City prepares for decade long project implementation effort
The State of Colorado’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) today voted to approve the National Western Center for $121.5 million in funding through the Regional Tourism Act (RTA). The funding will spur implementation of the National Western Center master plan adopted in March of 2015.
“We are thankful to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade for their careful consideration and excited to have the state as a partner of the National Western Center,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “This is a tremendous win for the Denver metro region and a proud milestone as we deliver this exciting new campus. We look forward to working together to create a unique tourist destination that will draw over one million new visitors each year. The state’s investment in the National Western Center will have significant economic returns for Colorado.”
The funds will be used to construct elements of the National Western Center that will drive tourists to the future campus. Buildings such as the new Livestock Center, Stockyards/Events Pavilion and the Equestrian Center will create new tourist opportunities that will bring an estimated $6.7 billion in net new visitor spending over 30 years of stabilized operations. In addition, RTA funding will also support the revitalization of the riverfront and new infrastructure that will help connect the surrounding neighborhoods.
“The RTA funding allows us to take the next step toward implementing the bold vision we have created for the National Western Center with our key partners and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Executive Director of the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative Kelly Leid. “As we build this project over the next decade, we are excited to continue engaging the community to create a one of kind campus that will be enjoyed by future generations.”
Land acquisition, rail consolidation and site remediation are three initial critical first steps the project team will focus on in the coming year and beyond. These three elements will determine the future pace of implementation that is anticipated to take ten years or more to construct. The City has recently began land acquisition efforts.
The RTA funding will account for 14% of the total finance plan for phases 1 and 2 of 8 totaling $856.4 million. The rest of the finance plan includes contributions from the Western Stock Show Association, Colorado State University and the City and County of Denver. Mayor Hancock has appointed the Denver Urban Renewal Authority as the financing entity that will handle the RTA funds for the project.
Source: Denver Mayor’s Office