To the Editor:
As a Colorado Springs native, I’ve always been disappointed in my hometown always thinking of itself as small. My outlook over the years has been shared with various business leaders and mayors: Colorado Springs is at the base of the mountains; Denver and Pueblo are not.
But our downtown is tired. There’s no stadium or construction for some other major destination; there’s no east-west access to downtown. Denver looks down its nose at us and all state funding for road project starts and ends in the Metroplex. Nationally, Colorado Springs is called, by most news organizations reporting from here, as the city “60 miles south of Denver.”
We take no advantage of our strengths, beauty and location. Colorado Springs just doesn’t think much of itself, and I’m not talking about government spending, building or tax increases. I’ve pushed for the most modest and nearly cost-free suggestions. For example, in 1994, I recognized that our new airport terminal was going to open at the same time as Denver International Airport. I went on a mission contacting all parties connected to COS and went on television and radio to promote changing the name from Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (yes, municipal) to Rocky Mountain International Airport (yes, it is an international airport). I fought everyone over this with the argument that what we name our airport reflects what we think about our city. Who wouldn’t want Rocky Mountain International Airport in their city? Well, we wouldn’t! The argument, from those in charge at the time, was that without Colorado Springs’ name on the airport, travelers would be confused. With that logic, O’Hare, Logan, Sky Harbor and McCarren should change their names fast so travelers aren’t lost. The name of an airport honors the city! Travelers choose cities, not airport names as their destination.
Well, on to my final investigation and suggestion. Surely the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Colorado Springs Airport promote great Colorado skiing along with all the benefits of our city and the convenient drives to Summit County resorts — not to mention Monarch and Crested Butte.
The U.S. 24/CO 9 route to Summit County from the Colorado Springs Airport is far superior to driving in Denver traffic from DIA to I-70 to the Eisenhower Tunnel. I discovered that those respective distances are the same. I’d also wager that we are closer, from any measurement, to the Crested Butte ski resort. So, I checked the websites for the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Colorado Springs Airport regarding ski information and promotion and found NOTHING! But, the No. 1 promoter of all skiing in Colorado, Colorado Ski Country USA, must have Colorado Springs on its website as an alternate starting point to these major ski areas?
Not so fast my friends!
Go to CSCUSA’s website. We don’t exist. Apparently, Denver is your only choice. So, as a last gasp, I checked the Breckenridge Ski Resort webpage and — hallelujah! Colorado Springs does exist as another route to Breckenridge.
My point: The Colorado Springs Airport should be the gateway, or at least an equal alternate access, to Ski Country USA. Maybe one day I’ll see Breckenridge, Keystone and Monarch signs in our airport.
Terry E. Rector, attorney, Rector Law Firm