A sign stands in a field near Whistler Park, where some residents would like to see a new bike park constructed. While the proposed park has supporters, it also has met with resistance from nearby residents.

Photo by John F. Russell

A sign stands in a field near Whistler Park, where some residents would like to see a new bike park constructed. While the proposed park has supporters, it also has met with resistance from nearby residents.

Whistler bike park faces Parks and Rec meeting vote

Commission to recommend whether Steamboat Springs should assume liability

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Past Event

Parks and Recreation Commission meeting

  • Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
  • Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
  • Not available

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— The planners of a proposed bike park near Whistler Park will learn Wednesday night whether they’re getting closer to starting construction after they appear before Steamboat Springs’ Parks and Recreation Commission.

After getting feedback from the public and the park planners, the commission will make a recommendation to the Steamboat Springs City Council about whether the city should assume liability for the course.

Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department Director Chris Wilson said Tuesday that the commission would discuss the benefits of the park as well as the opposition to it that has come from a group of Whistler Park neighbors who said last month that the noise and dust associated with the park’s construction would negatively impact their neighborhood. The neighbors also questioned the course’s potential impact on wildlife near Walton Creek.

Despite those concerns, planners cleared the first of many hurdles last month after the Steamboat Springs School Board unanimously approved a temporary construction easement that will allow builders to use a path on district-owned land during the park’s construction phase.

Planners said last month that they had hoped to start building the dirt course in September, but they now will have to wait until Oct. 21 to learn whether the park can move forward. That’s when Mount Werner Water District will vote on whether to allow the park to be built on a 2-acre plot of land it owns between Walton Creek and Whistler Park. Before that, the Routt County Planning Commission also must approve a temporary land-use permit.

Bob Vanderbeek, who is funding the $17,000 park with the Steamboat-based nonprofit Directional Development Foundation, said if the park is approved, its construction would then be dependent on the weather.

“If we’ve gone into winter, we’re done,” he said. “But if it’s still dry, and we have an Indian summer, we can get the topography worked out in about a week, and next spring we can build the features. That’s the best-case scenario.”

He said he’s hopeful the park will be approved and serve as a place where cyclists can learn the skills that are needed to ride on area bike trails.

“There’s a lot of support among families and the kids to build a skills park like this,” he said.

If constructed, the park would include a dirt course, jump lines and a pump track. It would be maintained for three years and then removed because the Mount Werner Water District previously indicated it must be a temporary installment. Vanderbeek said he hopes to find a permanent location for the park during that time.

— To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

exduffer 3 years, 1 month ago

Spend the $17,000 on something a little more lasting Bob.

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Cresean Sterne 3 years, 1 month ago

Wow.... another bike park. Maybe we should put another skate park at the east side of town also.
How about something that most the locals want in Steamboat and that most towns now have.. (A Dog Park) Not a park that is open during certain times but a designated park which is open to dogs all day, every day, year around. This would help the bike man in yellow stop people for important things instead of giving you a hard time for letting your pooch cool his paws on a hot day. If we are going to spend money on bike parks and skate parks that is fine. Lets just do it right the first time and create it in one recreational area by Howlesen since that area has always been used for such things. Steamboat is a small town and we dont need a rec park in every corner of it.
But just ONE GREAT dog park in a great town would be nice

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1999 3 years, 1 month ago

We already have numerous bike parks with a skills park and dirt pump track less than a mile away from this whistler location

We live in the middle of thousands of acres of bike skills parks

how about supporting what we already have instead of watering down the pool and tearing up yet another piece of perfectly good open space. Put that 17K into something permanant and lasting.

Gina and Deemer could use your support down at the BMX track.

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beentheredonethat 3 years, 1 month ago

A better location for this bike park would be at the end of Caribou Road, on blair seymour's property....oh, but wait, she wants this in someone elses backyard, not her own.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 1 month ago

Who needs approval. Just build it. That's what the cyclists do everywhere else. Anybody else noticed the scars on the hillside trail that leads down from West End Village to the Riverside Plaza. I'm sure approval was granted for those bike features.

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jk 3 years, 1 month ago

Why are they thinking of disturbing this open space, when there are already so many trails around? If you want to learn how to ride your mtn. bike on the trails, then go out and ride the damn trails!!! I don't know how far this biking/BTUSA crap is going to go in this town, but it is getting really OLD!!

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exduffer 3 years, 1 month ago

Next we should build a new ski area so that there are more opportunities to learn how to ski.

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mtntrekker 3 years, 1 month ago

Isn't there a pump track next to the old skate park at Howelson? Or was that a one time thing? They want to dig up a couple of acres for a new BMX track, but they shot down a minimal impact disc golf course at Rita Valentine park. A BMX track is a good idea, but where to put it? Next to the new skate park, perhaps?

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weststmbtres 3 years, 1 month ago

You guys know that there used to be a bike park in Steamboat II. It was located between Steamboat Drive and US40 at the South East corner of the Steamboat II property. They flattened it about 10 years ago because it was considered a liability. Too bad the BTUSA folks weren't there to stand up for preserving it. They could have given SBII the 17K and SBII could have used the money to buy a liability insurance policy.

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1999 3 years, 1 month ago

mttrecker...there IS an excellent BMX park at howelsen. it is located down a short dirt path by the skate park

they have a race series and a training series every week.

it's ABA approved and designed.

tons of work was put into builing it and tons of work is put into maintaining it and making it a great place for family style fun.

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2011/aug/07/racing-gets-down-dirty-and-fun-steamboat-bmx-track/

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2011/aug/02/flying-wheels-host-bmx-event-steamboat/

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Brant McLaughlin 3 years, 1 month ago

I've seen those bike jumps someone dug into the hillside between the bowling alley and West End Village. I'd be suprised if someone actually had permission to build those. That's probably in the CDOT right-of-way so if someone gets hurt it's the state that will get the bill. I live in Steamboat II and I barely remember the bike park you're talking about. I'd hardly call that a park. More like a bunch of dirt mounds where some bmx'ers had their version of a pump track. It's been less than ten years since they tore it out. Seems like it was bulldozed the year after we moved in. Probably 2003.

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mtroach 3 years, 1 month ago

Anyone know the vote's outcome? Why is the Pilot covering the meeting's agenda but not the outcome?

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exduffer 3 years, 1 month ago

Still no minutes posted online from the meeting.

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