Feb 27, 2014 11:34 PM by Tony Spehar
The Colorado Springs City Council held a public town hall meeting on Thursday night to get input on the controversial City for Champions proposal.
The proposed $250-million project would bring an Olypmic museum, Air Force Academy visitor center, a sports medicine complex and downtown event center to Colorado Springs in the hopes of boosting tourism. The plan has drawn criticism from those who doubt whether the new attractions would drive a surge in tourism.
At Thursday's town hall the majority of those who signed up to speak spoke against City for Champions, citing everything from costs to a lack of publicly available details on some aspects of the project.
"Why can't this all be private funding? I'm about the free market," one woman asked the council.
Supporters shot-back that Colorado Springs needs to diversify it's economy and that the City for Champions plan has already drawn interest from new businesses.
"To the naysayers I would say, what else have you got to offer?" one man said to the plan's critics.
Council President Keith King said he and other council members would weigh all public feedback before deciding how to move forward. The council's power when it comes to City of Champions is also an issue being debated.
"I think that people have legitimate positions and issues on both sides and I think we heard a lot tonight of people wanting to have a vote on this particular issue and I think that was something that was heard loud and clear tonight," King explained.
A report on City for Champions is due to the Colorado Economic Development Commission on March 16.