Check out bite-sized business news, as well as some of the more positive things happening in the business community. This week’s roundup includes news from Wildwood Casino, Discover Goodwill, Visit Colorado Springs, Gov. Jared Polis and First Friday Downtown.

Wildwood Hotel breaks ground

Wildwood Casino broke ground on its 104-room Wildwood Hotel June 6 in Cripple Creek. The casino recently announced plans for the $14 million, fully financed hotel, which will be located directly next to the casino and connected by a heated walkway. Wildwood plans to complete construction between summer and fall 2020. The hotel will be the first new casino/hotel construction in Cripple Creek in 11 years.

Discover Goodwill announces Denver-Southern Colorado merger

Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado and Goodwill Industries of Denver finalized a merger between the two organizations, effective June 3.

Discover Goodwill, based in Colorado Springs, and Goodwill Industries of Denver will maintain their current administrative offices, retail stores, donation centers and other localized programs that together serve more than 100,000 individuals throughout Colorado each year. Karla Grazier, president and CEO of Discover Goodwill and interim president and CEO of Goodwill Denver since September 2018, will lead the combined organization.

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Both organizational boards approved the merger, and with the Goodwill Industries International Board of Directors’ approval of the consolidation of territory, the two organizations will combine operations immediately, according to a Goodwill-issued news release. The combined organization will serve all 64 counties in Colorado with localized career development programming, 43 retail stores, four outlets and 12 stand-alone donation centers, employing more than 2,800 workers.

VisitCOS releases digital craft beverage ‘passport’

Visit Colorado Springs released its 2019 Crafts and Drafts Passport. The free app highlights the area’s “diverse craft beverage scene and invites beverage novices and aficionados alike from across Colorado’s Front Range to enjoy the Pikes Peak region one sip at a time,” a VisitCOS news release said.

According to the release, users can access digital deals and discounts at 20 locally owned and operated beverage companies.

“From beer batches and spirit specialties to carefully roasted coffee, visitors can savor their way through area breweries, distilleries, wineries and coffee shops,” the release said. “At each participating location, patrons will use the digital passport to redeem deals and be entered to win a variety of gift cards.”

The passport, developed by VCOS, is in its the third iteration.

According to VisitCOS, Colorado is home to more than 284 craft beverage breweries, with an economic impact of $3 billion. Learn more at crafts.visitcos.com.

Sports betting measure on 2019 ballot

Gov. Jared Polis signed a bipartisan bill May 29 that would let voters decide whether to legalize sports betting in Colorado. The measure now heads to the 2019 ballot for voter approval. HB19-1327 was sponsored by Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver.

HB19-1327 makes provisions for a master license for local casinos that can then contract with brick-and-mortar and/or internet sports betting operators to provide sports betting in Colorado. A 10 percent tax on net sports betting proceeds would be placed in a Sports Betting Fund. That fund will, in part, go toward the Water Implementation Cash Fund to support Colorado Water Plan projects and other public projects.

First Friday Downtown features new Art on the Streets exhibit

June’s First Friday Downtown features new art, live music and special events at 25 galleries, retailers and nonprofits. The event is from 5-8 p.m. June 7 and is free and open to the public. Participants can view new public art exhibits through a passport-guided scavenger hunt featuring 12 sculpture and mural locations around the Downtown Creative District. The hunt is free but registration is required. Visit downtowncs.com/firstfriday for details and registration link. This month marks 21 years of the Art on the Streets public art program, according to a news release issued by the Downtown Partnership. A full listing of June’s First Friday Downtown events is available at downtowncs.com/firstfriday.

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