A controversial two-year contract extension with Triple Crown Sports will be the subject of a City Council discussion tonight.

File photo

A controversial two-year contract extension with Triple Crown Sports will be the subject of a City Council discussion tonight.

Triple Crown up to bat

Council to discuss use of Emerald Park fields for summer tournaments

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Agenda

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

— 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."

Also tonight

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.

Comments

another_local 6 years ago

6 hours a day for 12 days at Emerald field? Makes you wonder what all the squawking is about.

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BoatMaster 6 years ago

They are probably squawking about

  1. The traffic jams at the park,

  2. The fact the " 6 hous a day for 12 days" is during prime time at the ONLY park available to locals at the time

  3. From what the article says Triple Crown's request would require a revision to Ordinance No. 1511, which designates approved uses for the park.

  4. "These games : will spoil the serenity of the Botanic Park at exactly the time of its highest use by citizens and tourist visitors,"

That is probably what they are squawking about

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BoatMaster 6 years ago

And I agree with the squawkers....

You don't have to get rid of triple crown, just protect the park as it was previously. Don't give everything away.

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addlip2U 6 years ago

Protect Steamboat from the Triple Crowners, get rid of them.

The annual whining and threats at the City Council that Triple Crown will pull out, unless we GIVE them what ever they want is getting old and is just wrong.

Triple Crown is a business for profit. They need a real estate, build the fields, building; restrooms, bleachers, parking lots and maintain them annually; infrastructure (lights, water, maintenance building and equipment) just to speak of the basics.

We the citizens of Steamboat don't provide this for any other business, why should for them? This is not socialism, nothing is free.

The money Triple Crown brings into this valley, is not worth the aggravations.

We would benefits from the tourists that are driven away from here during the 10 weeks period that we are invaded by the trashy Triple Crown players and their entourage.

Did the study took into an account how many visitors do NOT come here because of the trashy invasion?

Scott Marr, owner of Holiday Inn, SPEND your marketing money, bring in desirable tourists! They will come to enjoy the serenity of this valley and restore a peace, less traffic, noise and pollution.

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scooter 6 years ago

another_local... Go back to school. Your math is way off!!!

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contrarian 6 years ago

another_local's math is correct if the reporting here is accurate. The article states: "Triple Crown wants to use Emerald Park fields from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. four days a week during three weeks..." 3x4=12 days for 6 hrs. per day. And as I recall from earlier reporting, those hours (8 am - 2 pm) are when no one else is scheduled to use the field. Also, during those hours, most residents of Pamela Lane are at work. That does leave the noise issue for the Botanic Gardens. Given the Gardens proximity to the existing noise of 40 and given that TC is asking for 72 hours out of the entire summer for 2 or 3 years, I don't think this an unreasonable request if it is capped with a sunset clause following the 2010 season.

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Tamera Manzanares 6 years ago

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to be like Aspen or Telluride if it meant attracting summer tourists via more arts, film and cultural-type events. Folks on the Front Range are always looking for reasons to head to the mountains, which provide beautiful venues for cultural-related events. These people need lodging, food and tourist stuff too, and may even spend more dollars. Some locals may feel better about spending tax dollars on venues (or sharing venues) to support these types of events, which they may be more likely to attend, than Triple Crown infrastructure and events that some feel have been forced down our throats. I do sympathize with the business owners that benefit from Triple Crown tourism. It would obviously take a lot of organizing from various parts of the community to re-direct marketing efforts and plan events to attract different groups. Maybe this isn't the best time considering the state of the economy, but it's some food for thought for the future.

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stmbtgrad05 6 years ago

Get them out of here! There will be no problem bringing enough people to steamboat in other facets of tourism. Give the locals (restaurants especially) a break from the rude, boisterous Triple Crown parents and their decorated SUVs.

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scooter 6 years ago

Kids,

Plus at least 1 hour in, and 1 hour out. Everyone knows they always run late. What happens when they get behind on one game at another field, and demand that they use emerald to "catch up". They will move another game over there, and will deal with any fallout after. Triple Crown doesn't care. The papers article is unrealistic, and so is Triple Crown.

If Dave is reading the blogs... Please move!!!!! Only Subway, Quizno's, Blimpies, MacDonald's, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Wendy's, and the OTHS want you here.

God!!! We have way too many "fast food" venues in Steamboat.

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scooter 6 years ago

Everyone: If you are going to attend tonight's meeting: REMEMBER...

They always set the agenda to put Triple Crown DEAD LAST. That way all but a handful of attendees will have left to go home, and they can basically approve whatever is needed without opposition.

GOOD LUCK!

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corduroy 6 years ago

tourism will still be great in summer without Triple Crown they are rude, don't tip, think their little starshine can do whatever he/she wants, they litter, they start fights.. I could go on

We still make revenue here without them, people come to Steamboat for the beauty and the outdoors..

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sportzmama 6 years ago

I take offense to all of you who are being so very rude here. Do you remember when the condo was totally destroyed? Well that happened from SKI visitors, not Triple Crown visitors. I live here now, but I've been coming here for 14 years as a Triple Crown athlete and I personally take a great deal of offense to what you're saying.

Bring other venues to town? Like what? The wine festival is out of reach price wise for most locals and visitors alike. My mother in law who make a great deal of $$ came up for the wine festival last year and was so shocked and disgusted with the price points that we didn't attend any of it.

I agree the parents can get out of hand at times, but have you been to the Tugboat in the winter? Slopeside? I think y'all are willing to forget about the problems the ski visitors cause, and maybe because you see it as traditiion???? They act just as bad as summer tourists do. Ask any bar owner in town!

This is a sales tax based revenue town, so we need the $$ in the summer in order to sustain us til the winter.

I wish all of you could have gone to the Parks & Rec. commission meeting on this subject then you'd know that Triple Crown is trying to be a good corporate citizen here. They do a lot for the communities they "displace" in the summer. They have helped with equipment for our baseball leagues here in Steamboat as no one else will step up to the plate and the kids are using old eqipment, because after all, it isn't a winter sport so there isn't as much support. Stop all the hating people. Just because there are sports opportunities here in the summer and not just the winters anymore doesn't mean we all can't work together!!! GET A LIFE!

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almostlocal 6 years ago

I have to agree with sportzmama. What is the difference between tourists who come out during ski season and tourists who come out in the summer for triple crown? They both are travelling with their families, spending their hard earned money in Steamboat and staying for about a week for a vacation. Just because their kids play baseball instead of ski does not make them worse. Some kids are ill mannered in the winter as well as the summer, and sometimes parents are rude and demanding too, summer or winter, rich or not.
And the comment about moving here for the "small town feel" - is it really the 3 weeks of triple crown that is ruining that feel? I think it is the people who are moving here just for that reason and then complain, complain, complain about everything in Steamboat that supports that small town feel. I think it is these people who are ruining the small town feel with their rudeness and sense of entitlement now that they are "locals" and not the tourists who visit for a short time and then leave.

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armchairqb 6 years ago

I think you ALL better reconsider Triple Crown. They DO bring revenue, and with no $$$$ coming in the next few years from Ski Time Square, where are the $$$$ gonna come from. You say you don't want "them", but most are very nice hard working families, who ARE spending $$$ somewhere. Maybe not in the high price restuarants...but they ARE spending $$$. Be careful what you wish for!!!!

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HawaiianEye 6 years ago

Ok, ok enough. Lets bash realtors and developers now! The city will never let the TC'ers leave.

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Jackson11 6 years ago

The main issue here is not the behavior of Triple Crown atheletes and their families, whether Steamboat has a "small town feel" or not, nor is it the traffic on Pamela Lane. The fact is that if Triple Crown is allowed usage of those fields there will be no place for local kids to play for those 12 days. The Howlesen and Ski Town fields are already off limits for local kids from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Is the supposed revenue generated from those "just 12 days" worth taking away every field in the city from our kids? Is anyone naive enough to think that this will end in 2010? If this is allowed it will only be a matter of time before our kids are banished from all green space in the city.

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Malcolm_Reynolds 6 years ago

If any of you would have been at the P&R Meeting, the problem to the Pamela Lane residents, ARE THE LOCALS! Going to and from their kids games and practices in the evenings! The city failed in providing another access the the park.

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seabirth 6 years ago

i am so tired of the old argument put forth by sportzmama that winter ski tourists are comparable to triple crown tourists. the analogy is flawed. both locals and winter visitors enjoy the benefit of a SKI AREA in the winter. this is a benefit to locals (and for many, the reason for moving here). i will agree that winter visitors can behave terribly... in the winter the argument isn't just about sales tax revenue. tourist revenue in the winter creates outdoor opportunities for locals... where triple crown revenue doesn't create any opportunities for locals (except to be annoyed).

sales tax revenue and jobs are important, but triple crown doesn't present locals with any other benefits, period. winter tourists come here for the outdoors, which can be jointly shared with locals... and also provide sales tax and jobs.

the argument is solely if the jobs and sales tax make up for the bs. many say yes, and many say no.

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powderday 6 years ago

Why dont we just pass the 700 tonight and have all the triple crown people move here. If you think an influx of people for 12 days is bad... consider what it would be like if steamboat added that population base, and they were here forever!! Like them or not... triple crowners come in a few weeks, spend some money, then go home.

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MtnWarlock 6 years ago

Hey Gang, Most some of you know that I've been here for 25 years. I was part of the first triple crown in Steamboat, as a participant. I never dreamed this "short" event would of stayed afloat this long, never the less be this successful! I whine and crab like the rest of you, when things get congested here. I often have to remind myself time and time again, why I live here and why I put up with it! If I don't like it, I know where the door is and I'll make sure it doesn't hit my behind on the way out! We are a "destination resort"! It's our income and our source of cash flow, as little as we would like it to be sometimes. I just adjust my schedules to shop and do things at off peak hours! Until then, when it gets busy here, I escape to my friends in Oak Creek, Hayden, and Craig. I live outside the city limits as well, so that's a plus!

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colowoodsman 6 years ago

This means '40 more teams than ever before'. 40 more teams means how many more SUV's polutting the valley? Sounds like the locals on Pamella Lane are going to take the brunt of this invasion. This is just another way local government is subsidizing the tourist industry. Where does it end?

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bandmama 6 years ago

gee, just a thought. Maybe we locals can encourage CAR POOLING, or the rental of a few nice large school busses to transport the many Triple Crowners to and from the fields?

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nightbird 6 years ago

I am not advocating getting rid of Triple Crown Sports totally, but I am all for setting realistic boundaries. I think Dave King's Triple Crown Sports needs Steamboat Springs as much if not more than Steamboat Springs needs Dave King. To be fair Dave King has been accommodating to the request that have been made. We asked him for more youth orientated tournaments. We asked that he limit the hours of play. He accommodated our requests. He asked for more fields to host yet more teams and improvements be made to some local fields. We accommodated Dave King and opened up fields at the middle school and high school with improvements.

Dave King, however, threatens or we are told by the Chamber that he is threatening to pull out of Steamboat Springs altogether if he does not get what he asks for. The Chamber is often way too quick to play the "fear" card associated with the loss of Triple Crown Sports revenue. This is important but it does not have to be framed in the context of fear. Dave threatening to leave is likely more posturing in negotiations than it is reality. With everything this community has been through with Triple Crown Sports, if Dave thought Steamboat Springs was just too much of a hassle he would have moved his events to other towns long ago. He has not. Dave is smart about his business and understands the value Steamboat Springs is to his business.

Steamboat Springs is good for Dave's business because it is a beautiful place with a lot of family friendly things to do. The people who sign-up for a Triple Crown Sports tournament do so in large part because it is being held in Steamboat Springs. Try having the same tournament in Gallop, New Mexico and I am sure the participation would be much lower.

Dave, however, needs to be reminded from time to time that he and Triple Crown Sports are guests. It is OK to tell a guest politely that they are welcome, however, we can not accommodate everything they ask for. If we are clear about our boundaries and why these boundaries are important to us Dave won't be happy but he will respect them.

Not responding to the "fear" real or imagined that Triple Crown Sports will stop coming to Steamboat Springs if they do not get what they ask for is evidence of effective leadership. I hope City Council and the Chamber can exhibit this type of community leadership.

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OnTheBusGus 6 years ago

Amen seabirth!! Tourists are tourists, but the ski area is an amenity to both the majority of locals and tourists. The ski area also has one large place for the tourists to be, not umpteen fields scattered all over the city. The majority of TCers drive and have vehicles, most winter tourists are on the shuttle or bus.

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another_local 6 years ago

Jackson,

As a point of fact regarding the use of the fileds: NO organized local activities use the Emerald Park fields during the proposed hours. That is why those are the hours proposed. The park would still be available for all local soccer, lacross and baseball programs for local kids at the usual times without interuption.

Pamala lane residents bearing the brunt of Triple Crown? Hardly. The Emeral Field proposal would have a small fraction of the games take place at that location.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years ago

Require shuttle buses only to the fields

Have a designated parking area.... where the shuttle picks up and drops off. ( Make this part of the TC contact & have them foot the bill.)

It could all work out.... money is money. There are proably Many other areas that would love the extra $$. They proably don't have enough of the necessary facilites to host such an event; hotels, fields, restaurants, etc.... Also the location is only a few hours from the Denver area which also makes SS an ideal destination.

How much willl this added 40 teams make as added revenue to the area??? If a team has a min of 5 hotel rooms at $100/night for nights. Plus $ spent on food and snacks per day. Just the incidentals could help the bottom line.

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fish 6 years ago

Steamboatwannabe sums up City Council and some local opinions right. "Money is Money." That is apparent.

It is really quite sad to see that this is the only thing that drives you and your beliefs Steamboatwannabe.

Money is money. WOW!

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Jackson11 6 years ago

another local,

That's not the point. The point is those fields are for local kids. Those are the last fields in Steamboat that local kids can use. If Triple Crown is allowed on those fields there is no reason to believe they will not want to use them beyond 2010 with expanded hours. TC is a business constantly looking to expand, they're bringing 40 more teams this year. If TC is that vital to the Steamboat economy, build them their own complex.

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almostlocal 6 years ago

Triple Crown is a very important part of our summer tourism. Actually, it is one of the only parts of summer tourism in Steamboat. I find it hard to believe that anyone thinks the only summer activity in Steamboat is baseball and softball and Triple Crown takes that away from the locals. I myself do not play softball, and seem to be able to find many, many outdoor activities to occupy my time. No one thinks the winter tourists are taking away access to the ski mountain, but I choose not to ski on the mountain over Christmas, Presidents's Week and Spring Break due to the huge crowds, and I choose not to go the Hot Springs or even to a restaurant during these weeks also. Because I know they will be over crowded and way too busy. It's the same in the summer - I know the weeks that Triple Crown is in town - I simply use the same logic that I use the winter - it will be way too busy and I can wait to go to that restaurant when it is not so busy in town. Not that big of a deal. I think everyone could show a little flexibility on the ball field use - they are simply using them for a few weeks and then they go home.

And the comment about Dave King needing Steamboat more than we need him is wrong. Steamboat complained so much a few years back about the crowds - when we had boys baseball and girls fastpitch softball tournaments - that Dave King took all the girls fastpitch tournaments to Park City - who was begging him to go there and they built great ball fields to get him to move. There are many places that would love this business and are willing to do alot to get it. People are saying, get rid of them! Bring in some other event to replace them! Well, let's hear some ideas. So far, nothing has been able to replace the Vintage Car Races and Motorcycle Week. Rainbow Week-end wil soon be a thing of the past. We have had music festivals, but there was so much complaining about those, that they got cancelled also. Steamboat does not begin to compete with other mountain towns for summer business. So let's stop complaining incessantly about everything in Steamboat and start coming up with some good alternatives that bring in revenue and provide jobs and keep the registers ringing.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years ago

" So let's stop complaining incessantly about everything in Steamboat and start coming up with some good alternatives that bring in revenue and provide jobs and keep the registers ringing. "

Don't give the store away. Keep up the standards for our community. Be a quality destination. Requrie TC to provide shuttles and parking for all their added teams.

Until there is a viable replacement for TC lets learn how to deal with them to our advantage.

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