COLORADO SPRINGS — The City of Colorado Springs is planning to provide financial support to about 40 events and tourist attractions next year, including one multi-cultural event.
City Council Member Yolanda Avila, representing District 4 for southeastern Colorado Springs, believes this is not enough of an effort to represent the city.
The funding for these events comes from the city's Lodging and Automobile Rental Tax (LART). Fiestas Patrias, the lone multi-cultural event to receive funding, requested $30,000 and was given $10,000.
Avila explains the purpose of the LART is to bring tourists to the city, where they will rent out hotel rooms, rent cars and more, benefiting the city.
But the councilmember says it is more than just getting "heads in beds."
"It is about community. It is about going to events where people look like us, or where you feel comfortable. But more than that, it gets the broader community to experience the diverse groups," says Avila.
She says more needs to be done to support multicultural events and to get the word out.
But other councilmembers say there is not much advertising for the program in general as the events only go up on the city website for promotion.
"It can be a great cultural event, but if it doesn't get people in hotels or cars than it wasn't what this tax was intended to do," says councilmember
Avila wanting to see changes moving forward by using best practices for promoting events and filling the gaps with more multicultural events.