Governor Hickenlooper plans a pow wow with Gov. Brownback (Kansas) and Gov. Dave Heineman (Nebraska), with a little Whooping Crane watching

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Here’s the release from Governor Hickenlooper’s office (Eric Brown/Megan Castle):

Gov. John Hickenlooper will meet with Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday, March 23, to discuss common efforts and issues related to eco-tourism and economic development. The three governors will meet in Wood River, Neb.

“The economies of Colorado and surrounding states are linked in many ways,” Hickenlooper said. “This meeting will be great opportunity to share ideas and find ways we can work together to boost tourism and economic development in our region.”

According to statistics gathered by the Colorado Tourism Office in 2010, Colorado attracted 51.6 million visitors made up by overnight leisure travelers and day trips. Visitors to Colorado spent $14.6 billion in 2010, an 8.4 percent increase over 2009. The tourism industry supports nearly 137,000 jobs and generates $750 million in local and state tax revenues, saving every Colorado household $395 in taxes they would have otherwise paid to maintain the same services.

In addition to discussing tourism efforts, the governors will view the world-renowned migration of the sandhill cranes, a significant eco-tourism attraction in Nebraska.

From mid-February to mid-April each year, visitors to the Platte River valley in south-central Nebraska can enjoy the migration of 90 percent of the world’s sandhill cranes. Approximately 500,000 sandhill cranes gather each year en route to their summer breeding grounds in Canada, Alaska and Siberia.

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