In this Capitol Report:
Colorado Chamber Submits Comments to the FAMLI Task Force
During the 2019 Legislative Session, a bill creating a state-run, mandated paid family and medical leave program failed, as introduced, on a bipartisan basis due to concerns about costs and feasibility. Lawmakers decided more time was needed to study the issue, so the bill was revised into a Task Force. Its role is to provide a report to the Legislature before the 2020 Legislative Session that offers options for a fiscally responsible family and medical leave program in Colorado that the Legislature can review and consider. The Task Force was seeking public comments from employers and employees about the potential impact of a state-run family leave program, and the deadline for submitting public comments was September 25th.
The Colorado Chamber of Commerce submitted written comments to the Family & Medical Leave Task Force. The comments can be viewed here.
Industry Focus: Travel & Tourism in Colorado
The travel and tourism industry in Colorado is fundamental to the state’s economy as well as its culture. Our state is #2 in the nation for desired U.S. vacation destinations after Hawaii, and we are the premier U.S. destination for active, outdoor and unique experiences. The industry provides billions in state and local taxes, and supports thousands of businesses across Colorado.
- 26 Ski Resorts
- 58 Fourteeners
- 7 Mountain Ranges
- 4 National Parks
- 41 State Parks
- 15 National Forests & Grasslands
- 26 Scenic & Historic Byways
- 130+ Wineries
- 312+ Craft Breweries (more per capita than any other state)
- 72+ Craft Distilleries
Economic Impact of the travel & tourism industry in Colorado:
According to the Colorado Tourism Office, the state’s tourism set an all-time visitor spending record in 2018 and outpaced the nation. Total direct travel spending in Colorado during 2018 exceeded $22.3 billion, a 6.7 percent increase from 2017, compared with 4.1 percent nationally.
This spending generated $1.37 billion in local and state tax revenues in 2018, not including real estate taxes. About 61 percent of these tourism-generated taxes goes to local governments.
Visitor spending continued to spur job creation in 2018 with travel spending directly supporting 174,400 jobs, a 1.9 percent from 2017. And tourism-related business earnings totaled $6.8 billion for 2018, up 7 percent from 2017.
Colorado’s travel spending increased by 65 percent from the depths of the recession, with an average annual spending increase of 5.7 percent from 2009 to 2018 – again outpacing the nation. Nationally, travel spending grew by 46 percent during the same period, for an average annual increase of 4.3 percent.
Coloradans continue to comprise the largest percentage of the state’s travelers. Other key origin states are Texas, California, Kansas, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nebraska. International visitation to Colorado topped 1 million for the first time with 1.049 million visitors in 2018, an increase of 7.44 percent over 2017.
Source: Colorado Tourism Office
Resources for the business community: Earlier this week, the Colorado Tourism Office launched a free training resource for all Colorado businesses to travelers in the state: BeAColoradoConcierge.com. The program aims to turn frontline workers into Colorado experts and train them in Colorado-style customer service.
Colorado Chamber members in the travel and tourism industry: From hotels to airlines to ski resorts to restaurants, the Colorado Chamber is proud to call many Colorado businesses in the travel industry members:
Antlers at Vail
The Brown Palace
Colorado Beer Distributors Association
Colorado Restaurant Association
El Dorado Isle Casino Hotel Blackhawk
High Country Beverage
Laws Whiskey House
Leitner-Poma of America
Marriott Business Council
Microstar Keg Management
National Western Stock Show
Wild Game Entertainment
Last month, the Colorado Chamber went on tour for a series of programs organized in partnership with leaders of local chambers in communities throughout the state. At one event in Carbondale, Director of the Colorado Tourism Office Cathy Ritter presented an update on the state’s tourism competitive advantage. Read more about the tour here.
Federal Policy Council coming up Oct. 8th! – “The Current & Future Labor Landscape – How Should Business Prepare?”
What YOU need to know:
- Is “card check” making a comeback?
- Could YOU be made to give out employee personal info?
- What upcoming changes might affect joint-employers & contractors?
These labor issues & more are gaining traction in Washington, D.C. — Join us Oct. 8th & RSVP HERE to learn more!
Guest Speakers: Glenn Spencer, Sr. Vice President, Employment Policy Division, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Stacey Campbell, Chair, Colorado Chamber Board of Directors, Campbell Litigation
- Additional updates to include:
USMCA trade deal – October hope?
Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization needed by Sept. 30
Federal government shutdowns coming?
2020 Presidential field & political landscape
Ozone – Front Range Ozone Re-designation status