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Colorado Springs-Fremont Tourism Connection Detailed

As a Fremont County rafting outfitter prepares to take over the reigns as President of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau (CCCVB), the Board of Commissioners were told of the importance of tourism ties across the region.    CCCVB Chief Executive Officer Doug Price gave a report at Tuesday’s Commissioners’ meeting.    Price used the occasion to announce that Andy Neinas, owner of Echo Canyon Rafting and 8-Mile Bar and Grill west of Cañon City, is the new incoming President of the CCCVB.

Neinas told the commissioners that it’s an imaginary line between Colorado Springs and Fremont County.   Neinas said “These things all work in harmony; we’re all part of something larger”.   Price said the Convention and Visitors Bureau considers Fremont County a very important part of a unique experience.    Price said CCCVB has 25 Fremont County members as marketing partners in the 2014 Visitors Guide for Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region.    Price added that the impacts caused by the Waldo Canyon, Black Forest, and Royal Gorge wildfires the previous two years strengthened the regional relationship as tourist attractions and tourism related businesses recognize even more how much they depend on each other.

District 3 County Commissioner Ed Norden provided an update at Tuesday’s meeting on the July 22nd grant application hearing in Durango for the proposed new regional dispatch center.   Norden said that he, Sheriff Jim Beicker, and Cañon City District Fire Chief Dave DelVecchio presented the application for an $830,000 Energy and Mineral Impact Grant to a Department of Local Affairs grants committee.   Norden said it’s important to note that in the days and hours leading up to the grant hearing the grant budget was amended to make sure enough money was available to renovate 4th floor space at the county’s Judicial Center and equip it with the most current technology.

Norden said as a result, the Board of Commissioners agreed to commit another $100,000 cash from the county’s recent Certificates of Participation financing beyond the $225,000 that the county previously committed.   Norden said the architects had adjusted some costs upward and money was added for contingency in the budget.    Norden said the county’s additional $100,000 kept the grant application at a 50 percent local match meaning another $100,000 was added to the grant application.    Norden said the Board of Commissioners do expect the $100,000 to be reimbursed once the dispatch center starts operating because the county had previously committed that money to be spent on other capitol needs.

Norden said the grant hearing presentation went very well and he’s confident that the grant will be awarded.

In other business Tuesday the Board of Commissioners:

  • Conducted a public hearing on the performance of the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Government’s (UAACOG) Housing Rehabilitation Program.   Program coordinator Erlin Trekell reported that 19 housing rehabilitation jobs had been performed under the low interest loan program with $179,370 spent on those housing projects.  Trekell said most of those program projects took place in Fremont and Teller Counties.  Trekell said the housing program will be operating again through the coming year;
  • Approved a Temporary Use Permit for the Penrose VFW to conduct a chili cook-off and bazaar on August 23rd utilizing the street frontage at 402 Broadway in front of the Penrose VFW Hall;
  • Approved a Conditional Use Permit for Bill Tezak of Colorado Quarries to operate a stockpile area and loadout facility associated with his mica white mine at Wellsville near the junction of County Roads 45 and 47.