Peter Boniface: Project can have impact

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On Tuesday night in Centennial Hall, we heard many spirited debates for and against the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance initiative. I have called Steamboat home for more than 20 years, and although I am a cyclist, I am first and foremost a father and a businessman. The lodging tax is to be distributed to the programs that the committee feels will generate the largest increase in lodging sales and generate more tax dollars for the city, that the city can then reinvest in other programs.

I am a huge fan of the arts, the Chief Theater, rodeo, Howelsen Hill fields, the Yampa River, etc., and I think we should try to support them all as a community. The fact is, however, that Steamboat is what it is today because of the ski area and the tourism that it has generated. We are a ski town. Our ranching and Western heritage are great, but Walden and Craig have great Western heritage, too. Walden and Craig, for example, have beautiful mountains, rivers, rodeo, elk hunting, etc., but take a look at their downtowns. The Trails Alliance project can have an equal impact on the arts, downtown economy, rodeo, etc., as skiing has done. Let’s be real, you are not going to book an arts trip to Steamboat Springs, just like you would not book a ski or cycling trip to New York City. A rising tide will float all boats.

Peter Boniface

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Scott Wedel 1 year, 3 months ago

Paul,

The basic problem is that all the projects over promise. Even the golf course causes few tourists to come here to primarily play golf. It is heavily used by locals. Tourists are more likely to enjoy a round of golf while here than come here in order to play Haymaker. I think all of the proposals have serious issues and none will be a driving factor to increase tourism.

The bike trails should not have been promoted as inspiring tons of tourists to come here. The sort of trails that might be hoped to bring tourists could be the extreme trails of interest to a very select few. I think a basic trail network are more likely to be of more benefit to the community and to be used by tourists, but won't cause tourists to come here just for the trials. But would be noted as making Sb a bit nicer of a place to visit or live so it can still be a worthwhile economic investment.

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mike sharkey 1 year, 3 months ago

I do not know who Paul is, but I think Pete makes some valid points.

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jerry carlton 1 year, 3 months ago

Peter, Paul, and John were three of the most important humans to have ever lived. They wrote three books of the Bible.

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Robin Craigen 1 year, 3 months ago

You only have to go to a community that has committed to cycling tourism to see that there is serious merit to the opportunity of the Bike Town USA vision (Fruita/Moab/Glentress, Scotland, Whistler BC - to name a few). We have not dreamed this up by ourselves, and we can argue that while we are following the success of others, that dos not mean we cannot ultimately lead as a World-class bike town and cycling destination. We have everything that it would take...we just have to do it (and fund it).

IMBA representatives, who see the breadth of trails and epic rides across the USA, who first came to Steamboat 3 - 4 years ago, have told us that we don't know what we have if we cannot see the potential of our trails. We have many exceptional rides to offer already, but we can be a much better destination. An half-cocked under funded attempt will only allow others to challenge for the top spot that we seek.

The Trails Alliance proposal will also seek to leverage the tax dollars through grant matching and outside funding - significantly upping the opportunity for the community to pul funds for improvements from sources outside our boundaries. Trails funding is one of the most accessible opportunities out there.

Let's not "miss the boat" on this one...

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Matt Hightower 1 year, 3 months ago

Peter,Thanks for writing that, as a business owner in town maybe people will listen. Robyn thanks for your hard work as well. And Scott you seem to be on the page that bike trails are good for us "locals" but will not bring in any tourists...... Do you bike or mountain bike? CUZ I plan trips all over based on towns having sweet trails. 5 weeks of trips allready planned for this summer, but I guess mtn bikers don't spend money ..... Just wait a lil bit, instead of making these predictions. and nobody likes a negative nancy . Have a Great,safe and fun Memorial day weekend Teamboat! GO RIDE!!

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