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Earlier this month, the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau held its annual business meeting at Great Wolf Lodge. The event, like 2016’s tourism year, saw record attendance. Speakers included Cathy Ritter, Director of the Colorado Tourism Office, Andy Neinas, CVB Board Chair, as well as Doug Price, CVB President & CEO.

Price recapped the remarkable tourism numbers for 2016, including 7.4 million overnight visitors to the Pikes Peak region. “Our region has seen a 32 percent increase in the number of travelers coming to the destination since 2011, with the main purpose of visiting friends and family.” Price expressed excitement regarding the groundbreaking of the U.S. Olympic Museum slated for June 9. “Two years ago, at our annual business meeting, we were given a sneak peek of the renderings for the Olympic Museum and now, it’s almost here.” The City’s Olympic City USA brand resonated with attendees and was punctuated by appearances by Stephen Garbett and Veronica Day, both competing to make the Olympic skeleton teams for the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Keynote speak, Colorado Tourism Office Director Cathy Ritter, showcased the CTO’s new Colorado Tourism Roadmap highlighting the hidden and lesser-known gems around the state. “It only makes sense that the group here today will be the first to see the CTO Roadmap video as 20 listening sessions opened dialogue for the results of the roadmap also started here.” Ritter discussed the state’s main competitors and strategy moving forward. She touched on the fact that the Pikes Peak region lags in the number of hotel and lodging rooms compared to Denver and the mountain resort towns, and that the region’s tourism promotion budget is underfunded.
Price closed the event discussing current CVB initiatives such as the new Crafts + Drafts beverage passport that is supported by a CTO grant, a new mobile-first that launched in February as well as the continuous sales, marketing, PR and social media efforts that take place to market the destination year-round.
Sponsors ENT Business Banking, Presidential Worldwide Transportation, Hotel Eleganté and Great Wolf Lodge all helped make the event possible.
The 2016 CVB Stakeholder’s Report can be downloaded here.
The Colorado Tourism Office Roadmap video can be viewed and downloaded here.
The Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the leading marketing organization for group and leisure travel and tourism to the Colorado Springs region. The organization is dedicated to a strong national and international presence so that tourism is a primary contributor to a thriving local economy. The CVB mission is to bring more visitors to Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak.

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WhirlyBall, a 30,000 square-foot entertainment venue, located at 3971 Palmer Park Boulevard, will open its doors June 2017 in Colorado Springs. 

With three additional locations in Illinois, WhirlyBall combines lacrosse, hockey, basketball and bumper cars in a game of skill combined with a touch of chance. While maneuvering bumper cars called WhirlyBugs, two teams of five players use hand-held scoops to pass a whiffle ball to each other and ultimately at a scoring target.


WhirlyBall will feature two famed WhirlyBall courts with large viewing windows where other guests can watch teams play the game, a dining area, 12 bowling lanes, and a full service bar with private and special event spaces complete with full audio/visual capabilities.

 “We are thrilled to bring WhirlyBall to the Colorado market and couldn’t think of a better city to launch into than Colorado Springs,” said Owner of WhirlyBall, Sam Elias. “The city’s active lifestyle, young professional population and growing culinary and craft beer scene make it a great fit.” 

Open to all ages and athletic skill-levels, WhirlyBall offers indoor entertainment where guests can bowl, play games of WhirlyBall and watch sports broadcasted on TV monitors located throughout the space. In addition to activities, WhirlyBall also offers elevated food and beverage programs for guests to enjoy while playing in the high-energy atmosphere or for a sit down meal in the open dining space. WhirlyBall’s chef-driven menu will showcase classic American bar fare perfect for sharing with a focus on seasonal ingredients and quality products. WhirlyBall’s carefully curated beer program will offer a unique selection of 24 rotating craft beers on draft featuring local Colorado breweries such as Bristol Brewing Company and Avery Brewing Company. In addition to the introduction of the new sport and venue to the area, WhirlyBall anticipates bringing more than 40 employment opportunities to Springs residents. 

“As we gear up for our Grand Opening, we anticipate 40 new job positions will be available during the months of April and May,” said Vice President of Strategic Planning, Adam Elias. “From management and sales to the kitchen and front of house, we’re looking forward to bringing new opportunities to the area in a fun and one-of-a-kind work environment.” 

About WhirlyBall 

The game of WhirlyBall combines lacrosse, hockey, basketball and bumper cars in a game of skill coupled with chance. While maneuvering bumper cars, two teams of five use hand-held scoops to pass a whiffle ball to each other – and ultimately at a scoring target. Offering a premium social experience, each WhirlyBall location presents an exceptional food and beverage program, spacious dining areas and private and semi-private event spaces to accommodate groups of any size. From friendly competition and entertainment to exceptional food and drink offerings, WhirlyBall provides the perfect venue and customizable packages for all ages and events including birthday parties, corporate outings, team building exercises and family gatherings. Owner Sam Elias founded the first WhirlyBall location more than 20 years ago in Lombard, IL and has since opened three other locations in Lombard, Vernon Hills and Chicago. WhirlyBall will expand, June 2017, with the opening of the first Colorado location in Colorado Springs and plans to continue expansion nationwide with WhirlyBall-owned facilities and franchise locations. 


For more information on WhirlyBall, visit or For information about job opportunities, send your resume and cover letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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by Walter E. Williams

Parents, taxpayers and donors have little idea of the levels of lunacy, evil and lawlessness that have become features of many of today's institutions of higher learning. Parents, taxpayers and donors who ignore or are too lazy to find out what goes on in the name of higher education are nearly as complicit as the professors and administrators who promote or sanction the lunacy, evil and lawlessness. As for the term "institutions of higher learning," we might start asking: Higher than what? Let's look at a tiny sample of academic lunacy.

        During a campus debate, Purdue University professor David Sanders argued that a logical extension of pro-lifers' belief that fetuses are human beings is that pictures of "a butt-naked body of a child" are child pornography. Clemson University's chief diversity officer, Lee Gill, who's paid $185,000 a year to promote inclusion, provided a lesson claiming that to expect certain people to be on time is racist.

        To reduce angst among snowflakes in its student body, the University of California, Hastings College of the Law has added a "Chill Zone." The Chill Zone, located in its library, has, just as most nursery schools have, mats for naps and beanbag chairs. Before or after a snooze, students can also use the space to do a bit of yoga or meditate. The University of Michigan Law School helped its students weather their Trump derangement syndrome -- a condition resulting from Donald Trump's election -- by enlisting the services of an "embedded psychologist" in a room full of bubbles and play dough. To reduce pressure on law students, Joshua M. Silverstein, a law professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, thinks that "every American law school ought to substantially eliminate C grades and set its good academic standing grade point average at the B- level."

        Today's academic climate might be described as a mixture of infantilism, kindergarten and totalitarianism. The radicals, draft dodgers and hippies of the 1960s who are now college administrators and professors are responsible for today's academic climate. The infantilism should not be tolerated, but more important for the future of our nation are the totalitarianism and the hate-America lessons being taught at many of the nation's colleges. For example, led by its student government leader, the University of California, Irvine's student body voted for a motion, which the faculty approved, directing that the American flag not be on display because it makes some students uncomfortable and creates an unsafe, hostile environment. The flag is a symbol of hate speech, according to the student government leader. He said that the U.S. flag is just as offensive as Nazi and Islamic State flags and that the U.S. is the world's most evil nation (

        In a recent New York Times op-ed, New York University provost Ulrich Baer argued: "The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community." That's a vision that is increasingly being adopted on college campuses, and it's leaking down to our primary and secondary levels of education. Baer apparently believes that the test for one's commitment to free speech comes when he balances his views with those of others. His vision justifies the violent disruptions of speeches by Heather Mac Donald at Claremont McKenna College, Milo Yiannopoulos at UC Berkeley and Charles Murray at Middlebury College. Baer's vision is totalitarian nonsense. The true test of one's commitment to free speech comes when he permits people to be free to say and write tho!

 se things he finds deeply offensive.

        Americans who see themselves as either liberal or conservative should rise up against this totalitarian trend on America's college campuses. I believe the most effective way to do so is to hit these campus tyrants where it hurts the most -- in the pocketbook. Lawmakers should slash budgets, and donors should keep their money in their pockets.

        Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at


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by John Stossel

President Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, ordered federal prosecutors to seek maximum penalties for drug-related crimes. 

This is both cruel and stupid. 

It's cruel because Session's 5,000 prosecutors must now push for long jail sentences even for people who pose no violent threat and for some who are utterly innocent. 

It's stupid because it will cost America a fortune but won't make us safer. 

The U.S. already locks up more people than any other country. We have 4 percent of the world's population but more than 20 percent of the world's prisoners. 

This happened partly because of bad reporting by people like me. Decades ago, my colleagues and I made people more terrified of crime than they need to be, by covering all the grisly details of local crimes. 

"If it bleeds, it leads" became the mantra in newsrooms. 

Our scary reporting, combined with a doubling in the crime rate from about 1960 to 1990, led politicians to say, "We must do something!" 

Politicians reacted to the media hype by passing three-strikes laws and intensifying the war on drugs. 

Three-strikes laws worked, if "worked" means locking people up for longer periods. But taking away judges' ability to use their own judgment is cruel to some defendants. 

It's also not clear that the longer sentences made us safer. Crime dropped just as much in states that liberalized sentencing rules as states that did not. 

Intensifying the drug war definitely did not work. America locked drug sellers up, but drug use remained the same. Fat black-market profits enticed new groups of sellers to enter the business. 

Now, almost no one claims that getting stoned is a good thing. Drugs, like alcohol, should be kept away from children. I admire President Trump's self-restraint. He says he's never used drugs, cigarettes or alcohol partly because his brother, Fred, drank himself to death. Drugs, cigarettes and alcohol do a lot of damage. 

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The Retreat at Sunny Vista –Assisted Living and Memory Support – has hired Fran Capritta as executive director. (The Retreat will open in Fall of 2017 at 2450 East Cache La Poudre Street.)
Since obtaining her practical nursing license in 2002, Capritta has served in various roles within the health care continuum and many sectors – including independent living, assisted living, long-term care, acute care, home health and hospice care – allowing her to gain insight into the needs of the senior population as they navigate through this continuum.
“We are pleased to have Fran Capritta leading our newest facility, The Retreat at Sunny Vista,” said Janet Burns, CEO of Sunny Vista – A Life-Plan Community, the parent company of The Retreat.
“Her clinical background is such a benefit as it helps her to assist seniors and their families in understanding the disease processes that often affect the geriatric population. And she’s also able to offer support to clinical teams that many administrators are unable to offer. We are fortunate to have her skill set at The Retreat.”
Capritta has received the following accolades:
·       Health and Wellness Director – Fourth Quarter All-Star 2015 – Brookdale Skyline
·       Personalized Living – Manager of the Year Nominee 2014 – Brookdale Skyline
·       Employee of the Year – Mountain States Division 2010 – Life Care Centers of America
·       Employee of the Year – 2010 – Life Care Center of Pueblo
·       Two-time Employee of the month – Life Care Center of Pueblo
“I am so excited to be a part of this amazing project. Having worked in senior living for the majority of my career, I have seen so many opportunities to do things differently and better serve the senior population,” Capritta said.

“Both Sunny Vista and Cappella are dedicated to enriching the lives of seniors in a way that allows for independence while maintaining above-average care standards. The marriage of these two companies means that the residents of The Retreat at Sunny Vista will benefit from their impressive resources and expertise. I feel so blessed to have been chosen to be at the helm for this journey.”
Sunny Vista – A Life-Plan Community
Serving Colorado Springs families since 1911, Sunny Vista was founded as a tuberculosis sanatorium but soon after adapted to meet the growing needs of seniors. Sunny Vista is a Life-Plan community, offering every level of service and coordinated care.
The Retreat at Sunny Vista joins other entities at Sunny Vista, including The Villa at Sunny Vista, as well as The Living Center at Sunny Vista.
Located at 2450 East Cache La Poudre Street, The Retreat at Sunny Vista is managed by Cappella Living Solutions, a Colorado-based senior living company with more than 40 years of experience serving older adults in this state.
The Retreat at Sunny Vista will have 66 well-appointed apartments and suites, as well as numerous light-filled and beautiful community spaces, including multiple dining venues, sun room, community life gathering areas, fireplace, outdoor patios, and walking paths. The latest technology will provide security and safety while preserving independence and dignity for each individual.
For more information, call 719-888-3673 or visit
The Retreat at Sunny Vista will open in Fall of 2017. Click here to watch a time-lapse video of construction progress.