Thursday, October 26, 2006
Steamboat Springs Recognition continues to roll in for state Sen. Jack Taylor and state Rep. Al White, who secured $19 million annually for state tourism funding with legislation approved this year.
The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association honored the pair of Republican legislators at its 99th annual meeting and luncheon Wednesday at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. The Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that provides scholarships to Colorado students pursuing higher education in the field of tourism, also will honor Taylor and White for their tourism efforts, naming them "2006 Tourism Stars" during its Tourism Industry Hall of Fame dinner Nov. 30 at the Hyatt Regency in Denver.
"I'm here to tell you, 19 million bucks : means more money in your pocket and more money in the (state's) coffers," White told Chamber members at Wednesday's luncheon.
House Bill 1201, which Gov. Bill Owens signed into law June 5, is the culmination of years of work for the two legislators. The bill places money from state gaming revenues into Colorado's Travel and Tourism Promotion Fund, at a rate adjusted annually according to inflation and beginning immediately with $19 million in the 2005-06 fiscal year.
"This was a 14-year odyssey for me, and it was a long, long journey, but perseverance paid off," Taylor said about establishing a permanent funding source for tourism promotion.
"No two legislators have been more closely associated with the tourism industry than Sen. Jack Taylor and Rep. Al White," foundation officials wrote in a statement accompanying their award announcement. "Their years of hard work finally paid off in 2006 with the passage of House Bill 1201, which will create the largest tourism marketing budget in Colorado's history."
White is running for re-election to the state House against Grand County Democrat Andy Gold and Oak Creek Libertarian Mike Kien.