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Pilot program designed to enhance visitor experience

Press Release

Following a transportation study conducted earlier this year, the Garden of the Gods Foundation and the City of Colorado Springs’ Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department will partner in implementing a free public shuttle this summer in Garden of the Gods Park. The optional shuttle will be offered for approximately 90 days between the end of May and beginning of September, which is when the park experiences the greatest number of visitors. An estimated 5.8 million people visited the park in 2017.

“Launching the shuttle system this summer is part of our incremental approach to apply small-scale pilot programs to gauge impact and measure feedback on utilization patterns,” said Kim King, parks and recreation manager. “We know we won’t have all the answers right away, but because we want to increase alternative ways to experience the garden, it’s critically important to test programs like this shuttle.”

The shuttle fleet will be comprised of two 14-passenger vans that will take approximately 30 minutes to complete a three-stop loop at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center and the intersection of Gateway Road and Juniper Way Loop, which connects to a trail into the Central Garden zone. To accommodate parking for shuttle users, a temporary parking lot with the capacity to hold 400 vehicles will be constructed near the intersection of 30th Street and Gateway Drive at Rock Ledge Ranch. Shuttles will depart the free Rock Ledge Ranch parking lot approximately every 15 minutes daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Adventures Out West – which currently offers guided, purchasable jeep, Segway and trolley tours from the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center – will manage and operate the shuttle. It will be funded by both the Garden of the Gods Foundation, a 501(c)(3) created in 1994 to preserve and maintain the park, and the parks department. The foundation also owns and operates the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center.

Shuttle users will be encouraged to participate in a text-based survey to share their feedback. Additional information will be available at and

The transportation study, funded by the Garden of the Gods Foundation, was conducted by Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. In addition to the study, the Parks department also sought feedback from residents in March about proposed ways to alleviate congestion, enhance access and reduce emissions.

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Press Release (

The Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, Venue Health & Analytics LLC and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services have partnered to launch a new healthcare tourism website, The goal of the site is to hyper-target potential patients in U.S. counties who search key terms that relate to specialized procedures and highlight Colorado Springs as a destination.

The site includes a categorized listing of highly rated Colorado Springs healthcare services, information and resources for these consumers. Penrose-St. Francis’ facilities, physicians and high ratings in hip, knee and heart valve replacement, alongside highly desirable visitor amenities, uniquely position Colorado Springs as an ideal choice for away-from-home healthcare.

“As healthcare providers, we have to reach consumers and patients wherever they are, and this partnership is an excellent opportunity to connect platforms,” Chris Valentine, Director of Marketing and Communications for Penrose-St. Francis, said. “We are on a mission to build flourishing communities by providing world-class whole person care and we want to share that mission with everyone, no matter where they are located.”

The site’s SEO marketing will be managed by Venue Health. “We provide destination health and predictive analytic services designed to improve access to higher quality health care services. Our work fosters compelling brand creations that visualizes both medical and tourism data in an industry that is undergoing explosive growth,” says Venue Health CEO Bob Durham.

Considering Colorado Springs and nearby Manitou Springs were founded on medical tourism, the concept isn’t new. Healing mineral waters, ample sunshine and fresh mountain air made the region a popular recovery choice for those suffering from tuberculosis in the late 1800s. “There is a lucrative and untapped market for medical tourism. People are willing to travel to other U.S. destinations, for longer periods of time, for top-quality health care and a beautiful location in which to recover. There’s no better place to do that than right here at the foot of the Rocky Mountains,” says CVB Chief Innovation Officer Amy Long. The partnership aims to fulfill the CVB’s mission to bring more visitors to Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak.

The Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau is the leading marketing organization for group and leisure travel and tourism to Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak 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.

Penrose-St. Francis Health Services is a full-service, 522-bed acute care facility offering a full complement of emergency, medical and surgical services Penrose-St. Francis is part of Centura Health. Centura Health connects individuals, families and neighborhoods across Colorado and western Kansas with more than 6,000 physicians and 21,000 of the best hearts and minds in health care. Through our 17 hospitals, senior living communities, health neighborhoods, home care and hospice services, we are making the region’s best health care accessible and affordable in every community we serve. For more information about Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, visit

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Press Release (City of Colorado Springs)

Mountain Metropolitan Transit kicked off its tourist season shuttle service last week by operating an additional route on the Manitou Springs corridor. The additional shuttle route adds service to bustling Manitou Avenue daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and extended hours to midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. The shuttles provided over 193,243 rides during the 2017 summer season, a 29% increase over 2016. Visit MMT’s website for shuttle bus times and to view a map of the routes.

Mountain Metropolitan Transit provides local fixed-route bus service and Metro Mobility ADA paratransit service for Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. All buses use clean diesel technology and are wheelchair-lift equipped. Mountain Metropolitan Transit also provides other services such as Mountain Metro Rides’ ridesharing, vanpool, and bicycling programs. For added convenience, there are bike racks on all buses for riders who want to utilize the bike-n-bus program. For additional information regarding Mountain Metropolitan Transit please visit, or call (719) 385-RIDE (7433).

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Press Release (Merit Media Relations, LLC)

Billions of packages each year of perishable, temperature-sensitive products wind their way through North America’s supply chain and confront every customer with a nagging question:  Has it been affected by freezing temperatures in transportation or storage?

Temperatures below 32° F (0° C) can impact products as diverse as fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and meat, flowers, agricultural products, ink, chemicals, solvents, paint, medical samples, vaccines, food home delivery and certain types of mail or freight.

When frozen, the ink changes color permanently and the message appears

What would you say if we told you that every packaging printer in the world wakes up today with the ability to print affordable, scalable cold-chain sensors, starting with freeze alert indicators?

Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) has invented BlindSpotz™, a new patent-pending freeze-warning technology that can be printed directly on a package.  If the temperature of the package drops at or below 32° F (0° C) a colored symbol appears on the exterior of the package to quickly notify the supply chain that product has been damaged.

A partnership of American Thermal Instruments (ATI) and Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) introduces freeze-warning technology that can be printed economically on individual packages to help protect the brand and consumer of medical supplies and foods, while dramatically saving money by lowering product waste.  CTI will handle the technical support for all on-package printing while ATI will manage the customer implementation of cold-chain monitoring and data in support of those opportunities.

The cold-chain market is expected to grow to US$293 billion dollars by 2023, a 54% increase over 2017. This growth can be attributed to the international trade of perishable foods, technological advancements in refrigerated storage & transport, government support for the infrastructural development of the cold-chain industry and increase in consumer demand for perishable foods. Also, expansion of food retail chains by multinationals will enhance international trade and impact the growth of the cold-chain market.   

The current cold-chain technology to record temperatures between 4°C (39° F) and -4° C (25° F) costs around $3 per device. CTI’s BlindSpotz™ freeze spot technology costs pennies per package. The CTI capability embeds the technology into an ink system that can be incorporated into the existing printing process for packaging.  Now billions of packages of lettuce, strawberries, flowers, paint and vaccines can be individually inspected for quality and safety.

Patrick Edson, CTI’s chief marketing officer, explains that “Every packaging company in the world that supports food, medical and industrial clients just got access to a new pipeline of innovation to help their clients improve quality, safety and create a better consumer experience.   It just requires one print station and the technology can be implemented.”

Randall Lane, ATI’s chief strategy officer, adds “We’ve been challenged by the pharmaceutical industry to create a simple, low-cost freeze indicator at the vial-level that is intuitive to a medical worker and offers the option to make it easy to record data of temperature damage, drug type and location.  BlindSpotz™ technology does all of this.

“The second big challenge is the reduction in food waste,” according to Lane.  Right now, if a truck delivering $50,000 in fresh produce is measured to be at 28° F during transportation, a customer’s internal policies will dictate if the shipment is rejected or accepted. With the BlindSpotz™ freeze indicator on individual packages or cases, the truck can be inspected and sorted.

“In this shipment for example, the technology may reveal that 30% of the truck’s packages are at risk, but the balance is fine.  BlindSpotz™ prevents $15,000 in bad product from reaching the customer, but also saves $35,000 in good inventory being returned, dramatically cutting costs of product waste, out-of-stocks and logistics,” added Lane.

Extensive government regulations from the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture require cold-chain monitoring on any food and drug product affected by temperature.  The ability to now record data and inspect at the package level is an economical, dramatic improvement in monitoring and reporting.

BlindSpotz™ is available in UV and Water-based Flexo, Water-based Gravure, Wet Offset, UV-Wet Offset ink formulas, as well as finished devices.  Additional technology for devices and on-pack printing is available to alert in event of thawing, warming outside of refrigeration specifications, high-heat damage, tampering and verification of high-pressure pasteurization.

About American Thermal Instruments

            ATI is the company that quality and logistics managers alike turn to as the leader in temperature monitoring, inspections and asset tracking. ATI produces custom temperature monitoring solutions for industries that require the most accurate and measurable systems.

About Chromatic Technologies Inc.

CTI is the world’s largest producer of thermochromic ink and manufactures other environmentally reactive technology, such as photochromic, pressure activated, irreversible, reveal and glow-in-the dark.  CTI is an innovation company that supports the world’s biggest brands and package printers. 

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Press Release (City of Colorado Springs)

Banning Lewis Ranch
Banning Lewis Ranch

On Tuesday, April 24, Colorado Springs City Council voted to adopt the revised annexation agreement for Banning Lewis Ranch. The revised agreement brings requirements in line with City Code, aligns the agreement with other development practices across the city and is expected to encourage development in the city, changing the trend of development leapfrogging the area and occurring in the County. Banning Lewis Ranch is expected to welcome 62,000 residents over the next 30 years and generate $49M in net revenue for the City. Further, the projected growth is projected to add $41 Billion to the city’s economy over the same period. 

“Our city has made tremendous progress in the last couple of years, and as we anticipate continued growth, the revised Banning Lewis Ranch Annexation Agreement allows us to capitalize on that growth and recognize the enormous economic benefit it offers to our city,” said Mayor John Suthers. “The property has sat vacant for much too long, and that vacancy has cost us in terms of revenue and jobs. Now that the inequities in the agreement have been corrected, we expect to see both commercial and residential development, an improvement in our housing inventory and less urban sprawl due to the influx of developable land within the city limits. The agreement is the product of years of review, and the result is an intelligent blueprint for responsible and sustainable growth in the northeast quadrant of our city.”

The below data comes from the TischlerBise Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis.

·         Development under the revised agreement is expected to generate at least $49 million over and above the cost of developing and servicing the area over the next 30 years. Further, the Colorado Springs economy is projected to grow by an estimated $41 billion and generate 35,000 new jobs over that time.  It would also bring in $434 Million in additional net revenue to Colorado Springs Utilities.

·         The proposed amended agreement allows land use and zoning to be as flexible as possible. We don’t know what the market conditions will dictate in the future.  There is no proposal to re-master plan the ranch with this agreement. It will allow for smaller development plans to come forward, and to be adaptable as the ranch develops over the next three to five decades.

·         The agreement is subject to the Park Land Dedication Ordinance, and presents opportunities for new parks, trails and open space.

 For more information on the revised Annexation Agreement, visit the BLR page on the City’s website.