Letter: Glenwood needs convention center
West Glenwood Springs
The No. 1 reason to have a convention/performing arts center is: Economics.
Glenwood Springs has a reputation that invites tourists. We have the Hot Springs Pool, the Adventure Park, the new Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Sunlight Ski Area and a vibrant, walkable dining and shopping experience.
There is not a space available in Glenwood that can accommodate more than a few hundred people. I have heard organizations lament “where can we hold this event?” The Colorado Hotel, the library, the BOCC, a church or the high school, these are the ones coming to mind. All these venues present their own challenges for size, scheduling, location and cost. Concerts in the park could be concerts year around. We also need a place to shelter people if we have a local disaster.
Glenwood has always relied on sales tax and lodging tax to run the city. Think how much more revenue could be garnered if we also had a way to max out our rooms and fill up our eateries. Convention business could fill in our shoulder seasons, as conventions and events can be held any time of the year. We would get attendance from Carbondale to Rifle to Edwards and beyond.
With the new tax revenue we might be able to pay for bridges and streets and the convention center. We might even be able to support a low-income housing project or two. We may need to expand our lodging and tourism services to accommodate the demand; private enterprise would recognize an opportunity.
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We have a generous philanthropic element to our valley. I am sure this would be seen as a cultural and artistic opportunity. I believe we have the organizational ability to greatly subsidize this venture. There may even be a lodging chain that would partner or pay for naming rights.
But you say, what about using taxes to create and support this endeavor? We surely will need to reauthorize a current bond issue and consider such things as a modest real estate transfer tax, FMLA grants, Department Of Local Affairs grants, State Tourism grants. We may even need to solicit surrounding communities for support.
Join in, Glenwood Springs, we can make this happen.
A world class resort town needs and deserves a convention/performing arts center.
If Rifle can do it we can do it. Their Ute is getting rave reviews.
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