Jul 27, 2011 8:55 PM by John Romero
Back in May the Colorado Springs City Council voted to install several signs promoting the city as the "Proud Home of the United States Olympic Committee". The work on a large downtown mural was scheduled to be done before the U.S. Women's Open. That's come and gone, but the mural still isn't finished to the disappointment of council member Tim Leigh. "Of course I'm disappointed in the process and that it's taken longer than what we had hoped it would take." he explains.
Still Leigh hopes the finished product will be worth it. He tells US this mural is a small piece of a much bigger picture for the city's identity. "The mural is not just for the U.S. Open." he explains, "The mural is a just an arrow in a quiver of really interesting marketing ideas that are being injected in to the city's story."
Another sticking point for many taxpayers was the price tag. While U.S.O.C. signs on city marquees were privately funded, there's a $21,000 bill for the city attached to the mural. Councilwoman Angela Dougan strongly opposed it. "City government is not living within its budget, as in taking care of its core functions, which are public safety, streets, transportation and fostering economic viability." she said in a May City Council meeting.
Dougan stood as the lone vote against the mural. Now that the money is paid out and the mural is being worked on Leigh believes the city can grab on to the idea of Colorado Springs becoming a sports and wellness capital. He hopes the mural, while late, is a part of that overall vision. "People will always come to play whether the economy is in a depression or inflation or whatever it is. They will always come to play." he says, "What we want to do is make Colorado Springs one of those locations across the globe where we're identified as hey, let's go to Colorado Springs and play because it's a cool place."