Skip to Content

Olympic City tourism brings millions to Colorado Springs’ economy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - The City of Colorado Springs continues to build on its identity of 'Olympic City USA' to attract tourists and grow the economy.

When KRDO13 asked the city of Colorado Springs and sports organizations for information on how the identity of "Olympic City USA" impacts the local economy, they explained the impact is bigger than Olympic teams or the Olympic Museum.

According to the Colorado Springs Director of Economic Development Jessie Kimber, the Olympic City USA identity creates a chain reaction. Olympic and prestigious sporting events bring in tourists who then bring in money to small businesses and the economy as a whole.

"It has a multitude of effects upon our economy," said Kimber. "Not only does it increase our dollars, which puts those dollars back into our community for our own citizens, but it also impacts small businesses."

In 1978, U.S. Olympic Committee moved from New York City to Colorado Springs. In 1979, the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation was formed to help relocate the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Today, Sports Corp works in sports and community events planning to grow the "Olympic and Paralympic movement."

In 2023, Sports Corp said the events they ran and supported brought over $100 million in economic impact to the Pikes Peak Region.

As part of those 2023 events, they said 292,368 spectators and 25,035 athletes attended their events, booking 52,277 room nights.

"For every tourist that comes here, there's a multiplier effect in our mom-and-pop small businesses," said Kimber. "Whether they buy a cup of coffee, stay in a hotel, rent a car, those dollars come right back to our economy."

Visit COS, a group that does marketing for Colorado Springs, provided KRDO13 with the following data from 2023 on sporting events and tourism.

In June, USA Pickleball hosted a regional event with 200 athletes and an estimated 600 hotel room nights booked.

The USA Ultimate team hosted events with 1,000 athletes booking an estimated 900 hotel nights, and USA Weightlifting held a national championship, leading to an estimated 1900 booked hotel room nights.

Visit COS also said the World Jump Rope Championships attracted thousands of people who booked an estimated 13,000 hotel room nights.

"It is all about keeping the city in a diversified economy with a very vibrant ecosystem, particularly when it comes to our sports," said Kimber.

The growth is happening, in part, through a project called 'City for Champions,' made up of five venues — the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum, Weidner Field, Ed Robson Arena, the William Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center, and the USAFA Gateway Visitor Center which is set to be completed in summer 2024.

According to the city, their projects will draw more tourists and create space for more sporting events.

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum is one of those five "City for Champions" venues, but it has struggled.

In a May 2023 City Council Meeting, the museum CEO shared attendance had fallen below initial projections. The CEO said they were now making a profit by renting out the museum for private events instead of bringing in profit from museum attendance.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Annabelle Childers

Annabelle is a reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


KRDO NewsChannel 13 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content