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Apr 8, 2013 7:45 PM by Andy Koen

Space Symposium to generate $25M for economy

COLORADO SPRINGS - The Broadmoor Hotel is at the center of the space industry universe this week as some 9,000 people will come here for to the 29th Annual National Space Symposium.

"Space has become very, very global," said Janet Steven, marketing director for the Space Foundation.

The convention has such a global reach that Stevens says next year they are dropping the word "National" from their title. All of that interest translates into global media exposure for the local area.

"We get talked about all over the world this week."

The symposium is expected to generate $25 million in economic benefit to the Pikes Peak Region.  The rock band Smash-Mouth will perform at the opening ceremonies of the symposium Monday night and actor Sigourney Weaver will give a speech on Thursday.

"To have that kind of world gazing in upon Colorado Springs and our destination is invaluable," explained Chelsy Murphy of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.

It's a welcome shot in the arm for an industry that saw the number of visitors drop last year because of the Waldo Canyon Fire.

"When they see things like the Space Symposium and the Warrior Games, these visible events and conventions, it is a huge part of tourism."

Already this year, visits are up. Murphy says there was a 9 percent increase in tourism traffic during the month of January. There is hope that the Symposium, Warrior Games and other large vents will spring-board into a strong summer tourism season.

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