The act creates the Colorado meeting and events incentive program (program) in the Colorado tourism office (office) to provide rebates and direct support to eligible events in Colorado to assist in the state's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
An eligible event means an event, including a meeting, conference, or festival, that:
- Takes place in Colorado between July 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022;
- Can demonstrate a significant economic benefit for the host community as determined by the office;
- Generates at least 25 paid overnight stays in a motel, hotel, vacation rental, or other lodging establishment; and
- Meets any additional criteria established by the office.
The program may offer rebates of up to 10% of the hard costs of an eligible event. A hard cost means an actual incurred cost associated with hosting the event, as determined by the office in consultation with industry stakeholders. The program may also offer rebates of up to 25% for COVID-19-related costs, which are hard costs that are directly related to complying with public health orders or other mandates issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as determined by the office in consultation with industry stakeholders. The primary organizer or booking agent, as determined pursuant to guidelines developed by the office, may apply for and receive the rebate for an eligible event.
The program may provide direct support to attract eligible events that have the potential to generate significant economic impact and affect multiple counties. The costs of all such direct support cannot exceed 5% of the total appropriation for the program.
The office is required to create guidelines for the program. In doing so, the office must consider mechanisms to:
- Make rebates and direct support available equitably and proportionally across the state;
- Prioritize events with significant economic impacts; and
- Retain existing events with a demonstrated risk of cancellation, delay, or relocation in addition to attracting new events to the state.
The act appropriates $10 million to the office for the program. The program is repealed, effective January 1, 2024.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)