Gaylord and the Sickening Politicization of Development

Aurora’s efforts to facilitate the development of the Gaylord Rockies hotel illustrate the far-reaching influence of city politics on commercial development. The Colorado Springs Gazette reports, “The city of Aurora invented an incentive tool called an enhanced taxing area to levy higher admissions and lodging taxes, imposed a general improvement district with a 40-mill property tax levy, and declared agricultural land blighted to use urban renewal tax incentives.” In many cases development is now a matter of regional governments muscling landowners through threats of arbitrary “blight” designations and taxing different business owners at radically different rates to “manage” development.