Frisco looks to boost recreation offerings | AspenTimes.com

Frisco looks to boost recreation offerings

Bob Berwyn
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

FRISCO, Colo. – Residents and visitors could soon be sledding and jibbing in an expanded recreation area on the Frisco Peninsula. Plans include enlargement of the skate park, as well as a BMX and mountain bike terrain park. A new lodge building and a small ice skating rink may also be in the cards.

The town recently finalized designs for the improvements, and there’s strong community support for expanding recreational amenities, said Town Manager Michael Penny.

“The peninsula recreation area is the capstone,” Penny said. The Town Council previously asked staff to move ahead with the plans, contingent on upcoming budget discussions in October, he added.

“They’re excited about this, but obviously concerned about spending money in this economic climate,” Penny added.

The overall price tag for improvements at the 220-acre recreation area is about $5.5 million. The town also holds a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service on 565 acres of national forest land adjacent to the town’s recreation area.

With the final designs in hand, town staff is now recommending to move ahead with the first phase of the plans as soon as 2010. That includes utilities and infrastructure, a BMX/mountain bike park, about half of the planned new parking, a new lodge building, as well as a tubing hill and a small jib park with a magic carpet surface lift.

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Penny said the council expects the enhancements will draw new visitors to town.

Tubing has been a big draw at local ski areas the past few years. Penny said Copper Mountain has done well with its tubing hill. Keystone even reopened a tubing area late last spring after the ski season ended, and plans to do the same thing at the end of the coming season.

The recreation area will operated by the town as an enterprise similar to the marina and staffed by town employees. Money from the town’s capital fund would be used to set up the enterprise fund, then repaid from recreation revenues, Penny said. The operation would run solely on fee-based revenue.

“There would be no impact to the general fund,” Penny said.

Penny said the town is also eyeing snowmaking at the peninsula to ensure consistent winter operations. To that end, the town has been working on an agreement with Denver to develop water rights in addition to its existing rights for domestic use.

bberwyn@summitdaily.com

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