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Vying for lodging tax dollars

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The Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance’s proposed hiking and biking trails would satisfy locals and visitors, but for many in Steamboat who have been following the tax debate with a vested interest in one of the proposals, the luxury of a win-win scenario is elusive. Photo by John F. Russell

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Diners enjoy the riverfront patio at Sweetwater Grill. Proponents of the Yampa River promenade say it will be a tourist draw year round, and the project will be matched by private investment from downtown business owners. Photo by Scott Franz

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Lindsay Wilkop bikes up Emerald Mountain on Thursday afternoon. The Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance believes adding new hiking and biking trails to the city and surrounding areas is the best use of the lodging tax, and has the most potential to attract tourists. Photo by Scott Franz

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A cyclist enjoys the vast sprawl of Emerald Mountain. The Morning Gloria Trail on Emerald is one of the top priorities of the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance. Photo by Scott Franz

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If the Yampa Street promenade is selected to receive a portion of the accommodations tax dollars, planners say the project could be completed as early as fall 2015. It would entail adding four new riverside parks, each with a different purpose, on Sixth, Seventh, Ninth and 10th streets. Downtown Revitalization Partnership/Courtesy

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Stand on a bluff at the north end of downtown, and you can see Yampa Street in all its glory. Kayakers play in the rapids as cyclists and walkers stroll down a street full of restaurants, bars and tubing outfitters. Photo by Scott Franz

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Sunbathers enjoy drinks at The Boathouse Pub on Thursday along the Yampa River. The Yampa River promenade would add several new riverfront parks to the street and make it more pedestrian friendly. Photo by Scott Franz

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If you can look closely, you can see this trail near Howelsen Hill is used by cyclists, horseback riders, dogs and hikers. Photo by Scott Franz

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