Here's a Thought!

Please share with us your thoughts about what differentiates Colorado Springs from other places in terms of living, operating a business and visiting for business or pleasure.

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Amber Ptak, Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Fund of Colorado, is well connected with the region's young professionals. She has reached out to her peers regarding images and their thoughts on Colorado Springs. Sh is emailing me their responses regarding branding. Each response will be posted separately to the GroupSite.

"In my opinion the Colorado Springs story has been hijacked (rightfully so about 10-12 years ago, less so more recently) by the ultra-conservative, right-wing religious, no tax organizations/peeps. So people NOT from here know Ted Haggard, Doug Bruce, New Life, Dobson, Focus, brown lawns, etc. And yes, it IS challenging to live here as a liberal-ish single woman but we have SO much to offer. Once you get connected, Colorado Springs offers a TON of great things. A wonderful, vibrant, outdoors with unlimited recreational opportunities....great local arts scene (albeit small and somewhat clicquish) with the FAC, Smokebrush, Manitou Art Theatre, other local groups/organizations , GREAT local theatre (FAC, Theatreworks and even some great HS, etc.) and even vibrant political discourse. The negative about this city....and maybe this is a negative about the world in general these days...is that everything is so divided and polarized. You are a Briargate person and you believe this way....you are Manitou and you do these things and believe another way.....there is very little that brings us together and very little that speaks to an overall cohesive community in Colorado Springs. If someone I knew were thinking of moving or visiting here...I'd help connect them to people and places that would fit their needs and make their transition easier...in some cases you actually have to SELL people on the benefits of living here and convince them that it's not nearly as creepy as they may have been led to believe.


Three years from now, I want to be able to describe Colorado Springs as a vibrant, diverse community with great neighborhoods, great local restaurants/bars & shops (not just pockets and an exciting unique nightlife (not just the scene on Tejon St).....lots of festivals (music, food, arts), functional, thoughtful, innovative government leaders and an award winning parks department (our Parks & Rec used to be considered one of the top in the US not that long ago), great place to develop a career/run a business with lots of diverse industries and lifestyle sustaining jobs. Great, welcoming community!"

Here is comment from another CS young professional regarding the brand of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region.

"Unfortunately, I do not have the time to take photos, but what is in my head is this: show images of young people and their families enjoying outdoor music (at Meadowgrass Festival this weekend); show images of microbreweries (Bristol, Phantom); farmers markets; the zoo; all of the local art in downtown restaurants; biking/hiking/walking trails. The more youthful the image, the better."

From: kristy@citizensproject.org

Our current story, sadly is that we are a community afraid to invest in and embrace our greatest assets (its people - young/LGBT/people of color). I'm guessing that's not what you're looking for, though. Someone considering moving here should know that they can be a part of an incipient arts movement that will restore vibrancy and community to the region, that we have the greatest natural resources (beautiful parks, trails, sunshine year-round), and that we have a patchwork of amazing nonprofits and city enterprises providing services and creating a better place to live.

I want to say, in three years, that we invested in the things that matter to us: active, engaged, accountable leadership; protecting our resources, natural and otherwise; providing a fun, arty atmosphere for young professionals; and that we come together for the common good. I want to say that we're home to diverse people in every sense (race, religion, ideology, sexuality, and more) and we fully embrace our differences to advance our shared goals: healthy families, good jobs, access to resources like libraries, etc.

 

View more thoughts on young professionals' views on Colorado Springs here:

www.icoloradosprings.org.

More from Amber Ptak - Executive Director of the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Coloradoour current story

+playground for athletes of all kinds, great place for people who love the outdoors/nature, many (but some hidden, or not well advertised) cultural gems

-urban sprawl, in need of city planning, too big geographically, too divided/silo-ed to have a common vision for the city, budget crisis, lack of resources, lack of accountability, home of the religious right, fractured, isolated, negative reputation, old school


who we are/what we have to offer

+athletes, outdoors enthusiasts, environmentalists, nature lovers, enjoyers of amazing weather, pioneers, artists, amazing communities: Manitou, OCC, downtown

-conservatives, transients (military)


future story

+balance, innovation, excitement, known for things other than religious right and military, more social offerings (always something interesting to do), more openness, and preserving and improving aesthetics, tolerance, open, pet friendly


CS three years from now

+diverse, inclusive, hospitable, beautiful, interesting, dynamic, energetic, creative, inspiring, friendly, innovative, clean, cutting edge, early adopters

images (I stole all of them from the internet)

 

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Community Branding Project - Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region
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