Contract with city would keep Triple Crown around through 2020

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At a glance

2010 Triple Crown events in Steamboat Springs began last week when the Mountain Magic fast-pitch softball camp and youth tournaments brought about 80 teams to the city from June 7 to 13. Upcoming Triple Crown events and team estimates include:

■ Friday to Sunday, and June 25 to 27: Mountain Magic baseball, total of 100 teams

■ July 3 to 5: Mountain Magic Fourth of July softball tournament, 65 teams

■ July 20 to 25, July 27 to Aug. 1, Aug. 3 to 8: Triple Crown World Series, total of 140 teams

— A proposed agreement with the city would keep Triple Crown Sports events in Steamboat Springs through 2020.

The Steamboat Springs City Council is scheduled tonight to review — and potentially approve by resolution — an agreement to keep Triple Crown summer events in Steamboat from 2011 through 2020. Triple Crown’s current agreement with the city expires after this summer.

“We’re pleased that they’re demonstrating a long-term commitment to Steamboat Springs, and that they still consider us a premier destination,” City Manager Jon Roberts said Monday. Roberts said he’s heard “overwhelming support” from local business owners and residents for continuing a relationship with Triple Crown, the Fort Collins-based business that has brought summer events including baseball and softball tournaments to Steamboat since 1982.

But Triple Crown’s presence long has been a thorn in the side of many residents because of impacts such as increased noise, traffic and crowds around Steamboat.

Under the new agreement, the city would pay Triple Crown a sponsorship fee of $65,000 to $80,000 annually, depending on the size and amount of Triple Crown events, in addition to dedicating at least $75,000 annually to field improvements or development. Triple Crown would pay at least $15,000 a year for local field improvements.

Bob Litzau, the city’s assistant finance director, said those numbers are on par with costs and benefits related to Triple Crown in recent years.

Litzau said Mon­­day that in 2009 and 2010, the city allocated $75,000 for local field improvements and received an additional $15,000 for that purpose, each year, from Triple Crown. In 2007 and 2008, Litzau said, the city allocated $35,000 for local fields each year, and received $15,000 each year from Triple Crown.

Litzau said the city’s 2009 sponsorship fee to Triple Crown was $75,000. The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association paid $35,000 of that total.

The Chamber played a significant role in negotiating the proposed new agreement.

Sandy Evans Hall, the Chamber’s executive vice president, cited Triple Crown’s value to Steamboat’s summer tourism season.

“The majority of people I’ve talked to, they’re very positive about keeping Triple Crown and very excited about a long-term contract,” she said. “In this economy, it’s probably an insurance for our community — it’s allowed us to suffer not nearly as badly in this economy, knowing that we have Triple Crown coming back.”

But it’s likely not coming back at current levels.

The agreement states that in 2011, Triple Crown will adopt a multi-city approach to its baseball and softball tournaments, often playing different age groups in different cities or areas including Steamboat; Orange County, Calif.; Park City, Utah; Reno, Nev.; Lake Tahoe, Cal­if.; Dallas; Chi­cago; and St. Louis.

“In our 2011 plan Steamboat Springs would host two weeks of Championship Baseball and one week of Championship Girls Fast-Pitch Softball,” the contract states. “This mixed-sport solution will reduce some of the decline created by the elimination of the three existing boys divisions and replacing it with one girls division.”

Chris Wilson, director of the city’s Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services De­­partment, emphasized Mon­day that the agreement is just that — a license agreement for use of the city’s sports fields and facilities.

He said it’s not a contract, which has greater compliance requirements and potential legal penalties for noncompliance, Wilson said.

In April, Triple Crown Pres­ident Dave King said the organization’s future in Steam­boat could resemble its origins in the ’80s, when Triple Crown hosted one or two tournaments here each summer.

“Triple Crown wants to keep and protect the highly valued relationship it has with Steamboat Springs going forward,” the proposed agreement states. “However, their new relationship will be an immediate reduction in volume.”

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

jaded 4 years, 4 months ago

Just to be sure I read correctly, we will be sponsoring them with the same amount as previous years and with the same amount of field improvements, but with "an immediate reduction in volume"? Seems a bit off.

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jaded 4 years, 4 months ago

Just to be sure I read correctly, we will be sponsoring them with the same amount if $ as previous years and with the same amount of field improvements, but with "an immediate reduction in volume"? How much reduction in volume? Less tournaments or less people coming to each?

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papafu 4 years, 4 months ago

"...the city would be required to pay Triple Crown a sponsorship fee of $65,000 to $80,000 annually, depending on the size and amount of Triple Crown events, in addition to dedicating at least $75,000 annually to field improvements or development."

Just wondering where this money comes from.

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seeuski 4 years, 4 months ago

Consider it unnecessary expenditures on marketing if we were to lose this group and went looking for a replacement and also consider the amount of sales tax they generate from the business of lodging, dining, grocery and liquor etc. As long as the City is covered through those sources it makes sense. Maybe the Pilot can do a little investigation on the income generated from this group and report on it.

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ride4fun 4 years, 4 months ago

City sales tax rate is 4.5% and lodging tax is 2%. Assuming 30% of a tourists costs are for lodging, the guests directly related to Triple Crown would have to spend $2,170,543 to break even on a marketing spend of $140,000. Of course this doesn't take into consideration additional city operating expenditures for police, park resources, etc.

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Mike Lawrence 4 years, 4 months ago

Hi all,

To take this off-the-cuff exercise one step further, about 380 teams are scheduled to come to Steamboat for Triple Crown events this summer. Assuming 10 families per team - which is simply a guess on my part - each family would have to spend a little more than $570 in Steamboat Springs to reach the $2.17 million figure.

Mike Lawrence Reporter, Steamboat Pilot & Today (970) 871-4233 mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 4 months ago

Mike, Why the need for "simply a guess on my part" when I am pretty sure the Triple Crown provides that number?

Also, note that civic promoters emphasize the compounding effect of bringing in money. That the money spent by TC in restaurants pays local employees so the local employees have more to spend money and so on. The scale of the multiplier is often greatly overstated by the advocates of this or that, take the claims of grand benefits with skepticism.

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addlip2U 4 years, 4 months ago

This smells like EXTORTION!

If Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association got of its duff and marketed Steamboat we would not have to be in such predicament. It seems that this is always thrown at the City Council by the Chamber in in the last hr and the City buckle under.

Enough already !! of Triple Crowners......... time to move on

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Kevin Nerney 4 years, 4 months ago

Boy it sure sucks to be Buddy King (?) of Triple Crown. 7 cities at 75 grand each is more than a 1/2 million bucks. That should cover operating costs, then charge each team to participate, then sell a bunch of T shirts and pins to these kids. Wow, just to organize brackets? How come the city doesn't give us (the lacrosse) team money to run a tournament? We have to pay to rent the fields. Probably the same for rugby. What a scam.

PS Just wondering -- does paying TC relieve the city of insurance responsibility (liability) should someone get hurt on the field?

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John Fielding 4 years, 4 months ago

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Where else in our City budget do we spend 150 g or so and have it result in a couple million in increased economic activity?

This may be the best discretionary use of our money by the City, can we do this elsewhere?

.

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ybul 4 years, 4 months ago

The comment on Lacrosse is a good one. Why not work towards a larger lacrosse tournament in town.

Not really a scam, but not really forward looking. With that $75 grand could several weekend tournaments be developed locally, providing jobs to locals who are out of work?

SIgn up for 5 years and put locals to work trying to develop tournaments or other events to bring in revenue. This way you develop a broader foundation than one event that your are beholden to.

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John Fielding 4 years, 4 months ago

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Agreed, we have all these excellent playing fields, and an awesome hospitality industry.

Lets take some of these suggestions to the next level.

Seed money for marketing and organization should be made available.

But the preferable source should be the direct beneficiaries, through the Chamber.

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Kevin Nerney 4 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the support, but perhaps I didn't make my point clear. I'm not looking for a hand out. I just don't think any one should get one. We pay (bailout ) triple crown so they come to town. We pay (bailout) the airlines so they bring skiers. It happens all over the country,cities pay for new stadiums so the teams don't leave. Private enterprise should cover it's own costs. When I opened my restaurant I didn't ask for public funds, didn't ask for tax incentives, didn't negotiate employment initiatives etc, etc. The pie can only be sliced so thin, and these types of programs are what got us into this economic mess we're in. If I wanted to start a lacrosse tournament program I would get on the phone call a bunch of teams, then call the city to reserve the fields and continue this process until I made enough money to hire a secretary to make the calls. Then I would wait to have enough money to rent an office and eventually I would make more money to pay the secretaries health insurance. Before you know it I'd repeat this process in a dozen cities around the country and have a private jet to fly around to all the venues. And not once would I expect a handout from city state or federal municipalities.

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John Fielding 4 years, 4 months ago

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I am not suggesting you are looking for a handout.

The Chamber is a mechanism for doing the sort of thing you describe with the costs shared with others who anticipate a similar benefit.

And please, follow your vision, make it a reality. You can expect others will want to help.

.

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Tubes 4 years, 4 months ago

"But Triple Crown’s presence long has been a thorn in the side of many residents because of impacts such as increased noise, traffic and crowds around Steamboat."

Pretty amazing in today's times that we still can't seem to welcome the Triple Crowners. A couple million dollars worth of cash flow and we're still using words like: "lunacy," "extortion" and some of the other nonsense stated above. TC obviously can't live down the days of when the adult softball fatheads USED to come here and wanna whip up on half the town...those days and crowds are a thing of the past. (and by the way, when we decided to become a resort town, we welcomed noise, traffic, and crowds. I'm pretty sure we made this bed......)

If these were alpine ski camps coming out of New Hampshire, I'm pretty sure the sentiment would be much different and this message board would be empty. And there's really no difference.

I, personally, am tired of reading articles about declining sales tax revenues and hearing about DT businesses going under and budget shortfalls etc. So bring on the Triple Crown and all their wallets and purses, this town needs the shot in the arm. (and bring on the comments about selling our soul and what will we stop at for money--again, we made this bed and we're in we're in no position to be picky. Deal with it or move to Kremmling.)

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ybul 4 years, 4 months ago

A good thing would be to provide start up capital to an event to help it get off its feet and then let them stand on there own. I do not think that Lacrosse was looking for a hand out, though, if there was a mechanism to bring forth start up ventures to a new level as capital is hard to come by that helps all out.

We are not talking of a hand out, at least I am not, I am talking of a hand up. Lift you (or anyone for that matter) up on your feet and then you can help build a stronger future for all (giving someone else a hand up). Make it so that if you are successful you repay it, if not no skin off your back as long as you either have sweat or equity in the game.

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kielyj 4 years, 4 months ago

A review of the City/Triple Crown agreement has one clause that is disquieting to anyone who has followed the attempts by Triple Crown and the Chamber to sequester Emerald Park for Triple Crown games. Clause 1.A.b says: • The topic of additional fields (including a new ball field complex) and times will be revisited in September in each year of the term of this Agreement for the upcoming year.

The renewal of the contract offers an opportunity to settle the issue for at least ten years. I would suggest that this clause be re-written to make clear and certain that the Emerald Park fields are not included in the “additional fields” contemplated in the agreement. This will save ten Septembers of conflict and put this issue to rest at long last.

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TWill 4 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Tubes that we are in no position to be selective with who we do and do not welcome as visitors to this town. Beggers can't be choosers.

That being said, we certainly have room to diversify our summer clientele and event schedule. Introducing some more exciting and spectator freindly events (lacrosse, rugby, pro mtn. bike trials, etc.) would certainly add vitality (and revenue) to our town during summer.

No offense to Little Johnny and his developing curveball (I won't even mention Buddy King and his Triple Crown division of the Teamsters Union), but little league baseball does not have nearly the crowd drawing potential that lacrosse, rugby and other more unique and exciting events would. What ever happened to BrewFest? You don't think good beer in a Colorful Colorado mountain town in the fall could attract a few paying customers?

There would be no need for "handouts" or a "bailout", maybe just some organizational/ administrative support from Parks and Rec and the Chamber. I'm safe to say they've got room on their plate for a few more responsiblities. Consider it job security.

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John Fielding 4 years, 4 months ago

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Maybe we should just look at this as a service, bringing in customers.

Based on data we have accumulated we can reasonable assume the average visitor spends X per day/night. We also know how much we spend on marketing, and how many visits we receive.

To keep it simple lets say the average visitor spends $100, and we spend $10 on ads etc.

Lets offer $10 a head to anyone who can produce visitor traffic, and we may have many worthwhile ideas emerge. Just survey the visitors to learn why they came.

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John Fielding 4 years, 4 months ago

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And we aren't doing any favors here, nor TC. They have other cities bidding for this traffic.

We won some of it by having an excellent venue and meeting the going rate.

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nmypinon 4 years, 4 months ago

LOOK THE FUN HAS ALREADY BEGAN!!!!!!!!! 7:49 p.m. Police were called to reports of a disturbance in the 1800 block of Central Park Drive. A woman was angry that a large truck had parked close to her car and that she couldn’t enter the driver’s side door. The woman, who police said was in town for a Triple Crown Sports event, became furious and was holding a baseball bat and threatening to pound on the truck. A man in a restaurant came outside and started yelling at her, telling her it was his truck and that he wouldn’t move it and invited her to pound on it, police said. The two were yelling back and forth when another man left a store, entered the truck and started to pull out of the space. The woman realized the first man was not the truck’s owner and confronted the man in the truck. Officers mediated the situation and issued a warning.

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John Fielding 4 years, 4 months ago

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Which of the 3 got the warning? The parker, the threatener, or the misrepresenter?

Ya gotta love it!

.

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nmypinon 4 years, 4 months ago

I would hope it was the lady with a weapon, making threats! Sounds to me like she needs to go to anger management.....

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TWill 4 years, 4 months ago

Although entertaining, we can't blame this episode on Triple Crown. It's an unfortuneate product of human behavior.

Besides, the Central Park Plaza parking lot hardly brings out the best in any of us. The more people visiting, the more "episodes" there will be.

Which would you prefer?

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 4 months ago

TWill- too true. While it sounded as if she was just "nuts," it didn't help that some idiot who didn't even own the vehicle came out and started egging her on, daring her to hit the vehicle. While I may not pull out a bat, you can bet I get pissed off about someone blocking my car when parked.

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Scott Ford 4 years, 4 months ago

This is just some information about Triple Crown Sports that may help add some perspective. Dave King the owner of Triple Crown Sports (TCS) hometown is Meeker. Dave is a hometown northwest Colorado boy who has done very well for himself. Good for him / just shows that we grow great entrepreneurs in Northwest Colorado.

I have no idea how long the relationship between TCS and Steamboat Springs has been going but it has to be close to 25+ years. Having met Dave on a few occasions he is a skilled negotiator. Sandy at the Chamber would know how long because for a number of years she has been the point of contact continuity. Thank goodness - Chamber presidents change, new city council members - new city managers. I think a lot of credit as to why TCS is still in Steamboat Springs goes to Sandy. Having had the opportunity to work for her - she is a shrewd negotiator as well.

We have had Dave King and TCS jump through some hoops over the years. We told him no more adult team - he agreed. We told him to limit the number of teams - he agreed. We told him to limit the hours of play - he agreed. We told him we had to limit the number of fields he could play on - he agreed. We told him we wanted more youth tournaments that were family orientated - he agreed. I am surprised Dave did not say "uncle" a long time ago.

In all likelihood, TCS outgrew Steamboat Springs several years ago. However, because Steamboat Springs in all likelihood in the early days was one of TCS's premier venues - he likes this place. I think in the company's infancy one of their very first summer softball tournaments they pulled together was here in 1983(?).

Steamboat Springs helped Dave in his early days and TCS sports helped Steamboat Springs strengthen its summer tourism business when we needed it desperately. We have been good for each other. Although like people in any relationship there have been "bumps" and people grow in different ways. We are nothing like the town or the economy we were in 1983. We are bigger and far more diverse and so is TCS.

I think he has been willing to hang in with us - because of his Northwest Colorado "roots". He understands our concerns up to a point but he has a business to run and it has become a very big national business.

If TCS would have been headquartered in Steamboat Springs vs. Ft. Collins - who knows.. If that had happened, we would view TCS very differently. " “If wishes were fishes we'd all be throwing nets. If wishes were horses we'd all ride.” - I do not know who said this originally but my mom repeated it to me often enough I remember it well.

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Kevin Nerney 4 years, 4 months ago

Scott, Thanks for the history lesson. However, the point I was trying to make (unsuccessfully apparently) goes way beyond Triple Crown and the new "agreement". On a local level I understand where people stand on the position of giving TC and Dave King almost 3/4 of a million dollars over 10 years. Yet we are just a microcosm of the entire economy. I don't think we should be handing over any amount of money to anybody for any reason if there is profit to be made by that person or entity. I like ybul 's suggestion about paying it back after being successful but that leads to the definition of success and two sets of books. Dave King didn't have to cry "uncle" he just had to negotiate with someone less stringent or more desperate for his product. Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates didn't start out by making demands although he has plenty of leverage now. And who gives him that leverage? The people controlling the purse strings of the American taxpayer. Those in charge entice the ultra rich to spend money in their town on the hope a getting a return. The owner of the Dallas Cowboys spent a billion dollars on a Stadium in Texas and moved the team 3 towns away because he got a better deal. If we all pulled together and said "No More" there would be no better deal and government wouldn't be shelling out billions trying to get a return and sure enough there would still be the Dallas Cowboys in "Dallas" and NEW YORK Jets and Giants in New York and Triple Crown in Steamboat.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 4 months ago

Except what SS pays Triple Crown would be considered cheap if it was some booking agency that promised to bring in X number of people. We pay more for less to bring winter tourists via airplanes. We pay more for less expected return to advertise.

If the people of SS didn't like this deal then we could recall those that approved it and not renew it. That won't happen because the business community wants those tourists and it is cost effective.

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ybul 4 years, 4 months ago

So what is the ultimate goal of all the advertising to bring in all of these people?

What our the things the community holds dear and wants to accomplish? It is a very giving community that focus' on being family friendly. An equitable environment, where all have the opportunity to succeed? What?

What is the community willing to do to work towards a long term vision? What enterprises could be undertaken? This should focus on the most profitable ones which enhance the other attributes of the community first and foremost.

Finally what is that long term vision to bring about?
What do we want the community to look like in 5,10, 500 years because of the decisions we make.

i.e. a community in which a decreasing number of its citizens are in need of assistance to get by, one in which the environment is being improved, with an increasingly greater number of viable self sustaining business exist, etc.

Like the music concerts in December this past year which the Sheraton said it could not offer rooms for such a low rate. At what point are we simply on a hamster wheel running ever faster and not actually getting any further towards our ultimate goals, having lost sight of the forest as we are so much stuck in the trees.

Many times I wonder that of myself.

A final point is once we make those decisions, do we actually monitor those decisions to make sure they are getting us closer to our long term goals and not just our short term goals. Some times it is hard to see that a decision that is going to be good in the short run is going to hurt our broader community goals. All decisions impact every other facet of life in the region. We need to monitor that those decisions we make get us to the end goal we want.

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