Triple Crown to meet with city officials

Organization hopes to finalize proposal

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— Triple Crown founder Dave King said his organization will meet with city and Chamber Resort Association officials today to try to iron out the details of a new five-year contract that would keep the summer baseball and softball tournaments in Steamboat Springs.

"We want to finalize a proposal that we think would be acceptable to go in front of (the City Council) to be voted on," King said.

King had hoped to have something signed before Triple Crown started its season in Steamboat. But with teams arriving all week for baseball and fast-pitch softball tournaments that start this weekend, both sides in the negotiations said no deal is done.

King said if a contract is not signed soon, he will start negotiating with other Colorado mountain towns to host his tournaments. King did not give a deadline other than to say, "it's getting real close."

City and chamber officials had little to say about the negotiating process.

City Manager Paul Hughes said the city has not been involved in negotiations for the past couple of weeks, and details would be available when a contract goes before the City Council. Chamber Executive Vice President Sandy Evans-Hall said negotiations should take another meeting or two. She would not disclose what terms are being negotiated.

But King said the issues are the same as they were a month ago the use of Emerald Park, hours of operation for Howelsen Hill and improvements to local facilities.

The fields at Emerald Park have been reserved for use by local teams only. On Wednesday, King repeated what he has said throughout the negotiations that he would like to use the fields at Emerald Park only after access issues are worked out and when local teams are not using them.

But after one of the last negotiation meetings almost a month ago, City Council President Kathy Connell told a group of Pamela Lane residents she supports taking use of Emerald Park off the table for Triple Crown negotiations.

The comment came during a May 16 council lunch meeting where Pamela Lane residents discussed the traffic problems caused by the neighboring park.

King said the key step in the process will be getting the City Council to accept the contract agreed on by the negotiating committee. When a contract does come before the council, King said, it would be a single document that represents the agreements between both the city and chamber.

Although a contract does not have to be signed until October, King said Triple Crown needs to get its marketing plan in place at the start of the summer and visiting teams need to know if they can come back to Steamboat next year.

King, who has organized tournaments in Steamboat for more than 20 years and worked with a number of different administrations, has stated on previous occasions several Rocky Mountain resort towns have expressed interest in hosting his tournaments.

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