Avon Considers Turning Stretch Of River Into Water Park - Mountain Buzz

Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Whitewater Boating > Whitewater Kayaking

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-03-2005   #1
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 263
Avon Considers Turning Stretch Of River Into Water Park

Just saw this in the news:


The public hearing on the proposal June 14

I don't know what the sentiment is for this among non-boaters, or even boaters for that matter (i.e. good/bad idea, good/bad location, get them property-rights violatin' freaks outa here!, etc.), but the hearing is the place to show support if anybody can attend.

Jay H is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 06-03-2005   #2
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 970
Source: Vail Daily 6/3/2005

AVON - Avon wants to turn five miles of the Eagle River from Eagle-Vail to Edwards into a world-class water park that will attract kayakers, rafters and fishermen and provide a boon to the local economy.

To pull-off the plan, the town will need the help and money of other community organizations to help re-sculpt parts of the river from the I-70 bridge at Eagle-Vail to the Miller Creek Bridge in Edwards. Proponents estimate the project will cost $800,000 but will create an economic bonanza.

Water users ranging from fishermen to floaters say the proposal is a winner.

"One thing this will do is to make the Vail Valley a whitewater destination stop," said Darryl Bangert of Lakota Guides, a local rafting company. "It ties in with the Teva Games. Front Range paddlers will find out what waves are working through moutainbuzz.com."

In a preliminary report, a design team said the river has "world-class potential" because of its constant grade and a boulder-strewn streambottom that helps create good kayaking, rafting and fishing conditions. The "boatability" of the river could be improved by building four or more structures to impede the flow of the river, forming standing waves and slower-moving eddys. Those waves attract kayakers seeking to surf them.

A good $ idea

The reason behind the park? Money. Water enthusiasts spend freely, the Avon report states. A whitewater park created in Golden on Clear Creek, which cost $165,000 to build, generates an estimated $1.4 million to $2 million annually for the area.

"We've looked at other parks and they're generating to the economy - within a one-to two-year period - the lifelong cost of the improvements," said Larry Brooks, Avon town manager. "We're seeing a great return economically."

Finding money to construct structures and other facilities - including parking and changing areas for users - will require a joint effort between the town, county, local homeowner groups and other special districts and organizations, the report stated.

One of the wave-producing "drop structures" will be built beneath "Bob," Avon's famous bridge. Others will be built in Eagle-Vail and Edwards.

"Bob the Bridge is the conceptual whitewater centerpiece with an emphasis on accommodating spectators and having the potential for world-class whitewater competitions and events," the study concluded.

When properly designed, drop structures can provide paddling and surfing challenges over a wide range of flows, Bangert said.

Second go-'round

It's not a new idea, but because of the increasing popularity of kayaking, it could be one idea whose time has arrived. Nearly 20 years ago a similar effort was made, but it failed, said Bangert.

"Twenty years ago people weren't ready to listen, and kayaking wasn't big enough," he said. "Now the time has come."

The early efforts failed because the drop structures built to create waves in Eagle-Vail and Avon weren't properly constructed and didn't work, Bangert said. The idea to try it again grew out of a conversation several months ago between Avon Mayor Ron Wolfe and Councilman Brian Sipes.

Part of the conceptual plan calls for development of put-in and take-out access points and areas for parking, too.

An added benefit of the project would stem from the increased attention the river would receive.

"Because there would be more attention on the river, it would raise awareness," said Caroline Bradford, executive director of the Eagle River Watershed Council, a river watchdog group. "It's a terrific idea."

Studies conducted elsewhere on similar river recreation projects seem to show it helps the fishing, too, said Bill Perry of Flyfishing Outfitters in Avon.

"By adding structure to the river you increase the habitat and holding capacity for fish," he said, adding that fish in some stretches of the river could be protected by catch-and-release regulations. Perry also said he believes the proposal could become an economic generator for the county's economy.

Avon, East West Partners and Vail Resorts - all of which own land along the river - contributed the $5,000 for the initial study, said Brooks.

The proposal will receive a public airing June 14 when the Avon Town Council discusses the particulars of the project.

"You're going to be hard-pressed to find people who don't like the idea of enhancing the river," Brooks said. "It's more than a recreational park. It covers everything from flyfishing to aquatic life and health to inner tubing and boating. It's a much broader thing."

Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or [email protected].

Vail, Colorado
WhiteLightning is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does the Avon WW Park look promising? eklars Whitewater Kayaking 2 11-20-2006 09:54 AM
Meeting tonight for Avon White water park EagleCountyPaddler Whitewater Kayaking 0 08-08-2006 02:01 PM
Avon Whitewater Park EagleCountyPaddler Whitewater Kayaking 0 07-31-2006 10:54 PM
New Park in Avon? cooutdoor Whitewater Kayaking 4 01-24-2006 12:21 PM
Avon WW Park WhiteLightning Whitewater Kayaking 3 07-11-2005 11:49 AM

» Classified Ads
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.