Letter: Water Capital of the West
Finally, an idea worthy of the outstanding community resource we have in confluence park. The value and power of a river confluence cannot be underestimated. They have been held sacred to peoples all over the world. Numerous confluence restoration and projects, past and present have been undertaken or are in progress throughout our nation as people recognize the immense value of these limited, rare areas. Our local Ute Indians can certainly help explain the issue for us.
We are offered an immensely powerful concept for our park. This project idea could make Glenwood Springs the Water Capital of Western America. The proposed educational and historical center would be unique in the country. The tourist-friendly educational anchor, envisioned here for the revitalization of downtown Glenwood Springs, is a far more vital and powerful economic engine than yet another shopping center in a community already full of empty storefronts and a failing shopping mall.
Here is an idea that creates rather than destroys. An idea that repurposes a unique existing facility into a special park with a major educational bent. Think about it, The Water Exploratory, to be installed in the old water treatment building, alone is intended to draw 150,000-plus visitors to the south side of the river, downtown, Glenwood Springs. Numbers in excess of this are already present on the north side of the river.
Best hopes include moving the Glenwood Springs Historical Society Museum into the confluence complex to sweeten the pot and share in the draw. Today the museum sees about 2,000 visitors a year at $4 a head. What would 100,000 visitors at $5 a head do for the bottom line and quality of this valuable facility? Adding a planetarium to the mix ensures and educational center for Western Slope children that will be second to none. While this outstanding and unusual project will certainly need some support and money from the city to start, about the same money being proposed to destroy the buildings, it is intended to pay its own way in the long run, http://www.confluencepark.org.
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