Bill Brings Tourism to Town

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We all may think Colorado's a great place to live and visit. But some think the state's not getting as many visitors as it could. Now, Governor Bill Owens has signed into law a handful of bills to boost the state's bottom line, especially when it comes to tourism.

The plan involves spending Colorado dollars to make more, by getting more visitors here in the first place.

Wendy Goldstein's bread and butter is a bed and breakfast.

"We have not had a day off since May 8th," she said with a chuckle.

She's co-owner at the Two Sisters Inn in Manitou Springs. While she's busy now, she's been busier. A state tax used to pay to advertise destinations like hers across the country, but t was repealed years ago.

"You did see a decrease in people coming to Colorado as their first choice," she said.

"With this bill we'll be investing 19 million annually in new economic developments in tourism,” said Governor Owens about House Bill 1201. It aims to spend money to make money. Excess revenues from the state's casinos will go to promote the state and compete for tourist dollars that have been going elsewhere.

"It does draw interest and money into the entire city location," said Laura Neumann, General Manager of Cheyenne Mountain Conference Resort. Business is picking up there for the season, but guests know there’s more to do outside the complex.

The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry reports for every one dollar spent in promoting the state, the local economy gets more than ten back, when people spend time and money around town.

"So the more people who come to visit us, it benefits the city as a whole," said Nuemann.

And that means if Wendy Goldstein can stay busy with visitors this season, and those to come... She'll gladly find the room.

"That would be wonderful. We'd love to have them here."

In addition to the tourism bill, Owens also signed one that creates a 3 million-dollar incentive program for companies to create high paying jobs across the state.