WP Visitors Center impacts local revenue: Gold Hill Theaters to serve wine, beer

Norma Engelberg Contributing writer
Posted

After reviewing what the Woodland Park Visitors Center does, Woodland Park Chamber President Debbie Miller told the Woodland Park City Council on Oct. 3 that every dollar spent supporting the center's mission returns $4.84 cents to the city's coffers.

“That is a great return on investment,” she said.

The city contracted the running of the center to the chamber in 2013 to the tune of about $38,000. The chamber supplemented that with an additional $18,000 but the return on that investment was estimated by Miller to be almost $186,000, much of it in lodging tax revenue.

After expressing their appreciation for the chamber's efforts, councilmembers then approved several items of new business. First was a contract with Andersen Construction Co. for the repair and replacement of the Ute Pass Historical Society Museum's foundation. Funds for this $36,000 contract will be taken from the city's revolving loan fund.

Next they approved a new beer and wine license for Gold Hill Theaters. Theater manager Ed Shirk said serving alcoholic beverages at theaters is a growing trend. He assured council that the alcohol service area would be away from the concession stands, that there would be a two-drink limit and that care would be taken not to disrupt the theater's family-friendly atmosphere. Eventually he hopes to add a limited menu from Carmen's a Tapas Grill & Bar located next to the theater.

Former Councilmember Terry Harrison spoke in support of the liquor license. “I think this is a great idea,” he said. “If I can get a hair cut and have a beer, why not see a movie and have a beer.”

Council also approved an extension of the Pikes Peak Regional Medical Center Association's sewer reimbursement contract. Association President Curt Grina said that when the hospital was built, the association paid the entire cost of the sewer connection between the city and the medical campus. When people tie into that sewer system, the contract allows the hospital to be reimbursed its costs.

“This is money that has already been spent,” he said. “This just allows us to get that money back when people want to hook in. Because of the economy, it's taking longer than we expected so we're asking for a five-year extension.”

Finally, council approved a change in the city's liquor license codes that would streamline the process. New liquor licenses and special events permits for controversial events would be brought to council for approval; renewals and permits for typical special events will be approved by the city clerk's office. Deputy Clerk Suzanne Leclercq said changes in the liquor licensing process will be evident almost immediately.