COLORADO A STEP CLOSER TO NASCAR TRACK

The Denver Business Journal reports that Colorado’s House of Representatives has passed a bill backed by politicial and business leaders who want to build a NASCAR track in Aurora, Colo., which is just east of Denver.

State legislators waged an extensive debate over whether or not the bill was an economic development tool or corporate welfare.

The Journal reports:

Twenty-three Republicans and 23 Democrats backed the measure, while 15 Democrats and four Republicans opposed it…. A main goal of bill backers is bringing a NASCAR track to the Aurora area, but the enterprise zones also could be used to build everything from Winter Olympics facilities to museums that might draw visitors across state borders.

The story continues:

Rep. Jack Pommer, D-Boulder, led the floor fight against the measure Tuesday, saying that the tax revenue that could go to roads or schools around the new development will instead go to out-of-state companies who will siphon business away from local stores and restaurants. But House sponsor Rep. Joe Rice, D-Littleton, argued that a NASCAR track would create the equivalent annual economic impact of four Super Bowls with the number of out-of-state visitors it would bring for a week per race. That boost would spur more jobs and spending in the area and would create an infusion of tax revenues because of it, he said: “I think that NASCAR is probably already aware that we passed this bill,” Rice said after the final vote Wednesday. “As the economy starts to recover … hopefully they will move quickly.”

The bill is now headed back to the state Senate.

The Denver Post reported in 2007 that the new track would likely be one mile or shorter, differentiating it from the 1.5 mile tracks that have been built in recent years.