My comments to the editor are three-fold.
First, instead of more, more, more, we — the Steamboat Pilot & Today Editorial Board, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and the Steamboat residents — need to take a broader, more long-term look at the big picture of Steamboat’s very diverse economy.
The list of summer activities is long. The reasons visitors come and residents stay are varied (reference the Dec. 15 Sunday Steamboat Pilot & Today articles on location-neutral businesses and the Steamboat Springs City Council’s recent approval of long-term financing for trails and for the re-development of Yampa Street).
Tourism is, indeed, a large part of our economy, and Triple Crown is a large part of that tourism in the summer. However, neither are they the only “rodeo” in town. Triple Crown is having an emergency about providing fields for the burgeoning girls’ slow pitch softball group. But that does not mean that Steamboat Springs needs to, or would even be able to, fix their emergency.
In my opinion, the most important thing our Chamber, media and leaders need to do is to build and maintain a balance within our diverse economy.
My next point is that a large and growing number of visitors and residents enjoy doing quiet things in and around town such as fly fishing the Yampa River, visiting the Yampa River Botanic Park or having a multi-generational picnic in Emerald Park.
The Pilot and the Chamber should not encourage or allow Triple Crown to bully this segment of our residents and visitors who enjoy the quiet beauty of our Valley. They are an important part of the balance of our diverse economy.
Lastly, we heard Triple Crown say they need more fields, and we heard Frank Dolman, of the Parks and Recreation Commission, ask if building more fields would help. The answer, of course, was “yes!” If the voters were to approve a Parks and Recreation District, that body could look county-wide for an appropriate place to build more fields and it could also finance that construction.
As a community, let’s move in that direction!