Oct 22, 2010 12:42 PM by Dr. Anya Winslow

AFA impact: three quarters of a billion dollars

Academic institutions like the Air Force Academy can bring big bucks into the city, but did you ever wonder how much money is at stake?

Well, on Thursday afternoon at the Antlers Hilton Hotel in Downtown Colorado Springs, Air Force Academy Superintendent Lieutenant General Michael Gould talked numbers. The luncheon was sponsored by the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, who partnered with several other organizations to host the event.

Bringing awareness, as well as re-opening and continuing a dialogue between the school and local businesses was one of themes of the meeting.

"Seven hundred and eighty million dollars per year," said Lieutenant General Gould is the amount of money that the Air Force is responsible for infusing into Colorado Springs economy, "And it can be a lot more," he continued.

A variety of sources contribute to the total number including: approximately $1 million per football game; $7.9 million from Parents' Weekend during the Labor Day holiday; $19.1 million during Graduation week; and tens of millions of dollars per new building construction project or restoration project. In fact, about two years ago, a $1 billion dollar initiative for renovating, repairing, and restoring various facilities on the campus took effect. Funds will be dispersed over a ten-year period from the start of the project.

"The one thing that has not changed [over the years]," said Lieutenant General Gould is the,"Integrity, service, and excellence," that the school instills in their cadets. During the talk he mentioned that the Air Force Academy wants to, "Re-establish the fanatical pride in everything we do."

They are certainly kick starting their fanatical building efforts on the campus. The $29 million dollar Center for Character and Leadership Development, which all the monies for the facility came from private donations, is breaking ground in the spring of 2011; and the Holaday Athletic Center broke ground in October of 2011.

Lieutenant General Gould also talked about the multiple community outreach efforts of the Air Force Academy, and how they welcome everyone from the community to enjoy their facilities.



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