Published: January 27, 2014
USA Triathlon on Monday announced a move that should keep the sport's national governing body in the Colorado Springs area for decades.
The organization in late December 2013 paid $6.92 million for the 39,670-square-foot, 29-year-old building at 5825 Delmonico Drive that it had been leasing since September 2010, according to El Paso County land records.
"We're planning on being in Colorado Springs for the next 25 years," said USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach.
The purchase comes about six months after USA Basketball announced that it will move its headquarters from Colorado Springs to Tempe, Ariz. USA Basketball agreed in July to be part of a $350 million project located next to the Arizona State University campus. A new headquarters and basketball training center and access to an event center and hotel were part of the deal.
Urbach said USA Triathlon's purchase makes sense financially, allowing the governing body to generate savings that it will reinvest into the growing sport. Urbach joined the organization in March 2011, he said.
"Our operating budget has grown almost 50 percent since I've been here," Urbach said, noting that his organization has more than 500,000 members and puts on 4,000 events each year.
The building purchase was solidified when Nor'wood Development Group - a Colorado Springs business of more than 40 years - made a "generous donation" for the purchase. According to a release from USA Triathlon, Nor'wood is "owned and operated by Colorado natives who are avid cyclists and runners."
USA Triathlon acquired the building from a limited liability company formed by Nor'wood CEO David Jenkins. Nor'wood also played roles in building purchases made by USA Cycling and USA Volleyball in Colorado Springs.
"We're passionate about the future of Colorado Springs becoming America's Olympic city," said Nor'wood president Chris Jenkins in Monday's release.
Urbach said Colorado Springs' recent City for Champions initiative "played a role" in USA Triathlon's desire to stay in the Pikes Peak region.
"It's very exciting," he said. "It showed great vision to distinguish and brand the city and to attract other sports organizations, not just the NGBs."
The Colorado Economic Development Commission awarded an estimated $120.5 million in December to help finance the City for Champions project. The initiative's proposed projects include a 10,000-seat stadium and 3,000-seat indoor sports center, an Olympic museum, a new Air Force Academy visitors center and a sports medicine and performance center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Urbach said USA Triathlon will benefit from added interest in sports and the Olympic movement in the Colorado Springs area. He said the new facilities, especially the performance, training and recovery center at UCCS, could be beneficial to his athletes.
"I think it's a great difference maker for the athletes and organizations that can take advantage of it," he said.
Gazette reporter Wayne Heilman contributed to this report.