Olympic committee wants 200 new residences | VailDaily.com

Olympic committee wants 200 new residences

COLORADO SPRINGS ” The U.S. Olympic Committee has told city officials it wants 200 new residences for athletes if it keeps its headquarters and training center in Colorado Springs, The Gazette reported Tuesday.

A document outlining the USOC’s specifications, sent to four Colorado Springs real estate companies, also requests 90,000 square feet of office space, the newspaper said.

The newspaper said it reviewed a copy of the document but did not say how it got access to it. City officials have refused to make the information public.

It wasn’t clear who would pay for the new space. Business and civic leaders have offered financial incentives, free office space and other perks through the years to keep the USOC in Colorado Springs.

A USOC spokesman did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press Tuesday.

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The organization has said it needs new quarters because its current site in Colorado Springs is old and cramped.

The document reviewed by The Gazette said the USOC needs a mix of dormitory-style rooms, apartments and townhouses to house single and married athletes.

The document said the USOC wants parking for 240 employees at its offices and would like retail space to be part of any project. Construction on offices would begin June 18.

USOC officials have acknowledged they are evaluating proposals from other cities but declined to identify them.

Colorado Springs city officials and community leaders hope their proposal keeps the USOC in the city. They fear losing millions of dollars in economic impact and the prestige that come with having the USOC headquarters.

“I think we can provide the USOC exactly what they’re looking for,” Mayor Lionel Rivera said Monday. He declined to elaborate.

The USOC and at least 40 other sports organizations in the city generate at least $316 million in economic benefits and 4,800 jobs, said David Bamberger, a Colorado Springs economist.

The USOC board will get an update on progress toward upgrading its facilities at a regularly scheduled meeting Friday in Houston, USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said.

No decisions are expected at that meeting, he said.

The USOC moved to Colorado Springs from New York City in 1978. Its 34-acre campus includes the committee’s headquarters, offices for national bodies overseeing different sports and an Olympic training center that draws athletes from across the country.

In 2003, former Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell fought what he said was an attempt to move the USOC headquarters to another state. He held up a bill on USOC reforms until a compromise was reached to require approval from the full board to relocate.

Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com/

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