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Pueblo business plan seeks $33.1 million state grant

Everybody wins when a local government puts together a business plan aimed at spurring development. Pueblo is doing just that for the Denver area, offering a unique opportunity for construction projects and business investment.

A government grant proposal targets specific public funds but if approved will pave the way for the formation of new businesses and the opportunity for improvement of those businesses existing in the Pueblo, Colorado riverwalk area.

The state grant, if approved, would expand the city's Historic Arkansas Riverwalk and the Pueblo Convention Center. $65 in private investment funds would match the proposed state money, and an additional $17 million derived from the city of Pueblo and urban renewal funding completes the business plan.

The funding is earmarked for a new 10,000 square foot exhibition hall next to the Pueblo Convention Center. A second hotel is also planned for the Center. A new parking lot and elevated walkway is also included.

A global training center for the Professional Bull Riders University is also contemplated. PBR already maintains its headquarters on the riverwalk. The new arena would double as a public place for additional sports activities.

Other projects include construction of a regional aquatics center with a 50 meter competition swimming pool. A moderate sized waterpark is also included. The balance of the funds is earmarked for completion of the final part of the riverwalk, adjacent to the Convention Center.

The 60 page grant application estimates that increased visitation to the downtown area would escalate over the next 10 years. This increase offers the opportunity for increased consumer sales, leading to the creation of well over 1500 permanent jobs. Another 1200 temporary jobs would be created to cover the various construction projects.

The recent financial crisis covering the last 4 years has extended to all corners of the world. When seeking investment funds to jumpstart economic growth, the preparation of a qualified and detailed business plan or grant proposal is essential. It details proposed improvements and costs, as well as any economic benefit, including the additional tax dollars future business will bring to the local and state governments. As a result, the Denver area will benefit by increased tourism and additional jobs.

Source: The Pueblo Chieftain, "Bid for business," Dennis Darrow, 17 July 2011

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