A Colorado community that saw a massive wildfire in the middle of peak tourism season will receive a federal grant to try to lure visitors back to the foot of Pikes Peak.
The Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau will receive $100,000 to promote visits to the area. Colorado Springs was the site of June's monstrous Waldo Canyon Fire, which destroyed nearly 350 homes and killed two people.
The fire also dampened tourism in Colorado Springs and nearby Manitou Springs, which are typically teeming with Pikes Peak visitors in the middle of summer.
The tourism grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration was announced Wednesday by Sen. Michael Bennet.
“In addition to the physical devastation from the fire, El Paso and Teller County small businesses struggled with the lost tourism business and dollars during peak season,” Michael Bennet said. “We made it a priority to connect the tourism community with the EDA to make the case for this grant. It will help the community promote the region and support the many local small businesses that rely on travel and tourism. I will continue to work with state and local officials to ensure Coloradans are able to recover and rebuild as seamlessly and as swiftly as possible.”
Amy Long, Vice President of Marketing at the Convention & Visitors Bureau said, “We are very pleased to have been awarded this grant from the EDA to market Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region to leisure travelers, meeting planners and event organizers. It was a true team effort, from the introduction to the EDA by Senator Bennet’s staff, to the many community letters of support, to the donations to assist with reaching our grant match. These incremental funds in addition to our base budget are critical to communicating to the world that Colorado Springs and the entire Pikes Peak region is open for business and open for fun.“
EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds. More information on EDA’s grant process and investment priorities can be found at www.eda.gov.