Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Steamboat Springs This proposed recreation center is long overdue. I moved here in 1984 when I was a 13-year-old teen. Yes, I skied after school and recreated outdoors. When it came time to hang out with friends, we were either at the Gofer parking lot or other choice parking lots. We spent an occasional night at the movies; most nights out were spent sneaking into particular restaurant/bars. They provided us with the dance floors, pool tables, foosball and video games that we wanted to play.
These were not non-alcoholic environments. Eventually, this led to a little temptation. Our teens today, 20 years later, are faced with the same choices and similar establishments. I should actually thank them for letting these kids hang out there. However, there should be safer, healthier options for these kids.
I am currently raising three kids in age ranges from four to 15. I can not wait to take them to our new recreation center. This is the one activity I have found in other communities that I can do with any aged child. I am not able to ski or bike ride with a 4-year-old, 15-year-old and their grandmother at the same time. Yet rock climbing, swimming and playing in an open gym\indoor playground is something that can be done as a family. This will be an asset for all of Steamboat and the surrounding areas.
I appreciate the outdoor activities we have in Steamboat. However, there is a missing link in our community - a facility that will permanently house our after-school programs and provide a safe, entertaining place for teens to hang out with friends. A place for parents to meet with babies and toddlers, either in the dead of winter or the heat of summer. Senior citizens can take a walk with friends, swim without getting out of a pool in 20-degree weather. Skateboard in a world-class skate park (already funded). A place to invite tourists to be a part of our welcoming community.
We are faced with the same teen problems we had 20 years ago. This is an opportunity to start making some changes, and admit that it does take a village to raise our kids. Vote yes on 2B and 2C for our kids, your kids, your grandkids, your neighbor's kids. Give our future leaders a safe, fun, healthy environment to be kids.