HUD Approves Waiver Allowing Disaster Recovery Funds to Boost Economy through Tourism Projects

Resources will promote tourism to boost local economies damaged by flooding

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall announced today that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved Colorado’s request to use up to $500,000 in HUD disaster recovery funds to advertise, promote and support efforts to increase tourism in the areas of the state hit hardest by the floods.  This funding will support the local and regional economies for towns still struggling to recover from both the physical and economic losses of last year’s floods.  

“Colorado has made significant progress, but there is still work left to be done as we continue rebuilding our communities,” Bennet said. “Many areas damaged by the flood depend heavily on tourism.  These resources will help those communities let the world know that despite the disaster they are open for business.  This is an important step in our ongoing effort to ensure Colorado has the funding it needs for the recovery projects that remain.” 

"I am glad the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development heeded my call to grant the state flexibility to use funds to promote tourism — Colorado's No. 1 economic driver. This investment will help communities like Estes Park attract visitors, support local jobs and strengthen local economies that have suffered losses due to last year’s flood and the subsequent government shutdown. These funds also will complement our ongoing rebuilding efforts, including the $450 million I successfully secured to rebuild our roads, bridges and highways in the immediate aftermath of the flood," Udall said. "I remain committed to partnering with federal and local officials to ensure our state has the resources it needs to come back stronger than ever."

In March, Bennet and Udall led the congressional delegation in a letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donavan requesting that the department approve the waiver request from the state regarding the use of the recovery funds.

Bennet and Udall have led the effort to ensure Colorado has the federal resources it needs to rebuild in the wake of the 2013 floods.  They successfully secured $450 million in emergency federal transportation funds to repair Colorado’s roads, bridges, and highways damaged in the flood.  They also led the successful effort to bring more than $262 million in federal recovery aid to Colorado through the CDBG-DR Program.