Staghorn Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2012
Tnx. for that heads up. We were back east during all that.
Yes, there's an fine opportunity here for GJ to up their ROI on all that's been done so far. Seems to me that some areas between 9th and 1st could become a magnet for Main and surrounding businesses. IMO GJ has done a nice job so far with Main, Riverside Pkwy., 6/50 upgrades.
Seems like down in there is potential for a magnetic river park by connecting some dots. With the downtown hotel beds, restaurants, potential for more parking, proximity of shopping, GJ seems to have a lot already going and a park would/could be a flagship. Wouldn't everyone benefit if it's done well, taxpayers (thus GJ, too), retail and commercial businesses in that area, tourist money would likely increase, Pete might benefit from being close, crime probably would drop for the reason you describe. Those of us within reasonable drivetime would be there a lot (if the WW features were well designed) so our bucks flow in (meals, fuel, shopping).
From a rail tourist's perspective, cleaning up and making the Pufferbelly/Amtrak area safer would be very welcome.
Re East of town, WW park on its own doesn't seem to add up. Palisade doesn't have the magnets GJ does, and it'd be nice to see Palisade keep the Sonoma flavor, IMO. Going out there enhances the GJ experience. Got to do something for more than just a small number of Buzzard types.
Perhaps a model on a smaller scale is Salida because of the variety of attractions there and close by. BV is another model, excellent one, and parts of which I'd like to see GJ copy. For example, taking the 9th to 1st area and turning that into a mix of high-density residential, more boutique retail, perhaps a Senior-oriented, pedestrian community as has become so popular elsewhere. I'd get a townhouse on the river in a heartbeat. Would prefer BV but for the need for medical resources. Something like what Boise is doing, for example.
I know some GJ business owners gripe about continuing road construction, some of the landscaping regs, etc., and yes, some prefer the days when all there was was Gay Johnson's, but population increase is inevitable. Why not make it more pleasant, which I think GJ has done so far from a non-resident's perspective. It's only going to become a more & more popular geezer community because of climate, medical, scenery/rec., etc. Population increase will offset any global warming temp rise (if it works that way) for quite a while.
But along with this, we all have to pitch in and try to mitigate the negatives of Thompson Divide, Rifle, Silt, North Fork, all the energy negative pressures. Go for the energy that's needed for a very long time, IMO, but work hard toward "cleaning" it up, especially the politics. Getting full disclosure on leases, protecting agriculture and water, for example.
Rant over. Hope all you guys down there do what you can to raise buzz about cleaning up that area as you describe. We'll do what we can from here