Dismissals from tourism board

As a professional member of the tourism industry for 31 years and a proud citizen of this city, I feel cheated that Colorado Springs is again losing out in state tourism leadership with the replacement of Cathy Ritter and Doug Price on the Colorado Tourism Board.

In 2018 and 2019, Colorado saw $22 billion in annual tourism spending and Colorado Springs accounts for a hefty part of that total but now has no representation on the Colorado Tourism Board. From 2015 until a month ago, Ritter directed significant annual tourism records while making a comprehensive plan for sustainable tourism as boss of the CTB. On his first day as boss of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Pat Myers dismissed Cathy to the dismay of tourism officials across the state.

On Wednesday of last week, Doug Price, president and CEO of Colorado Springs convention and Visitors Bureau, was not reappointed as assistant chair of the Colorado Tourism Board. Both dismissals were in the name of diversity. Tourism generates a large percentage of state tax dollars and for years those tax dollars rarely came south to support Colorado Springs tourism. City for Champions was a significant change, bringing spending support for the Olympic & Paralympic Museum, the AFA Visitors Center, the Hybl Sports Medicine Center at UCCS, the new Weidner Field downtown arena and the Robson Hockey Arena at CC. Price spearheaded that effort and continues to direct significant programs for our city.

Cathy and Doug are respected national leaders in the tourism industry-their replacement in the name of diversity leaves Colorado Springs with no representation on the state tourism board. The records for both of these professionals speak for themselves, yet they have been summarily dismissed.

Is Cathy being discriminated against because of her age and Doug because of his ethnicity? Or is this just politically motivated?

Frankie Tutt

Colorado Springs

Electric cars a novelty?

In the days of the horse & buggy, the horseless carriage was the novelty. One hundred twenty years ago, there were steam and electric horseless carriages. Gen. William Jackson Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs; had probably the first electric in the city, a 1907 Pope-Waverly.

The gas or ICE (internal combustion engine) carriage was just starting on the scene. With the advancement of fuel availability and the electric starter, thus began the evolution of what we have today in ICE. In other words, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Eleven years ago, the third wave of electric car evolution began and electrics have come a long way in that short time, and it is picking up speed. Yes, there are still some areas for improvement, and it is advancing almost daily. The electric car is not a novelty; it is in the early stages of reality and those pioneers of tomorrow’s transportation are embracing it with excitement. Three years ago, an electric car set the record for the fastest time in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb of 7:57.148 minutes, which still holds today. Lookout tomorrow, here we come today.

J. David McNeil

Colorado Springs

Real-world experience with EVs

Daniel Bradley’s letter “Electric cars still a novelty” lacks real-world experience — I’m willing to bet he does not own, nor has extensively driven an EV. I’ve owned a Tesla as my primary and only vehicle for six years for 200,000 miles, have made 7-8 trips to the East coast, 2-3 trips to the West coast, and 5-6 to Custer, S.D., from Denver. I also drive several hours a day using my Tesla for Uber/Lyft in the Denver area.

His “average time to fully recharge the empty battery for an electric car is just under 8 hours” is technically accurate AND very misleading — the vast majority of daily charging is not from 0% to 100%, more like 40% to 90%.

His “plan to use the vehicle within 125 miles or less of your home” is patently false, and not just for Tesla. Telsa, Electrify America, Chargepoint, EVgo, SemaConnect (and other charging networks) have numerous high speed charging stations across the U.S. making longer trips viable — check out plugshare.com for a full picture.

His “it is extremely difficult to find a place to charge an electric car” is dead wrong — besides the commercial charging networks there are lots of businesses putting in some kind of charging for their employees at their workplaces.

Dan Rosenblatt

Littleton

Affordable health insurance

In the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed small businesses beyond their limits, and while business seems to be ramping up, we’re still far from recovery. When you add in the rising costs of health care, it feels like entrepreneurs like me are just working to only pay for health insurance.

Even before the pandemic, small-business owners like me often had to choose between paying our bills or paying for health coverage. Out-of-pocket costs and sky-rocketing premiums are leaving us with more bills that we can afford and we can’t pretend that this isn’t a serious issue.

This is why I’m glad to see that the Colorado Health Insurance Option is gaining momentum and that lawmakers have found a way to compromise.

The Colorado Option will provide more affordable health insurance options and lower out-of-pocket costs for Colorado families and small businesses.

It’s time we make a change in the way we care for our people and our businesses, and access to affordable care is a step in the right direction.

Lawrence Martin

Colorado Springs

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