Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach gave his yearly “state of the city” address at a luncheon yesterday. He outlined a number of goals and accomplishments, and as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, he also used the occasion to press his plan to build four major tourism projects, including a downtown stadium and a U.S. Olympics museum.
Before the mayor’s speech, a 5-minute video produced by his communication team set the mood. The video showed a montage of city workers reciting the mayor’s goals. It included footage of yellow-shirted firefighters, military marches and the mayor greeting citizens. It also had conceptual drawings of the four capital projects the mayor hopes to build. The video dovetailed Bach’s main message:
"Ladies & Gentlemen … this is the time to think big and get big things done."
He commended UCCS chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalaback for exemplifying that motto. Bach says she never let obstacles like lack of funding stop her from building greatness.
"You know, Pamela once told me she doesn’t wait for consensus, she has to move forward. Interesting concept."
Bach spoke of jobs and revenues he expects will flow from the four construction projects.
"It would bring almost 450,000 new out of state visitors here per year, create 750 direct jobs and thousands of secondary jobs. And here’s what’s key: It would generate 10 million a year in new sales tax from those visitors."
Some critics say the plan is too extravagant. The mayor has also drawn fire for crafting it in secret. Bach says he had to keep it under wraps at first to avoid competition for state financial help. He says now he’s working to build public support for it.
Bach also invoked the city’s founding fathers, JFK and the mission to the moon in urging people to champion the plan and achieve great things for the city.
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