Whitewater park may be near Midland bridge
Glenwood Springs’ whitewater park committee may have finally come up with a home for whitewater in town. Last week, the group searched for opposition to its newest proposed location during a public meeting, but came up empty-handed.The committee’s newest idea is to put a whitewater park near or downstream of the Midland Avenue bridge on the Colorado River in west Glenwood. The committee discovered city-owned land near the bridge that they may be able to turn into a parking lot, which would provide access to a whitewater feature under the bridge. The committee has also talked to property owners downstream of the bridge – Kum & Go, Dairy Queen, Quality Inn, and local rafting companies – about providing access to a park from their businesses, the group said Thursday evening.Originally the committee had hoped to put a park in the river along Two Rivers Park, but decided against that location after the Hot Springs Pool raised concerns about damage to its aquifer. The Hot Springs will still have engineers look at the whitewater park’s design, but they are more comfortable with the new location, John Bosco, the pool’s assistant general manager, said.Committee member Brian Hart said he’d spoken with two of the three owners of Quality Inn, who offered to let whitewater park users walk to the river through its parking lot. Quality Inn owners weren’t available for comment as of press time. The only concerned businesses, Hart said, are four rafting companies that share ownership of Glenwood Canyon River Park, which they use as a take-out and to house equipment.”I want this thing to be successful, but I just have some concerns,” said Gary Hansen, owner of Blue Sky Adventures, one of the companies that owns the park.Hansen mentioned concerns about dogs and parking, but declined to comment further until he had a chance to meet with the whitewater park committee.Some business owners along the new stretch are welcoming the group.Linda Jean, the food manager at Kum & Go, said her store is “100 percent” behind the new location. The park will bring more visitors to town, which is always good for business. After years of searching for a location, the committee is optimistic. Along with business support, the group members thought the bike path and greenery along that stretch of river would help the park immensely.”Everything looks really, really positive,” Hart said. “(The park) looks completely doable, and it looks completely doable immediately.”
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Policy that dictates what for-profit activities should be officially sanctioned within Glenwood Springs parks is being reviewed by city staff and will likely come before the city council for final approval later this summer.