Taylor appointed to Colorado Tourism Office Board of Directors

— A staunch advocate of tourism promotion in the Colorado State Legislature now has one more avenue to push the importance of marketing the state to potential visitors.

Sen. Jack Taylor has been appointed to the Colorado Tourism Office Board of Directors.

"I'm happy to be selected," the Steamboat Springs Republican said.

Taylor, who served on the board from 1999 to 2000, said he lobbied State Senate President John Andrews to return to his former seat.

Thirteen people sit on the Colorado Tourism Office board. Two members are state lawmakers.

His recent appointment gives him a loud voice for tourism promotion, which he believes is critical to the economic health of the state and particularly Northwest Colorado, Taylor said.

In last week's State of the State address, Gov. Bill Owens proposed pumping $10 million into marketing Colorado tourism as part of his $19 million economic stimulus package.

Taylor thinks funding for marketing the state is money well spent.

"In addition, what we need is a permanent, long-term funding mechanism, and we have some great opportunities to do that right now," Taylor said.

Assistant House Majority Leader Al White, R-Winter Park, is pushing a plan through the State Legislature that would reduce fees the state pays retailers for collecting sales tax and then apply the excess to marketing the state.

Taylor is working on a plan that would raise tourism promotion dollars by placing video gaming terminals at dog and horse racing tracks in the state.

"The timing is perfect," Taylor said.

Longwoods International, a tourism consulting firm, estimates that every dollar spent on tourism promotion returns $50 to the economy. The state is a major beneficiary of that money, Taylor said.

Taylor represents Senate District 8, which includes Eagle, Garfield, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties.

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