Monday, October 17, 2011

Stock Show Has Options

Although it appears the National Western Stock Show got its proposal to move to Aurora well ahead of any thorough planning, the options, costs and benefits are finally coming into view.

The Stock Show’s main alternatives are:

  • Remain in place with little or no expansion. This is what the Stock Show has been doing and it clearly is not viable.
  • Move to Aurora. This option was never really politically possible, but is now off the table due to the poor initial introduction of the concept. Even an annexation into Denver as part of the Gaylord Development is likely to meet major resistance and receive no financial support.
  • Expand on the current location. This may be the best option in terms of city support, but there are land use issues to resolve.
  • Move to a new location in Denver. A new location will likely receive local support, but it will need to be a part of an economic development and land use strategy that enhances the Stock Show’s contribution to the economy.
The two expansion options, either on its current site or at a new site, will require some type of public financing. Construction bonds financed by the sales tax used for the football stadium or a property tax increase will need to be a part of the mix.

Also, the Stock Show may need some type of public financing to maintain operations and perform maintenance. Unfortunately, they don’t operate with a business plan and don’t have one related to the expansion options. Hence, it is difficult to say what long-term financing is needed.

But, if public money is involved, there will be a need for a major infusion of public process and participation into the current governance.

See Denver Post articles:
Stock-show move would cost Denver $31 million annually in visitor spending, study says
Funding options for new stock show complex include extension of Denver stadium tax
Stock show asks Denver to delay decision on pulling out of request for state tax subsidy
Editorial: Show must go on for Gaylord

No comments: