of the Ground, and Connects Us: Just a block away, the nation’s only U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame came out of the ground in 2018, with a groundbreaking, topping off ceremony and the start of hard hat tours. Slated to open in about one year, the Museum was the first C4C groundbreaking. More recently, the City revealed plans for the revitalization of Vermijo Street, using some of the RTA funding dedicated to the museum for capital improvements in the area. An ADA-accessible and modern pedestrian bridge will accomplish the long-held goal of connecting America the Beautiful Park to southwest downtown.  The re-configuration and modernization of Vermijo street into a “signature street” will create a destination that is well-suited for festivals and strolling. Tejon is currently the city’s only signature street.

UCCS Breaks Ground, Names Hybl Sports Medicine & Performance Center: The second C4C project to break ground, UCCS kicked off its “revolution in health and human performance” in October. The Center is expected to serve over 300 people per day, and to boost enrollment at UCCS by 1,000 new students. Because of specialized training and injury recovery programs, the Center expects to serve up to 300 military and first responders as well. The facility will open its doors in June 2020. 

"I truly believe the center will be one of a kind in the nation, if not the world." Chancellor Venkat Reddy

Both the Colorado Sports & Events Center venues as well as the Air Force Academy Gateway Visitors’ Center are expected to break ground in 2019. This per an extension granted by the State Office of Economic Development and Tourism, which requires “substantial progress,” on all funded projects in order to release funding. The Office granted the city a one-year extension to meet the requirement on the final two projects in November. 


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City Presents Signature Street Plan for Vermijo

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- The City of Colorado Springs today presented the Signature Street plan for the redevelopment of Vermijo St. The total redevelopment features a wide, pedestrian and business-friendly format that will render the street appropriate for both pedestrians and automobiles while offering the opportunity to host festivals and plaza-type events. The large-scale plan also includes completion of a modern pedestrian bridge that will finally connect America the Beautiful Park with downtown Colorado Springs, a goal that has been envisioned in the downtown master planA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property. for decades.

"Vermijo was identified as a future 'signature street' for our city years ago, and it's exciting to actually have the renderings that can help us visualize just how transformative this project will be for southwest downtown," said Project Engineer Ryan Phipps. "By combining low impact development, smart technologies, effective stormwater management and an overall design that will draw people to the area, this is truly the type of project we're seeing in best-in-class cities nationwide."

Tejon is the city's only signature street at present. 

Phipps further stated that design and engineering for this project was impacted by extensive research into best practices in other major cities across the country. "What we ultimately chose to do with Vermijo was to embrace a timeless design that is flexible enough to make this street sustainable for the next 50 or 100 years. While providing a very classic aesthetic, it will also be equipped to host temporary features and displays that can easily be updated or refreshed. In addition, we will set it up to be ready for evolving smart technologies, from smart street lights to smart parking, kiosks and sensor-driven irrigation."

In addition, the streetscape will use an innovative underground stormwater filtering system which will collect and cleanse runoff by using the natural materials created by the trees lining the two-lane road. Once cleaned by this natural and sustainable system, the water will collect in an underground basin before flowing to Fountain Creek. 

Other features of the plan include ADA and bike-friendly accommodations on the pedestrian bridge connecting downtown to America the Beautiful Park, a curb-less design making the street appropriate for festivals and events while remaining accessible, pre-run power for on-street activation and thoughtful planting using the small-leaved and disease resistant Honey Locust tree.  

Funding for the project will come from multiple sources to include PPRTA, Regional Tourism Act funding (RTA) granted by the successful City for Champions application, Colorado Springs Utilities and the business improvement district, which was established in 2017. 

The funding breakdown is anticipated as follows: 

- $17M from the Business Improvement District (BID)

- $9.2M in State RTA funding

- $7.9M in PPRTA funding

- $3M from Colorado Springs Utilities

- $1.3M for the stormwater infrastructure as a pre-identified IGA project

-$1.3M from the parking enterprise

The project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.

Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak region begin work on federal opportunity zones

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-- The Colorado Springs Economic Development Division encourages individuals to learn about investment opportunities and submit qualifying projects as part of the new federal Opportunity Zone program.

Designed to attract long-term investment to communities that have experienced uneven economic recovery and growth, the Opportunity Zone program provides federal tax incentives for investors to reinvest capital gains into low-income areas in order to promote economic vitality.

In a collaborative effort, the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, the City of Fountain, Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership, and other key economic development organizations held its first informational session on the new opportunity zones that were enacted as part of the federal 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. A plan is underway to develop a regional “Pikes Peak Investment Prospectus” that will identify the assets and opportunities of the region and develop a marketing strategy to attract investment. Additional community meetings will be held in the upcoming months.

Complete information about Opportunity Zones criteria for qualifying projects, and the Pikes Peak Investment Prospectus can be found on the Economic Development website, or by contacting Chelsea Gaylord at cgaylord@springsgov.com or 719-385-6803.

More about Opportunity Zones

With uneven recovery across the country from the Great Recession, Opportunity Zones were enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that utilizes tax incentives to draw long-term investment to communities that struggle with poverty, unemployment, and slow business growth. This economic and community development tax incentive program encourages private investors to support distressed communities through private equity investments through deferral, reduction, and potential elimination of certain federal capital gains taxes. It is estimated that U.S. investors currently hold trillions of dollars in unrealized capital gains, which is a significant untapped resource for economic development.

The bill designated criteria for Opportunity Zones in every state and territory across the U.S. and established a new private investment vehicle called Opportunity Funds. Opportunity Zones were designated and certified through inclusive and rigorous processes in the first five months after the bill was signed. There are over 8,700 certified Opportunity Zones across the county – including 126 in the state of Colorado and 8 in the Pikes Peak region – and these areas are established for the next 10 years. Opportunity Funds will specialize in attracting investors to deploy their capital in rural and low-income urban communities through investments in qualifying stock, partnership interests, and/or business property. The U.S. Treasury is finalizing their regulations to implement this new law and guide Opportunity Funds, and program details are in development.

Opportunity Zones

Overview

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Map of opportunity zones

Map of the Pikes Peak Region's Opportunity Zones

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created a new initiative known as Opportunity Zones that utilize tax incentives to draw long-term investment to communities with high unemployment and poverty rates.

In the Pikes Peak Region, a total of 8 Opportunity Zones have been designated by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

View Opportunity Zone Map

Interested investors will be able to defer their capital gains taxes by investing them in Opportunity Funds that provide needed long-term investments in our region’s Opportunity Zones to promote economic vitality.

Possible investment opportunities could include:

  • Real estate development and significant rehabilitation in Opportunity Zones
  • Opening new businesses and expansions of businesses already within Opportunity Zones
  • Investing in startup businesses that have the potential for rapid increases in scale
  • Workforce and affordable housing projects

Opportunity Funds can be established as a partnership or corporation to invest in eligible opportunities in an Opportunity Zone and will be required to meet U.S. Department of Treasury guidelines, which are still yet to be established.

The state has launched a Colorado investment database to help investors find opportunities and for projects and entrepreneurs to connect to capital for growth across the state.

View the CO-Invest Site. 

Next Steps for the Pikes Peak Region

The next steps for the region include community meetings within the 8 Opportunity Zones, identifying assets and project opportunities seeking Opportunity Zone funding, and finalizing a Regional Investment Prospectus. These efforts are being led the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC and informed by local economic development organizations, stakeholders, investors, and interested individuals.

Explore the Colorado Springs Region Prospectus.

Collaborators include El Paso County, the City of Fountain, the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership, local Economic Development partners, organizations, stakeholders, and interested individuals.

Background Information

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017 Framework

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation created the following three main components of Opportunity Zones:

  1. Criteria for designating Opportunity Zones in every U.S. state and territory
  2. Establishment of a new private investment vehicle called Opportunity Funds
  3. Provide incentives to investors to reinvest their capital gains into Opportunity Funds to provide capital for new and expanding businesses, affordable housing, infrastructure, energy, commercial development, etc. in designated Opportunity Zones.

Available Tax Incentives

The law allows for the following capital gains incentives for investment in an Opportunity Fund:

  1. Temporary deferral until 2026 of taxable capital gains invested into an Opportunity Fund.
  2. Step-up in basis for capital gains invested in an Opportunity Fund:
    1. Basis is increased by 10% if investment held for at least 5 years
    2. Basis increased by an additional 5% if held for at least 7 years (15% total)
  3. Permanent exclusion from taxable income of new capital gains from sale or exchange of an investment in an Opportunity Fund if investment held for at least 10 years.

How Opportunity Zones Were Established

The City of Colorado Springs worked closely with El Paso County, the City of Fountain, the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade through an inclusive and rigorous process to nominate census tracts for Opportunity Zone status. The following are details on the criteria and timeline for Opportunity Zone designation.

  1. Eligible census tracts had to have at least a 20% poverty rate or a median family income of no more than 80%.
  2. Governors could only designate 25% of total number of low-income census tracts in the state.
  3. Governors had 90 days from when tax bill was signed to nominate census tracts (March 21, 2018).
  4. Department of Treasury had 30 days to complete certification of Opportunity Zones. Zones are now certified and locked in for 10 years. There are over 8,700 census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones across the U.S.

Contact Information

Questions or comments about Opportunity Zones can be sent to Economic Development Project Manager, Chelsea Gaylord, at cgaylord@springsgov.com | 719-385-6803.

Public Meetings

More community meetings will be scheduled in the near future. Check back here for updates.

August 282018 Meeting:

In collaboration with El Paso County, the City of Fountain, and other key partners and leaders in the region, the City of Colorado Springs hosted the first informational session on Opportunity Zones and the investment prospectus.

Meeting Documents:

Resources

Additional information on Opportunity Zones can be found at the links below. The City of Colorado Springs and Strategic Team Partners do not specifically endorse or confirm any resources, businesses, organizations, or individuals. If you have something helpful you would like us to share, please send it to us at cgaylord@springsgov.com | 719-385-6803.

City Announces Plans, Partners for Colorado Sports and Event Center

Colorado College, Colorado Springs Switchbacks & Weidner Apartment Homes Proposed Operators of Final City for Champions Component

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The City of Colorado Springs today announced plans to move forward with the fourth City for Champions project; the Colorado Sports and Event Center. Comprised of two separate facilities, these will be state of the art, multi-purpose venues designed to host professional, Olympic and amateur sporting events as well as entertainment and cultural events. The outdoor downtown stadium will become the permanent home of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks while the event center will serve as the new home of the Colorado College ice hockey team.  
 
Partnering and providing private financial funding in the venture are Colorado College, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks and Weidner Apartment Homes. The next step in the project is presentation of the business plan and finding of commencement of substantial work toward the project by the Colorado Economic Development Commission at its meeting in September.  
 
“It gives me great pride to announce that the City of Colorado Springs is ready to effectively leverage $27.7M in State City for Champions funding to build a downtown sports stadium and events center” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. “Today’s announcement is the culmination of a lot of hard work and incredible collaboration between a number of private partners. While this project represents a significant benefit to our city’s economy and cultural and sports offerings, we have remained committed to the desire of our voters to accomplish this feat through private partnerships and investments and not with local general fund tax money. To that end, I’m incredibly pleased to announce that we have an excellent proposal and a plan to move forward on these facilities.”

Facilities

A Sports Authority comprised of five individuals appointed by Mayor John Suthers, County Commissioners and City Council will be formed to ensure the projects meet requirements set by the State Economic Development Commission. Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Switchbacks will each hold one seat on the authority. 

Downtown Stadium

The proposed downtown stadium will be located at the CityGate property bordered by Cimarron to the North, Moreno to the South, Sierra Madre to the West and Sawatch to the east. The facility will be a mixed use development which will feature a rectangular field of play and will serve as the permanent home of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. The stadium, containing 10,000 spectator seats for sporting events, will be a multi-use facility which can accommodate a wide variety of sporting and entertainment events. Capacity for concert events will be 20,000.  

“In 2013, when I was looking to start a professional Soccer franchise somewhere in Colorado, Colorado Springs stuck out as a City that had a passion for sports and a vision for growth,” said Ed Ragain, owner of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. “It is amazing to be standing before you today announcing our plans to complete a long desired downtown sports stadium in this great City. In my professional career, I had the opportunity to be a part of designing and building some of the largest and most successful sports stadiums on the planet.  It has been inspiring to witness the way that many of these facilities have changed the trajectory of neighborhoods and cities through lifestyle enhancement. While our stadium project is smaller in scale, we are committed to design features that bring forward a great sports environment.”

“I am very excited to see the City of Colorado Springs get behind professional soccer like numerous other leading cities around the country,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Steve Trittschuh. “The downtown stadium will help us compete at a higher level and represent the City well.”

“Two key elements were considered in awarding the Ragains a USL franchise back in 2013, namely Ed Ragain's experience with sporting venues and the strong community support from Colorado Springs.  The City for Champions downtown stadium project brings those two key elements together for the benefit of the community, the Switchbacks' loyal fans, and the future long-term sustainability of the USL franchise in Colorado Springs,” said Alex Papadakis, CEO of the USL.
  
The stadium will be constructed together with a mixed-use residential and commercial development in partnership with Weidner Apartment Homes. Weidner will receive naming rights to the stadium. The combined project is estimated at $60 million dollars.  
 
“On behalf of Dean Weidner and the 1,400 team members of Weidner Apartment Homes, I’d like to express our tremendous excitement at being a part of this downtown revitalization effort,” said Greg Cerbana, V.P. Public Relations and Government Affairs for Weidner Apartment Homes. “Weidner has been a part of the business community here in the Springs since 1993, but our roots in the community are much deeper as Dean Weidner himself grew up here. Our desire to elevate our level of support from that of a sponsor to now being a partner is based on the vision we’ve jointly developed regarding the new downtown stadium and it’s potential to help spur a sports and entertainment district in downtown Colorado Springs.”

The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, a United Soccer League franchise, will be the primary tenant of the stadium, and Ragain Sports, a separate business, will be tasked to operate and program the facility with additional events.   

Indoor Events Center

The indoor events center, named the Edward J. Robson Arena, will feature 3,000 permanent seats and capabilities to host ice-based and other sports, as well as entertainment events. The planned arena, which will have less than half the seats of the Broadmoor World Arena, is comparable in size to the arenas of colleges and universities that have similar numbers of students and Division I hockey programs. The arena will be built on the block bordered by Nevada Ave., Cache La Poudre, Tejon and Dale Streets, allowing the CC hockey team to play games on campus for the first time since the program started in 1938.
 
“Thanks to this partnership and the generosity of donors including alumnus Ed Robson, Class of 1954, the Lyon family, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and others, the college is moving forward with this ambitious project,” said Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler. “We’re also thrilled to partner with the City for Champions Initiative, the Colorado Economic Development Commission, the Weidner family, and the Colorado Springs Switchbacks on this hockey venue, which will greatly benefit both the college and downtown.”
 
Initially planned as a practice venue, Tiefenthaler said that the city’s investment, through City for Champions, as well as commitments from a number of donors, will help the college create a multi-purpose state-of-the-art, sustainable venue that will benefit both the college and the city. 

“This is an exciting time for Colorado College and for Colorado Springs,” said Tiefenthaler. “Robson Arena will become known as a premier destination for CC’s Division I competition as well as national and international events with our Olympic partners.”
 

Colorado College’s involvement in this project, as well as its recent alliance with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and its leadership role with PPCC, UCCS and the USAFA on the Quad Innovation program, show that CC’s leadership is bold in seeking collaborations that result in positive outcomes for the Colorado Springs community. This new venue will join the Fine Arts Center in serving as a gateway to a vibrant downtown corridor, drawing even more visitors to the Pikes Peak region and contributing to its economic strength. As with Colorado College’s recently renovated Tutt Library, the largest carbon-neutral, net-zero energy academic library in the United States, the new arena will further CC’s commitment to sustainable design.

“We are thrilled to partner with the City on this important project.  This is a game-changer for both Colorado College and downtown Colorado Springs,” said Colorado College Director of Athletics Ken Ralph. “This is one of those rare circumstances where it is a win for all involved.”

A practice arena was part of Colorado College’s master planA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property. that was approved by the college’s Board of Trustees in 2015.  Now, as part of City for Champions, the arena will be designed to accommodate multiple events as envisioned in the state-approved Regional Tourism Act application. The venue’s design also will complement the developed surrounding area. 
“The Broadmoor World Arena has been a wonderful home for CC Hockey for more than 20 years and we will forever be grateful to El Pomar Foundation for facilitating the construction of that arena,” said Ralph. “It will be very exciting for the community to have two outstanding venues in the city.”
Colorado College will handle all operations and scheduling for Robson Arena.

Parking

Economic Benefit

Economic impact of the Sports and Event Center project is forecasted at $32 million annually and $1 billion over 30 years. The project is also estimated to generate $1 million dollars in new city sales tax revenue each year and is anticipated to generate over 650 new jobs.
This project impact is a vital part of the combined impact of the four City for Champions projects, which are forecasted to:

  • Boost the region’s $1.35 billion annual tourism industry
  • Attract about 1.2 million visitors each year
  • Add more than 500,000 new out-of-state visitors annually
  • Increase retail sales by $140 million each year
  • Increase gross metropolitan product by $217 million annually
  • Add $4.4 million in new sales tax revenue for the city annually
  • Add $2 million in new sales tax revenue for the county annually
  • Leverage a $120.5 million state tourism improvement rebate
  • Allow 23 local TEAM USA National Governing Bodies to host Pre-Olympic and World Championship events here
  • City for Champions will brand Colorado Springs as Olympic City USA, and invite national/international sports performance and medicine entities to the city–to compete in events and do business.

Funding

The State RTA funding will be approximately $27.7 million over 30 years. Two-thirds of the revenue, approximately $18.5M, will be dedicated to the outdoor stadium and will support a bond of approximately $10M. One-third of the revenue, or approximately $9.2M, will be dedicated to the indoor arena and will be distributed to Colorado College as the revenue is received. Private investment from the project partners will make up the difference to complete the projects.

Downtown Stadium

The cost of the outdoor stadium is estimated at approximately $20 million plus a mixed use development project costing approximately $40 million for a total of $60 million. In addition to the $10 million in state RTA bond funding, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks will be contributing another $10 million and Weidner Apartment Homes $40 million. 

Events Center

The indoor events center will cost approximately $39 million with $9.2 million funded by the state RTA bond proceeds. The balance (approx. $30 million) will be provided by Colorado College. 

City for Champions:

On July 8, 2013, the City of Colorado Springs began its pursuit of supplemental funding with the Regional Tourism Act of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The Regional Tourism Act promotes diversification of the state’s economic base by providing a financing mechanism for attracting, constructing and operating large-scale regional tourism projects, which include tourism or entertainment facilities that will attract significant investment and revenue from outside the state. The application, appropriately named “City for Champions,” highlights four unique and extraordinary venues that will strengthen and diversify the economic impact of our regional and state visitor attractions:

  • The United States Olympic Museum:
  • Colorado Sports and Event Center:
  • USAFA Gateway Visitor Center:
  • William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center

Colorado College:

Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its approximately 2,100 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week segments. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. In 2017 the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center became part of Colorado College, providing innovative, educational and multidisciplinary arts experiences for the campus and Colorado Springs communities. For more information, visit www.coloradocollege.edu

Switchbacks FC: 

The Colorado Springs Switchbacks Football Club is a professional soccer team based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The team is a member of the United Soccer League, the second tier of the American soccer pyramid and one of the most successful professional soccer leagues in the world reaching a population of more than 84 million people across North America.  The Switchbacks began play in 2015 at Weidner Field where it invested 3.5 million dollars to improve a City-owned facility.  The franchise is owned by the Ragain Family and lead by Ed Ragain, the former owner of a Colorado-based international engineering firm.  All matches are broadcast on ESPN+ and home matches are available locally on the CW & FOX.  For more information, please visit SwitchbacksFC.com

Weidner Apartment Homes:  

Founded in 1977, Weidner Apartment Homes is a privately held real estate investment, development and management company that owes its success to its most important resource – the more than 1,400 associates that make up their onsite and regional teams. Weidner is ranked #14 on the NMHC list of the 50 largest Apartment Owners, and as of July 2018, owns and self-manages a portfolio consisting of 257 multi-family communities representing just over 51,500 apartment homes throughout twelve states in the US, and four provinces of Canada. Headquartered in Kirkland, WA, Weidner’s commitment to delivering value drives its vision to distinguish itself as an industry leader in each of its markets. For more information, please visit www.weidner.com   

 
 
 
 

Banning Lewis Revised Annexation Agreement Approved With 7-2 Vote, City Council Greenlights Future Development

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – On Tuesday, April 24, Colorado Springs City Council voted to adopt the revised annexation agreement for Banning Lewis Ranch. The revised agreement brings requirements in line with City Code, aligns the agreement with other development practices across the city and is expected to encourage development in the city, changing the trend of development leapfrogging the area and occurring in the County. Banning Lewis Ranch is expected to welcome 62,000 residents over the next 30 years and generate $49M in net revenue for the City. Further, the projected growth is projected to add $41 Billion to the city’s economy over the same period. 

“Our city has made tremendous progress in the last couple of years, and as we anticipate continued growth, the revised Banning Lewis Ranch Annexation Agreement allows us to capitalize on that growth and recognize the enormous economic benefit it offers to our city,” said Mayor John Suthers. “The property has sat vacant for much too long, and that vacancy has cost us in terms of revenue and jobs. Now that the inequities in the agreement have been corrected, we expect to see both commercial and residential development, an improvement in our housing inventory and less urban sprawl due to the influx of developable land within the city limits. The agreement is the product of years of review, and the result is an intelligent blueprint for responsible and sustainable growth in the northeast quadrant of our city.”


The below data comes from the TischlerBise Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis.

  • Development under the revised agreement is expected to generate at least $49 million over and above the cost of developing and servicing the area over the next 30 years. Further, the Colorado Springs economy is projected to grow by an estimated $41 billion and generate 35,000 new jobs over that time.  It would also bring in $434 Million in additional net revenue to Colorado Springs Utilities.
  • The proposed amended agreement allows land use and zoning to be as flexible as possible. We don’t know what the market conditions will dictate in the future.  There is no proposal to re-master planA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property. the ranch with this agreement. It will allow for smaller development plans to come forward, and to be adaptable as the ranch develops over the next three to five decades.
  • The agreement is subject to the Park Land Dedication Ordinance, and presents opportunities for new parks, trails and open space.

 For more information on the revised Annexation Agreement, visit the BLR page on the City’s website.