May 05, 2005

Dollars versus Jesus

Jeff Sharlet's May 2005 Harper's feature article about Rev. Ted Haggard and New Life Church, with its disparaging comments and quotes about downtown Colorado Springs, has riled the economic development establishment there.

The words stung Terry Sullivan and Beth Kosley, who make their livings selling the city to tourists and companies looking to open offices, restaurants, shops and factories.

Kosley, executive director of the Downtown Partnership, which promotes downtown, reeled off reasons [why] downtown is not "withering into irrelevance."

Columnist Cara DeGette notes the departure of the economic-development honcho who oversaw the business community's wooing of Protestant para-church "ministries" in the 1990s, which followed its wooing of high-tech firms (1970s) and the military (1940s-60s).

It's all built on illusion. Look at a map. Colorado Springs is the only major city that I know of that is not sited on a lake or river, but rather at the junction of two small creeks. Watching it try to grab water away from other parts of the state has kept three generations of journalists busy.

The "springs" in the name? A piece of 1870s real-estate-developer "misrepresentation". There are no springs. The actual mineral springs are in adjacent Manitou Springs, a smaller and separate municipality.

NOTE: Newspapers' links may change in a short time.

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