Gov. Polis, optimistic for Pikes Peak region, discusses transportation and basing of U.S. Space Command

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Gov. Jared Polis said he’s committed to supporting the Pikes Peak community during a State of the Region address on Thursday, hosted by the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC and sponsored by Southwest Airlines.

Polis took time to talk about vaccines in the Rocky Mountain region, and said he is optimistic Colorado will shift to a different lifestyle midway through the year. He said as of now, 10% of people living in Colorado have been vaccinated, all while Colorado is inching closer to vaccinating 70% of people ages 70 and up.

“We just have a couple more months here, wear a mask, keep our distance and we should have a pretty normal summer,” Polis said.

The state is hoping to expand vaccine accessibility to more people within the coming weeks.

However, the governor said there’s still room for improvement in other sectors. Members of the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC were able to submit questions to the governor during Thursday’s meeting, and one Pikes Peak-region business owner said their business was being impacted by current road conditions along the Front Range.

Earlier this month, Polis called for quick action on a $1 billion-plus stimulus plan, which focuses on creating jobs in transportation infrastructure and other areas.

“When you first see this package, I hope you think it’s a great and decent package, but it’s not going to be the one you designed or the one I designed,” Polis said. “To be done, it needs to be an unprecedented broad coalition, but fundamentally it’ll be on the table and we can do it or not. If we don’t do it, we know where we are headed and we know the deficit increases.”

Also on the table: U.S. Space Command. The announcement of the headquarters relocation to Huntsville, Alabama has caused many to question former President Donald Trump’s motives. The Department of Defense recently announced an investigation into the basing decision.

“Regardless of the outcome of that, Colorado has a bright future with regard to aerospace and especially El Paso County,” Polis said.

The governor said with the addition of Southwest Airlines to the Colorado Springs Airport, the road to recovery is looking bright for the Pikes Peak region.

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