Triple Crown meeting today

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City and chamber members are scheduled to talk with Triple Crown founder Dave King today in an annual meeting stipulated in the contract.

The group will discuss field development plans delivered to King in July and the numbers and needs Triple Crown will have for the 2004 season, said Chris Wilson, city director of Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services.

Under the 2002 five-year contract between the city of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and Triple Crown, the group agreed to meet each December to review the number of fields needed and to see if the use of Emerald Park remained off the table.

Today's meeting will be a conference call between Wilson, City Manager Paul Hughes, Council President Paul Strong, Councilwoman Kathy Connell, Chamber Executive Vice President Sandy Evans Hall and chamber representatives Mike Loomis and Ulrich Salzgeber. They will talk with King, who organizes the nationwide sport tournaments.

The council will be updated on the call at tonight's City Council meeting.

Wilson said the meeting is in part to hear King's feedback on the proposed field development plans. He also said the city council continues to say the use of Emerald Park for Triple Crown tournaments is off the table.

"But you can't control what people want to bring up or talk about," Wilson said.

To keep tournaments in Steamboat, King had said in September he would like to see two more fields in the next two or three years.

Creating a plan for new fields was part of the five-year contract the city negotiated last fall, and in July the negotiating team handed King its proposal.

Three properties owned by the Steamboat Springs School District were identified.

n A site near Strawberry Park Middle School, which has been used as a backup field for Triple Crown.

n Land near Whistler Park that is being used for extra parking.

n Land near Steamboat II.

The group also evaluated land near the Christian Heritage School and the Bear River parcel, an old sewer lagoon west of town that will one day be developed into a city park.

The proposal looked at other options of purchasing property and developing it into a ball field, but it did not identify specific pieces of property that could be bought.

In a September interview, King said he wanted to see a plan that allowed for more than one field at one site and wanted to know the funding mechanism to create or improve the fields.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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