USOC to Remain in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, March 31. ACCORDING to a press release sent out by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the organization has accepted a deal to remain in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Here is the press release:
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced today it is accepting a proposal from the City of Colorado Springs and private developer LandCo Equity Partners, LLC that will provide facility upgrades for athletes at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center (CSOTC), a new Administrative Headquarters for National Governing Bodies and a new Administrative Headquarters for the USOC.

The decision, announced today by USOC Chairman Peter Ueberroth, comes after an extensive review of opportunities and proposals from cities across the United States.

"There has long been a special relationship between the United States Olympic Committee and the City of Colorado Springs, and we are pleased to announce today this relationship will continue," Ueberroth said. "The victors of this agreement are America's Olympic and Paralympic athletes, as well as the many athletes from around the world we are pleased to welcome to Colorado Springs to train at these world-class facilities.

"The City of Colorado Springs took the lead in developing a proposal that reflects participation from both the public and private sectors. We extend our appreciation to Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera and the Colorado Springs City Council; the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners; Colorado Governor Bill Ritter; Don Elliman, Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade; and LandCo Chairman Ray Marshall for their participation in this proposal and their commitment to America's athletes."

In the spring of 2007, the USOC began an evaluation process to determine how best to meet the organization's long-term needs in three specific areas:

* Athlete training

* Administrative Headquarters for several National Governing Bodies

* Administrative Headquarters for the USOC

The evaluation process was led by nationally respected commercial real estate expert Jim Didion, the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CB Richard Ellis. Didion volunteered his services to the USOC in leading the process.

The City of Colorado Springs brought forth a proposal that met not only the minimum requirements of 90,000 square feet of office space for use by the USOC, but three additional elements that were not matched by any other city:

* Funding for facility upgrades and improvements to the existing CSOTC

* Clear entitlement to the land upon which the CSOTC sits after 19 years for continued use as an Olympic Training Center

* An additional office building available to NGBs and the USOC

The three-way agreement between the USOC, the City of Colorado Springs and LandCo was signed at a press conference earlier today at the CSOTC's West Wing Conference Center. The agreement provides the following:

* Improvements to the CSOTC, located at 1750 E. Boulder, including the construction of new housing units, renovation and expansion of the existing cafeteria and Visitor Center, a new entrance/exit on Union Street with a four-way traffic signal, and the demolition of select buildings

* A renovated building located at 30 Cimino Drive that will provide approximately 40,000 square feet of office space for NGBs

* Approximately 90,000 square feet of office space for the USOC in the top five floors of a partially renovated and partially new, six-story, 120,000 square foot building located at 27 S. Tejon in downtown Colorado Springs

"This proposal will enable the USOC and our National Governing Bodies to continue meeting the needs of America's athletes in what is an increasingly competitive international sport environment," said USOC Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr. "Additionally, the new NGB Administrative Headquarters will enable our National Governing Bodies to expand their businesses and grow participation in their sports, which aligns with the USOC's priorities."

The average age of today's U.S. Olympian is increasing. In 2004, U.S. summer Olympians averaged 27 years old, compared to 24 in 1980. The needs of an athlete in his or her late 20s are much different than those of a college or high school-aged athlete. Among improvements to the CSOTC, married housing units will provide cost-effective solutions for married athletes and their spouses. The expansion of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center will provide all athletes with the opportunity to sustain excellence in the 21st century's competitive landscape.

As part of the agreement, the City and LandCo will acquire rights to formally affiliate with the USOC. Specifically, the City will be allowed to use the USA 5-rings logo, subject to the USOC's approval, and be allowed to identify itself as the "Official Hometown of the USOC." LandCo will also acquire rights to use the USA 5-rings logo in specific marketing materials, as well as advertisements announcing the development project.

"For 30 years, the USOC has been an organization that community members could take pride in," Mayor Rivera said. "Many of the 100,000 athletes who have trained here over the last 30 years attended local high schools or colleges, reached out to children in our community as role models and mentors, and helped to inspire less fortunate youth to reach for the stars. The USOC and the Olympic Training Center have brought some of the world's most talented individuals to our neighborhoods and served as a significant economic generator to bring jobs, infrastructure investment, travel and tourism, tax revenues, and more. They have enhanced our community pride and community image. Today we celebrate the presence of the USOC in Colorado Springs."

According to an economic impact study conducted in 2008 by David Bamberger & Associates, the economic impact of Olympic sports industry organizations located in Colorado Springs amounts to more than $340 million per year, including more than 300,000 visitor nights. In addition, the Olympic sports industry impacts city and county sales tax revenue by $3.6 million.

The USOC applauds the coalition of the public and private sectors that have made the plan possible. LandCo will oversee the relocation process, including construction and renovation for the new USOC Administrative Headquarters, the occupancy of the new NGB facility and the improvements of the existing CSOTC.

The U.S. Olympic Training Center opened in Colorado Springs in 1977. In July of 1978, the USOC Administrative Headquarters moved to Colorado Springs from New York City, when the City of Colorado Springs donated the former home of ENT Air Force Base and headquarters of the North American Defense Command at 1750 E. Boulder. Currently the property stands as the Headquarters for the USOC administration and U.S. Olympic Training Center programs, and houses 10 NGBs and U.S. Paralympics. An additional 13 NGBs have their headquarters located in the Colorado Springs area, along with two international sport federations.

The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center currently includes an aquatic center and Olympic Sports Centers I and II. It has 241 dorm rooms and can provide dining, recreational facilities and other services for up to 557 athletes and coaches at one time. On average, 10,000 U.S. athletes and 700 international athletes train at the CSOTC each year. Other features include a sports medicine and sport science center, an athlete center with a dining hall and two residence halls, an Olympic Shooting Center, and an Olympic Visitor Center.

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