Nate Bird: Vote Yes on 2A
October 2, 2013
I am writing in support of Vote Yes on 2A for Trails and Yampa River Park, an initiative that will only continue to support the key driver of revenue to our town — tourism. It is plainly obvious the benefits this town sees from cycling tourism, and expanding the offerings that draw them here is economic common sense. Events such as Bike Week, the USA Pro Challenge, the Steamboat Stinger and the Steamboat Springs Stage Race, among many other events, make it clearly evident the economic gains we see from hosting these events.
Cyclists travel for spectating, riding and racing hence also buying lodging, frequenting restaurants, patronizing bike shops and all other local businesses as they peruse our little piece of mountain paradise. Though my personal interests lie in cycling, 2A spans far beyond just serving the interests of cyclists. It will help entice tourism from all types of outdoor enthusiasts.
As a member of the Steamboat community who truly cares about the viability and success of our town and our lifestyle, an avid cyclist, as well as an employee of a local company in the cycling/outdoor industry that employs over 80 local residents, I only can see positives coming from the passing of 2A.
First of all, it does not cost the residents of Steamboat Springs anything; this is not a new tax or a tax on residents — the visitors to our town pay a tax on their lodging costs that goes to fund this initiative. In the past few years, we have seen a huge growth in bike tourism and continuing to build upon our amazing trail network will only further bill Steamboat as a year-round, world-class tourist destination.
Furthermore, the Yampa River Park will build more public amenities to enhance the beauty of our downtown area and provide both tourists and residents alike a place to relax and enjoy themselves after participating in the activities they traveled here to engage in. The riverfront will be enjoyed by absolutely everyone who comes into town to participate in the myriad diverse events that take place here during the course of any given year; it a huge value-added asset that will be added to any tourist's Steamboat experience.
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This tax has proven itself more than valuable to our economy and quality of life in the past as evidenced by the Haymaker golf facility as well as the tennis facility. This is not a tax for the benefit of any one interest group of locals — it benefits everyone in Steamboat.
By passing 2A and ensuring funding for significant community upgrades both to town and trails for 10 years, we are making moves to bring more money from more demographics of tourists to our town. This is just my humble opinion, but I 100 percent feel that passing this measure is a way to help continue our quality of life and bring in the tourism dollars that allow our community to exist and thrive. If you truly care about Steamboat and our economic future, please vote "yes" on 2A.