Report: Tourism promotions underfunded in Pikes Peak region

Results of an analysis conducted by Tourism Economics were presented to the regional tourism industry on Tuesday, March 10. Private donations, along with financial and organizational support from 26 businesses and municipalities, helped commission a study to determine how Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region compares to its competitive set relative to destination marketing investment. Findings:  The […]

Balloons returning for new festival

Balloons returning for new festival

The balloons are back in town. The city of Colorado Springs announced last week that it was in final negotiations with Hot Apple Productions to provide a balloon festival during Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-7. The new festival, yet to be named, was chosen through a request-for-proposal process to fill a space vacated by the […]

Council sinks to new low over Jones Park

Tuesday afternoon, the Colorado Springs City Council pivoted mindlessly between farce and tragedy. The meeting started on a lighthearted note, as Jan Martin sought to persuade Council to forward the Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax Committee’s recommendations for the 2015 budget to Mayor Steve Bach without changes. It seemed like a no-brainer, since Council will […]

LART makes us look less friendly

As you already might have seen in this issue, Business Journal columnist John Hazlehurst takes the Colorado Springs city government to task for its treatment of nonprofit events seeking Lodgers and Automobile Renters Tax funding. As a direct result of City Council forcing event organizers to provide justification proving economic impact, and making that a […]

No reason for city making LART tougher to get

The news that the Colorado Balloon Classic will leave Colorado Springs in 2015 for greener (or maybe less bureaucratic) pastures was dismaying, to say the least. A press release from the Classic’s organizers cited “politics within the city, increasingly rigid special event procedures and an onerous 2015 LART [city sponsorship] application” as driving the decision. […]

Take it to the ballot: Raise funds via tourism

The local Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax (LART) for Colorado Springs raises around $4 million annually, a total that has decreased slightly the past several years, with the exception of last year.  According to the city’s 2014 budget, income from LART was $3.955 million in 2011, $3.936 million the following year and $4.023 million in […]

Business Alliance angles for a bigger chunk of LART

The city’s Lodging and Automobile Rental Tax fund has been on the books since 1980, supported by a 2-percent tax on hotel rooms and a 1-percent levy on automobile rentals in Colorado Springs. The purpose of the LART tax, according to the city’s 2013 budget, is “to attract visitors and enhance the economy of the […]

Let’s make the most of LART

For years, Colorado Springs quietly has collected and utilized the revenues from a Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax. By comparison with other cities our size and larger, we’ve never turned the LART tax into a gold mine, charging only 2 percent for lodging and just 1 percent for car rentals in addition to the usual […]

CVB hopes to reinvigorate LART with two new grants

For the first time this year, sales tax collections in Colorado Springs are down. But tourism officials are speedily working to get travelers to the city this fall to make up for summer losses during the Waldo Canyon fire. July’s sale taxes were down nearly 4 percent from the same time last year; but the […]