Could a whitewater park be done in CO? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-04-2005   #1
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Could a whitewater park be done in CO?

Would it be possible to make a white water park, such as the one in Athens, in Colorado? I know we have a lot of cool places already but I think it would be pretty cool to have a place like Water World, but for kayakers. Aside from the money issue would this be possible. You could sell a pass to recoup money spent and whatever else would need to be done. I have heard this is in consideration in Flagstaff, AZ. I don't think it would get to crowded because of the many options during the season but it would be nice for other points in the year.

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Old 09-04-2005   #2
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You build it and they will come. I being one of them. We have talked about asking water world if they would let us in on the last day of the year they are open. Something like that. But i tell you this if i didn't have to ski in the winter i wouldn't. I just do it to pass the time.
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Old 09-05-2005   #3
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IF you are going to do a closed circuit pumped whitewater course in CO, I think it should definetly be an indoor facility. If you did that, you would do quite well since there are alot of us that would love to get our boating fix in the middle of winter. Hell, if people are willing to spend 350-1000 bucks on a ski pass, I would imagine that they would be willing to spend similar amounts on a season pass to an indoor whitewater course. Otherwise, I'm not sure that kind of course has much more to offer then the existing river fed courses.

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Old 09-05-2005   #4
Evergreen, Colorado
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So here are some random questions around this whole topic?

I thought that the one in athens had some kind of assistance from the tide?

How many CFS do you think Disaster Canyon at Elitches flows? I think that a theme park in Atlanta opened theirs up for olympians to train or something like that? Is the one in Charlotte going to be a closed circuit?

I know that a place in LA has opened up two artificial waves similiar to the one at Water World. Even though they are really probably too shallow for Kayakers maybe their is something to be learned from the commercial aspect of wha they are doing.

This is a fun topic I think.

If we can find a pump that could provide anywhere from 400- 600 CFS and pump it up to a hight of around 10-20 feet that would be really cool I think.... Is that even possible?

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Old 09-05-2005   #5
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oh thats possible, they've done it at the last two Olympic venues, and now the Charlotte park too. The one in Athens (the greek variety not the southern american one) used Sea water since it was the closest available large water source. The Penrith Whitewater stadium has a standing pool that doubled as the Crew venue to feed theirs. I'm not sure about total flow for those parks, but I do know that its more then substantial for their needs. The Athens park had a ton of water going down it. The coolest part about it was that at one point the river goes over a bridge over itself.

Another option is to do releases, meaning hold back the water in a catching pool at the top until it gets high enough and then let the water go. This would reduce the amount of water you would have to pump on the go but at the sake of only being able to boat in 15ish minute increment or something.

I think an indoor whitewater park would be a viable business in Colorado. You'd likely have to open it to more then just kayakers though, as we are only of limited numbers. As much as I hate to say it, Raft trips down through there would make it much more financially viable. I guess this topic begs the question, how much would you all pay to use an indoor whitewater park?


p.s. I think they should make a super clean 15-20 foot waterfall on the course too. JH

p.p.s As for the Elitches "river ride" part, the time they did it in Atlanta was when that area was in drought and the traditional course didn't have enough water, so it was an act of desperation since people from all over the world had showed already. Its only been done once as far as I know, and didn't get a whole lot of favorable mention. Hehee....funniest part I heard about was that they had a gate right after the dark tunnel, and nearly everyone missed it since they got blinded coming out of it. One cool thing is that it probably offered some of the best spectating ever for a slalom event. JH
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Old 09-05-2005   #6
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Check out this park! If anyone is interested in actually pursuing something like this I'd be really interested in getting involved
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Old 09-05-2005   #7
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I think this is a really cool idea and I would definately pay for a pass to a place like this. I think my cost threshold would be around $300-$400, depending on how close it is to home (and how good it is). I thought the idea of releasing water in spurts was an interesting concept. I know on the Madawaska River in Ontario, the dam releases the majority of their water from 8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. to maximize the recreational use of the water. So, on a large scale I know that the idea works. However, I don't know how large of a holding tank would be required for a sustained flow of an hour or more. If the intervals were any less than an hour you would definately face some serious crowding problems, though. Also, would the ski areas have issues with water going to purposes other than snowmaking? If this could be done so that most of the water is continuously recycled, I don't think this would be an issue. Anyway, really cool idea.

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Old 09-05-2005   #8
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The ski areas would be the least of our worries when it came to water use, as they have virtually no water rights themselves (they are allowed to borrow the water for the winter, as all they are doing is spraying it on the side of a mountain and then letting it drain back into the river they take it from). Its more the agricultural interests you would have to worry about here, but I don't think it would be an issue. If the water is collected and then kept until it is put back into the water system, then its usually not an issue (Water World for instance).

If you were gonna do it, you'd just have it be a continually recirculating stream that flows down to a catch pool where it is pumped back up to the top again. In order for this project to be able to work financially, I think it would almost have to be in the Front range rather then in the mountains. I just don't think there is enough boaters in any single area to justify the large expense of building this kind of thing.

As for releasing in spurts, it would have to be a huge catch pool to do this. Just think....if you wanted it to go for an hour at 400cfs, that means that the pool would have to hold 1,440,000 cubic feet of water, which is a ton. You'd also have to have an equally large resevoir for it to go pool up in the bottom. You'd have to reduce it down to significantly less flow or less time (I will admit that I didn't think about this when I mentioned it earlier) then would be desirable. Fortunetly there are pumps that could handle this kind of thing, but they are huge and expensive and cost a decent amount to power, but its been deemed worthy in other cities so its probably something that could do well here.

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Old 09-05-2005   #9
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How about having a kayak day at Waterworld when it would otherwise be closed. Perhaps we can convince Waterworld to do it or someone can rent it for a day.

Do it on a warm day in October or perhaps April. Us Colorado boaters are used to the cold. So what if it is only 50-60 degrees outside.
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Old 09-06-2005   #10
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That would be sweet...I doubt the suits would let it fly, though. Liability and all that jazz.
I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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