City Council Slashes Colorado Springs CVB Budget
The Colorado Springs City Council has cut the city's convention and visitor bureau's funding from $2.7 million to $1.3 million for 2014, pending a council review of the year's planned budget for a second time. The CVB's money comes from the city's Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax, about 25 percent of which is collected by the luxury 754-room Broadmoor resort. "From a marketing plan standpoint and media standpoint, we've been planning for that (money) all along," Doug Price, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs CVB, told the Colorado Springs Gazette. "To wait until January is very late in the game to be withholding and cutting budgets for someone who operates a business." Price told the paper that if the cuts are permanent, he would have to reduce the annual $900,000 advertising budget and the number of trade shows that CVB representatives attend each year, which was 40 in 2013. The council, which has five new members out of its nine seats, plans to make a final decision in January. Steve Bartolin, president and CEO of the Broadmoor, told M&C, "I think we're going to work through this. My feeling is that we're going to sit down and walk [the new councilors] through and educate them on how tourism works. I think we'll get full funding." The resort's vice president of marketing, Dennis Lesko, is on the CVB board and chairs the marketing committee.