Changing rooms planned for kayakers

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No longer will kayakers, tubers and swimmers have to sacrifice their modesty to change out of their wet duds along the Yampa River.

The city of Steamboat Springs is planning to add men's and women's changing rooms to the public restrooms in West Lincoln Park.

City planner Bob Keenan predicted that administrative approval of the permit needed to build the addition would be "pretty much a slam dunk."

At the same time it builds the pair of 80-square-foot changing rooms, the city's department of Parks, Open Space and Recreation will remodel existing bathrooms to bring them up to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

West Lincoln Park is strategically located close to two popular kayak play holes that bracket the 13th Street Bridge. The two wave structures also have become very popular with innertubers and swimmers during the late summer.

Peter Van de Carr of Friends of the Yampa said whitewater enthusiasts aren't particularly known for their modesty, but he's in favor of anything that makes the city's river parks more enjoyable.

"Kayaking is the kind of sport where you change wherever and whenever you need to," Van de Carr said. "Anything that makes it easier for people to enjoy the river is good."

The changing rooms will be situated along the Yampa River Core Trail between the Sulfur Spring and the playground structure resembling a Steamboat.

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