(April 17) – The House voted 52-12 today to approve bipartisan legislation to help turn the National Western Stock Show complex into a year-round destination.

HB15-1344, sponsored by Majority Leader Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, and Rep. Jon Becker, R-Fort Morgan, would spur plans for a new National Western Center with new Colorado State University facilities on the site of the National Western complex in north Denver.

“Agriculture and ranching are big business in Colorado, generating $42 billion in economic activity annually and employing 173,000 people in the state,” Rep. Duran said. “To all those who doubt that we’re a cow town, I say, embrace it!”

Last month, the City & County of Denver along with the Western Stock Show Association, CSU, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and History Colorado finalized the National Western Center Master Plan, which was unanimously adopted by Denver City Council and strongly supported by the adjacent community’s advisory committee.

The bill creates a state-CSU partnership to secure lease-purchase agreements for up to $250 million to finance the construction of new CSU facilities at the National Western Center.

The state’s investment would accelerate the completion of the center, which at buildout will cover an estimated 270 acres. Construction of the NWC is expected to generate nearly 4,000 construction jobs and 6,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs.

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