Univ. of Colorado Expects Business Community to Benefit From Facilities Project

April 30, 2014 /
From Daily Camera

Packaged within the University of Colorado athletic department’s ambitious $143 million facilities expansion plan are elements that athletic director Rick George says could be game-changers not just for his department, but for the Boulder business community.

George said he remains optimistic that CU will break ground on the project by the target date of May 12.

In addition to a high-performance sports medicine center that would be open to the public and a collection of retail spaces along the south side of Folsom Field, the expansion would result in four meeting and conference spaces.

“We believe that these meeting spaces will help serve some of (the city’s event space) needs, but it will not take the place of a bigger convention center,” George said. “It will allow us to attract medium and smaller meetings and conferences.”

According to plans, one of those clubs — at 9,900 square feet — would be among the biggest meeting spaces in Boulder and could attract larger events that are now hosted outside city limits, tourism officials say.

“We watch retail bleed and hotel bleed (from the city of Boulder), and I think the region has become stronger in business travel and group travel,” said Mary Ann Mahoney, executive director of the Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau. “But there are always a lot of national groups that we haven’t been able to reach.”

The efforts are intended to generate revenue for CU athletics on non-game days and to bolster the city’s sales tax collections, George said.

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