Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Colorado Springs applies for $82 million in state tax rebates for tourism projects

By Ned Hunter Updated: July 9, 2013 at 8:00 am

Colorado Springs officials submitted their application Monday for a Regional Tourism Act tax rebate grant that, if won, would award millions to the city for future tourism projects.

The city has asked the state for $82 million in state sales tax dollars to build four projects. The tax rebates are open to several other cities on a competitive bid process. State officials have said they will choose two proposals this year. It was not known Monday how many applications for the tax rebate grants were submitted, nor which cities submitted proposals for the money.

Springs officials have said they will use the money for four projects: a multiuse stadium that would be the new home of the Sky Sox baseball team; a U.S. Olympic museum near America the Beautiful Park; an Air Force Academy visitors center, and a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs sports medicine and performance center on North Nevada Avenue, as part of a larger health and wellness village.

The application was made to the state's Regional Tourism Act program, which was created to give local governments sales tax rebates to build projects designed to attract tourists. The projects submitted must be "unique and extraordinary" and attract out-of-state visitors to qualify for the sales tax money.

Springs officials have said the four projects would bring an estimated 400,000 out-of-state visitors a year who are would spend a combined estimated $6.7 million.

The four projects would cost a total of around $218 million. The city would use public and private money to fund the projects. About 38 percent of the total cost to construct all four projects would come from the tax rebates, if awarded to the city; 28 percent would be raised in private money; and 34 percent would come from public sector money.

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Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.

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