Yesterday, Colorado Springs further solidified its standing as “Olympic City USA” with the grand opening of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum. The 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, soon to be connected to America the Beautiful Park via a 250-foot pedestrian bridge, cost $91 million to construct, and was aided by the Colorado Economic Development Commission’s 2013 dedication of up to $120.5 million of state sales tax revenue to Colorado Springs for its City for Champions initiative. The initiative, designed to attract tourists to the City of Colorado Springs through the development of a host of unique destinations, includes the museum, the proposed Air Force Academy Gateway Visitor Center complex, a new downtown sports stadium, and the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine & Performance Center on the UCCS campus.
The museum, billed as “one of the most accessible and interactive museums in the world,” features a sequenced narrative arc allowing visitors to experience the journey of an Olympic or Paralympic athlete. Colorado Springs is also home to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee headquarters, the Colorado Springs Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, and more than 20 national Olympic governing bodies.