Amendment 33 needed to give tourism promotion a boost |

Amendment 33 needed to give tourism promotion a boost

This Nov. 4, voters will find an amendment on the ballot which suggests a way to raise revenues by authorizing a new lottery game where 61 percent of the proceeds would be returned to the state to fund tourism promotion along with parks and recreation and open space.This new lottery game would only be placed where gaming exists, in casinos and the one horse and four dog racetracks.Amendment 33 was created to help promote Colorado as a tourist destination by providing a dedicated source of funding which has been lacking for the past 10 years. Best of all, this program doesn’t cost the citizens of Colorado one penny.The program is self-funding. This means that all costs associated with the program are paid for by the program itself. No general fund dollars will be used, which means no cost to taxpayers.There is a strong attempt by the casinos to thwart these efforts.Tactics include ads with misleading, hypocriticaland deceptive claims.But, the fact is, tourism is vital to Colorado’s economy.This is no more obvious than in our home towns here in Summit County. As the second largest industry in Colorado, tourism-based businesses employ more than 200,000 people and pump billions of dollars into our economy every year. Promoting Colorado is essential in keeping Colorado’s economy strong.Kelly and I run the Hunt Placer Inn B&B in Breckenridge. It’s no secret that the tourism industry inSummit Countyand Colorado, in general, is facing tough times.Within the last year, fires, drought, wars, consumer confidence and a sagging national economy have contributed to keeping visitors away from Colorado.Without a permanent, sustainable marketing program, we can’t get the word out that Colorado is open for business.Supporting tourism is vital to helping our economy recover.

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