Amaze’n |


Planning costs may derail park's bumper boat, climbing wall plan

Christine Metz

— In an effort to boost revenue, Amaze’n Steamboat could see bumper boats and a climbing wall added to its miniature golf course and giant human maze park.

The final development plan will come before City Council Tuesday night for a 2,300-square-foot bumper boat pond and a 24-foot high climbing wall at the recreation site along U.S. 40 and behind the Chamber Resort Association building.

But owner Greg Gallavan said that increasing costs from the planning process, such as added sidewalks and planning fees, might keep him from actually building the addition.

Gallavan said the unanticipated costs might make the addition, expected to cost less than $40,000, not profitable.

Gallavan had planned to build the boat pond and climbing wall before the start of the summer, but if approved, the construction for the project would hold off until at least next year. The building permit would be good for three years, Gallavan said.

The added attractions, which Gallavan said are at the base of other ski areas, are intended to boost sales, which have not met expectations in the six summer seasons the miniature golf course and human maze have operated.

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“We’ve done well, but we have not done what we have projected,” Gallavan said. “These will just be additional activities.”

With four activities to choose from, Gallavan said visitors might be enticed to buy full-day or half-day passes, a feature that not currently offered. Although Gallavan said customers might increase slightly, the real objective of the addition is to get customers to visit the park longer and spend more money. The two new facilities, development plans note, would only increase capacity by 13 to 14 percent.

“Mostly we’re trying to get more (visitors) to spend more time and money with us,” Gallavan said.Plans for the bumper boat pond call for eight electric boats that would have rides for about five minutes each. The boats would also have squirt guns, Gallavan said.

The portable climbing wall will be made of structural steel and fiberglass composite material. Put away during winter months, the climbing wall will stand at 24 feet and have three climbing routes.

Amaze’n Steamboat operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day and is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Gallavan has a five-year lease agreement with the Chamber Resort Association for the land and the Chamber has given the addition its blessing.

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