Riders envision better skate park, track

When skateboard park and BMX track users in Steamboat Springs dream about the future, they see a variety of obstacles and more bumps in the road.

And they smile.

To help make those visions of a phatter park and trickier track a reality, local skaters and bike riders are counting on money from the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

Cassandra Krause and Mike Andrews presented proposals to improve the park and track to the ski corp.'s Contribution Committee this week. Each year, the committee allocates $75,000 to different projects in Steamboat Springs. This year, 13 different groups asked for money.

Andrews and Krause requested $20,000. Half would go to the skateboard park and half to the BMX track.

"I felt pretty good about it," Krause said. "Overall, I think we got our point across that it would really benefit our community if we got these facilities up to standards."

For more than a year, volunteers have done upgrades on both parks near Howelsen Hill downtown, with help from Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation.

Andrews and Josh Kaufman have spent their own time and money to better the skateboard park.

Over at the BMX track, Steamboat Springs High School students did some renovations this summer.

"We are absolutely supportive of the grant money they are seeking and the work they are trying to get done there," said Mike McCannon, parks facility supervisor of Steamboat Springs.

Chris Wilson, director of Parks, Recreation and Open Space for the city, recognized that work needed to be done at the skate park in August, but said then the city didn't have the money in the budget to fix the ramps.

If Krause and Andrews do get the ski corp. money, they're planning to build a variety of new ramps in the skatepark and give the old ones to the town of Hayden for its park, Krause said.

At the BMX track, the money would pay for another layer of clay, a larger jump and construction of a judge's platform.

Krause said he wants to bring the track up to national standards so it can be used for official BMX competitions during the summer.

The Contribution Committee, which has seven appointed members coming from the Steamboat Chamber Resort Association, Arts Council, Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and the general public, will decide if the project will get funded Monday.

However, the decision won't be released to the public until the Steamboat Springs City Council approves the funding.

It might be three week until that happens, city staff assistant Kim Symala said.

Other projects proposed to the committee on Thursday included recreational trails on Emerald Mountain, tree planting on the Yampa River and public art purchases.

To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206

or e-mail dcrowl@amigo.net

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