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Southern Colorado Mayors discuss the region's business climate

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

Several local mayors came together Tuesday evening at the El Paso County GOP Headquarters to brainstorm how to strengthen an already healthy economy in Southern Colorado. They're hoping some collaboration can improve it. 

One of the main topics discussed was taking a more regional approach on tourism as the industry has officially bounced back. Visitors are flocking back to the Pikes Peak Region. Revenues from the City of Colorado Spring's LART tax is up 14 percent this year, but other southern Colorado municipalities don't have a lodgers tax Mayor John Suthers sees tourism as an opportunity for regional collaboration.

"It would behoove us to have a regional tourism district where all of the lodging motels and hotels contribute to the lodging and rental tax," Suthers said. "We'd have a larger pool to promote the entire Pikes Peak Region as opposed to just Colorado Springs promoting the Pikes Peak Region."

Green Mountain Falls Mayor Lorrie Worthy agrees tourism is improving. "We're actually on the map now," she said. "People are realizing that if you go through Highway 24, Green Mountain Falls is there."

The mayors recognize communication is key when it would be easy to compete instead. "I like working with my fellow mayors," said Rafael Dominguez of Monument. "It's a bit of a challenge to get cooperation when we're in turn competing for attracting businesses to our municipalities."

A quality and diverse workforce will also attract businesses to our region. "There's a lot of good news," Suthers said. "I think the cyber security area has all kind of potential. I think we're going to have some really good announcements there in the next couple months." Mayor Suthers says he's hopeful for more development at the airport as well.

Mayor Gabriel Ortega of Fountain also participated in the discussion. 

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