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Old 04-10-2013   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 117
The Deal with the South Platte Hotel

So I got in touch with Neil Sperandeo, the Denver Water Director of Recreation about the South Platte Hotel (and maybe a waterton Race/festival). First the hotel. It was last used as a fly fishing shop (that didn't do well at all) in the 1960s when Denver Water bought it as part of a big land deal to prepare for the Two Forks Dam. About 7 years ago they got some architects to take a look at restoration and the recommendation was "Pull the walls off, demolish the inside, build a new building in its place, and reattach the walls" For $1-1.5 Million. With the traffic that site gets there is no business plan which pays for that. He didn't outright say it but it sounds like they are just waiting for it to fall down so they could remove it without anyone getting too upset.

So that brought me to a second conversation about using the area as a festival grounds/camping area. Neil sounded very interested and excited about the idea (as the Director of Recreation would) but did mention that safety and security are the 2 biggest concerns they have and would need some time to talk to all the relevant stakeholders. I'll be putting together a proposal for a small event to try it out for late this year. I'm imagining camping on the South Platte Hotel site, a race down Waterton (maybe with a shuttle ATV+trailer for that road) and some food and beer.

Any festival organizers have any advice? Feel free to PM me or email me

Whitewater Map American Whitewater river info you can use.
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Old 04-10-2013   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 26
I think a Deckers 3 person tube team race would be a good addition to your Waterton event.


Must start with a 12 pack (minimum).

Save 3 beers for the finish. (this would be true test of discipline)

Have to finish as a team within 10-15 ft. One person doesn't finish, team is disqualified.

Walk, jog, run to designated finish point and shotgun beers.

Maybe have different classes: Coed (one girl), seniors (over 30), open, college teams, etc.

Have ambulance ready at the takeout. Safety volunteers at the Chutes?

This would bring out the best conditioned tubers in the state of Colorado!


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Old 04-10-2013   #3
adgeiser's Avatar
Denver,, exhaustion
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 578
Damn! when did i become a senior?

Do we qualify for discounts now too?
"We should restore the practice of dueling. It might improve manners around here" -Edward Abbey
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Old 04-10-2013   #4
piobeyr's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 20
What about a race down Foxton? or some kind of attainment race?
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Old 04-10-2013   #5
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
The hike out has to be part of any Waterton race - it's always the most memorable part of the run.
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Old 04-10-2013   #6
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 37
I agree with Brian- include the hike out in the race.
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Old 04-10-2013   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
My advice... do something low key, non-official, and non-Denver Water sanctioned. Set a date, rally some buzzards, cookout at the put in. You will have max fun and minimum hassle doing it this way. A good analog might be the informal new years day paddle on shoshone. People pump it up on the buzz, show up, have fun, and you don't have to deal with the hassles of trying to make something official with permits, lawyers, etc.

Trying to get Denver Water on board and getting it through thier legal folks to camp at a dilapidated (read: unsafe) structure sounds like a non-starter to me. Rec guy might be cool, but lawyers will rain on your parade. If you do try, expect to pony up insurance etc. which costs a lot of money and is a hassle.

Camping down there is tough. Its strictly prohibited and enforced, except in the one campground up the river on the main stem. Also, expect confrontations with the locals down there. I'd be surprised in you got the OK to camp down there. Denver Water is very choosy about this kind of stuff, and they worry about setting a precedent. If you camp there, then they have to let the fishermen do it, and on an on. Never hurts to ask though.

If you want to camp out... best option might be buffalo creek dispersed camping. Its a drive from waterton, but its free unpermitted dispersed camping that you don't ahve to ask anybody for. As long as you have under 75 people you don't need a permit from the forest service. You'd need to get there early and snag a spot. Thats what I did for the first Bailey Fest.

I'd choose a time when nothing else is going and folks are looking for fun. Septermber would probably be prime for that. Choose a date, grab a bunch of beer, load the grill and some BBQ fixins, and have a spontaneous takeout party. Thats what you really want to do anyway. Trying to get denver water to give you permission to do so is probably the most difficult way to go about it.
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Old 04-18-2013   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
race options

This is not the first time somebody thought of racing Waterton and one or both forks...Waterton races /comps could be 1) just paddling 2) paddle and carry back 3) rodeo of some sort 4) Foxton Marathon from Buffalo Creek thru Waterton w /wo carry back 5) relays of some sort

I already gave the "can you beat the old man in a ducky down Foxton. " challenge to Baileyfester's last year...most of you are half my age but noone knows the run better and am in the fastest can scoff af that but I will run it in a creek boat too and know the Force will be better time...Joe pros will whip my ass of course but Joe blows and plain Jane's bring it on...suggested a Ben Hur /Pallio style demolition ducky race with full face helmets and extra padding for Lyons fest apx. 10 years ago, was NOT well reveived..they 've got insurance and what not...keep it informal on Deckers or lower Foxton ...listen to Ian he knows all to well the wranglings involved and is also responsible. for somehow securing us 700 cfs for our informal event ..making good. Bailey boaters very happy and Foxton optimal
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Old 04-18-2013   #9
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
If I make it to Baileyfest this year I will race you on Foxton Jay. I will bring my buddy's Laser that I used to race at Fibark a couple years ago. Once you get it up to speed that thing cruises.
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 04-18-2013   #10
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
ok should come run it sometime other than Baileyfest if it ever runs above 500 or so ..a lot more fun than 350..not far from BV...I gotta start getting back to the Ark and Poudre more...

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