Pat Thomas: Save open space


My husband and I, both Colorado natives, have been part-time residents and property owners in the Steamboat Springs area for more than 20 years. We have come from our home in Greeley to our home on Elk River Road every season of the year, as often as we can.n addition to friends and acquaintances here who have made us feel a part of the community, our family has grown to love the town and county for the open spaces and sense of being a real town, not a crowded, created place like Vail or even the Aspen of today.
So, like many others, we struggle with finding a balance between the need for growth to sustain the community and the need to keep the very essence of what makes this place unique and draws so many to our area.

It is with concern that I have read this summer of the plans for One Steamboat Place and Wildhorse Meadows. strongly feel that, despite what they say, out-of-town developers do not always have the best interests of this area in mind, but simply their own profits as they propose new developments such as these.
I urge the community to pay attention. I would like to pass on a comment made to us this past weekend by a new acquaintance, an out-of-state visitor who has come here for a month every summer for more than five years. pon learning that two five- and six-story buildings in the ondola parking lot and 375 units in the Meadows area were in Whitney Ward's plans, this man complained, "The main reason we come to Steamboat every summer is because of the open areas and the feel of real community. f every bit of open space around the town disappears, we might as well go to Vail or Aspen, or just stay home!"

Years ago, the community was concerned about the impact on tourists of seeing a Wal-Mart as they came into town, or a small, not fancy, little airport on arrival. Where are those people now when visitors will arrive and see nonstop housing from the bottom of Rabbit Ears Pass into town? ave you driven up Interstate 70 past Vail lately?

This letter is not being written by a disgruntled second-home owner, nor is it one of those "I've got mine, now keep everyone else away" letters. t is written by someone who cares deeply about Steamboat.

We consider ourselves a part of the community, and our home on the Elk River is our home in every sense. ur adult children share this sense of home. We expect that members of our family will continue to call it "home" for years to come.
Please, City Council and Steamboat Springs Planning Commission -- don't let developers change our town so much that those who love it, those who live here and those who visit it lose what they love!

Pat Thomas

Steamboat Springs


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