Colorado Springs Strikes (How Much?) Gold With Olympic Committee

Representatives from Colorado Springs and the U.S. Olympic Committee are describing their new partnership as a home run, but unlike competitors in the Olympic Games, the Springs will never know who its rivals were.The USOC is sticking with Colorado Springs as home base for its headquarters after the city approved a $53 million package of incentives Monday rather than relocating to another suitor city.

As The Colorado Springs Gazette reports: 

Key to the incentives package: The city and Colorado Springs real estate company LandCo Equity Partners will provide the USOC with 90,000 square feet of office space in a downtown building, which will serve as a new USOC headquarters.

The organization will be allowed to lease the space for $1 a year for 25 years and will assume ownership of the building at the end of that period.

In return, USOC will remain in Colorado Springs for at least 25 years, according to a city report.

The city also expects:

  • $316 million in direct and secondary impact
  • $2.6 million in city sales tax revenue
  • $146.7 million in employee earnings to be pumped into the local economy

Ten cities around the country made various bids for the USOC, according to John Leavitt, a spokesman for Colorado Springs.

“They would not reveal to us or anyone else who those 10 were,” Leavitt said.

Despite rumors, and some public reports that Chicago was interested in becoming home to the USOC, Colorado Springs didn’t know what nine other cities it was up against when it came to putting together a package of tax breaks.

Leavitt said there were moments when city staff wondered: “Gosh, maybe our best isn’t good enough to compete with other cities.”

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