Call for Action: Don’t Kill Gaylord Rockies
Tell Our Legislators Not to Kill Gaylord Rockies
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® is asking you to OPPOSE Senate Bill 284. The late bill purports to address a so-called “loophole” in the use of urban renewal and tax increment financing on agricultural land for economic development projects but it is drafted solely to insulate a small group of hoteliers from perceived competition. The bill closely resembles Littleton’s Initiative 300, requiring a vote for the approval of certain urban renewal projects. But unlike Littleton’s measure the impact of the bill will be statewide. There’s a reason we have representative government through our city councils, county commissions and the state legislature, and that’s because they can take the time to properly evaluate complex issues such as urban renewal, and invite public feedback at hearings before a vote is taken.
House Bill 10-1107 became law in 2010 and addressed this agricultural land issue in urban renewal law providing specific criteria by which agricultural land may be included in an urban renewal area. Aurora relied upon the word of the Colorado legislature in meeting all of the requirements of HB10-1107 and adopted its urban renewal plan by partnering with the other taxing jurisdictions. In fact, the criteria were not “loopholes” but specifically designed to foster intergovernmental cooperation. In order to comply with the statute, Aurora requested and received permission from all of the impacted taxing jurisdictions.
Numerous independent studies have shown that Gaylord Rockies will attract more than 450,000 new tourists to the state each year, creating more than 10,000 construction jobs and more than 2,500 permanent jobs. Since the Gaylord Rockies project has already broken ground many of these jobs have already been created. These are jobs our state needs and the out-of-state tourists staying at the hotel will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in Colorado each year, growing our state’s economy.
A few hoteliers – determined to squeeze out all competition – have tried unsuccessfully for the past three years to undermine the Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Conference Center and are now launching this last-ditch effort to kill the project.
Despite the false rhetoric spread by opponents, the City of Aurora played by the rules and the project was approved through a fair and transparent process. This retroactive legislation attempts to change the rules in the middle of the game and leaves a massive construction project with substantial financial investments in a perpetual state of legal limbo.
The Gaylord Rockies will be an economic engine for Colorado infusing more than $273 million new dollars into the state each year.
The $825 million Gaylord Rockies has gained national media attention in recent years and businesses throughout the country are watching our state closely to see if Colorado offers a business-friendly environment. If Colorado reverses the commitments it has made on the Gaylord Rockies it will create a chilling effect on our state’s business climate that could take decades to repair. The State of Colorado’s stability, reliability and integrity are at stake.
Please don’t let a few self-interested hoteliers undermine Colorado’s economic future. We urge you to send a message that Colorado is open for business.