5 p.m. Council will convene as the local Liquor License Authority for a public hearing for a new tavern liquor license for Off the Beaten Path Bookstore; Routt National Forest update; resolutions and first readings of ordinances; discussion of a proposed contract extension with Triple Crown Sports
7 p.m. Public comment; Steamboat 700 procedural discussion; Steamboat 700 pre-application review; City Council reports; staff reports
If you go
What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting
When: 5 p.m. today
Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.
Call: City offices at 879-2060 for more information
Proposed Triple Crown schedule
2009 2010 Event
June 8 to 10 June 7 to 9 Fast-pitch tournament
June 11 to 14 June 10 to 13 Fast-pitch tournament
June 19 to 21 June 18 to 20 Baseball tournament
June 26 to 28 June 25 to 27 Baseball tournament
July 3 to 6 July 2 to 5 Slow-pitch softball tournament
July 20 to 26* July 19 to 25* Baseball tournament
July 27 to Aug. 2* July 26 to Aug. 1* Baseball tournament
Aug. 3 to 9* Aug. 2 to 8* Baseball tournament
*Use of Emerald Park requested
Steamboat Springs An extension of the city's contract with Triple Crown Sports - including provisions allowing the sports-tourism company to use Emerald Park - will be a topic of discussion at tonight's Steamboat Springs City Council meeting.
Triple Crown's requested use of city-owned Emerald Park in 2009 and 2010 likely will be a major point of contention tonight. Triple Crown wants to use Emerald Park fields from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. four days a week during three weeks of its 10-week schedule.
"The total number of teams anticipated : means they are just going to require additional field space," said Sandy Evans Hall, executive vice president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.
Last week Matt Van Alsburg, Triple Crown's World Series director, predicted 390 teams would travel to Steamboat this summer, 40 more than ever before.
Residents who live along Pamela Lane, the park's lone vehicular access route, and officials with the adjacent Yampa River Botanic Park vehemently oppose the proposal and its accompanying traffic and noise.
"These games : will spoil the serenity of the Botanic Park at exactly the time of its highest use by citizens and tourist visitors," Botanic Park board member Bob Enever told the Parks, Open Space and Recreation Commission on Feb. 13. "This is totally unacceptable."
Others cite promises to Pamela Lane residents and the community that Emerald Park would be reserved for local use only. And some say approving Triple Crown's request would require a revision to Ordinance No. 1511, which designates approved uses for the park.
"Simply put, there would not be any place available to 'have a catch' or do some batting practice," Harvey Lyon wrote in comments to the parks commission.
The parks commission voted 4-0 on Feb. 13 to recommend approval of the 2009-10 contract extension, including the additional use of Emerald Park. The commission also is recommending that City Council address the park's access problems and not approve the park's use after 2010 unless those problems have been addressed. For its part, Triple Crown is proposing a parking plan that includes the use of parking passes and traffic control officers.
Unfortunate loss or good riddance?
No official action will be taken at tonight's City Council meeting.
"Before it goes to an ordinance reading, I wanted to introduce it and accept feedback," City Manager Alan Lanning said. "I think, based on input from the community and the council, the following week it would come for a first reading."
Triple Crown supporters note that the request to use Emerald Park is only a stopgap measure while a task force continues to work on a proposal to build a regional sports complex in Hayden. Triple Crown has indicated it may relocate its Northwest Colorado baseball and softball tournaments if a larger sports facility is not built. Games are currently scattered on fields across the region, from Craig to Yampa. If the company's request to use Emerald Park is not approved, the tournaments could be looking for a new home as early as next summer.
A study released in May 2007 by Denver-based consultants Corona Research found that Triple Crown brings about 32,000 visitors and $1.19 million in tax revenues to Northwest Colorado each summer.
"Please remember the business phrase that it is much easier to maintain your business by taking care of your existing customer base than to spend your time marketing to potential new customers," Scott Marr, owner of the Steamboat Springs Holiday Inn, wrote in a letter to the parks commission.
Officials with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., the Sheraton Steamboat Resort and the Strings Music Festival also wrote letters in support of Triple Crown's contract extension and use of Emerald Park.
"I don't really have an opinion on it as an event," Lanning said. "But obviously I would be in favor of doing what we need to do to keep our sales tax where it is. I view it in a larger context."
But expanding the tournaments would anger others.
Local masonry contractor Mike Kortas said Triple Crown is destroying the small-town feel people moved to Steamboat for. He said that although Triple Crown brings business, it also attracts more competition. Similarly, he said that although the city sees increased revenue, it also must expand its services to mitigate Triple Crown's impacts.
"All it's done is turn a really nice community into a bigger city," Kortas said. "To me, it's crazy. : I'm not advocating in any way to put up a gate and keep people from coming into town. But the way I see it, the city is promoting and subsidizing growth, and to subsidize and promote it, I don't think that's right."
City Council also will continue its review of the proposed Steamboat 700 development and annexation. City planner Jason Peasley said the council first will discuss the process by which the development is moving forward. Steamboat 700 proposes about 2,000 homes, commercial development and other features to 700 acres west of city limits.
"We just want to get another affirmation that we're going down the right path - our standard monthly check in," Peasley said.
Peasley said council also will solidify the membership of the team that will negotiate the annexation and have preliminary discussions about some of the main times that will go into a pre-annexation agreement.
Steamboat 700's pre-application recently completed a two-part review with the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and was previously reviewed by the Routt County Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners.
"What came out of that were six or seven critical issues we need City Council to address," Peasley said.
Those issues include Steamboat 700's community housing plan, its proposed expansion of the urban growth boundary, the proposal's lack of any light industrial development as envisioned in the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan, and traffic concerns.