Glenwood Springs prepares for U.S. kayak team trials |

Glenwood Springs prepares for U.S. kayak team trials

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The 2009 U.S. Freestyle Kayak Team Trials are less than a month away, and Glenwood Whitewater Events president Davis Farrar says Glenwood Springs is ready.

“I think it’s going to be a really great thing for Glenwood and the valley,” Farrar said.

He said that depending on how well the event goes, local nonprofit Glenwood Whitewater Events may pursue hosting the 2013 World Freestyle Kayak Championships.

“That is a very impressive event,” Farrar said. “But we’ve got a feature that is good enough for it.”

The Team Trials are the precursor for the World Championships, which will be held in Thun, Switzerland, in August.

The freestyle Team Trials, May 30 and 31, are expected to draw 2,000 to 3,000 people, including spectators and competitors, to the town’s whitewater park on the Colorado River.

“They will be, certainly, the top boaters in the U.S.,” Farrar said. “And because they are the best in the U.S. they will certainly be some of the strongest in the world.”

Logistically, parking will be the biggest challenge. Farrer is still working out the details, but there will be no on-site parking. The plan is for a main event parking area at Two Rivers Park with bus shuttles running every half-hour down Devereux Road to the whitewater park, located in West Glenwood.

Parking at Two Rivers Park, however, is expected to fill up quickly because Operation Vacation is holding its annual fundraiser, the seventh annual Yagatta Regatta, on the same weekend.

So, Farrar is working on a second parking option, he said, but nothing is confirmed yet.

“We are encouraging people to ride bikes to the event. It will be a good way to get around.”

Crowds could be an issue as well, but Farrar isn’t too worried. There is enough room on both banks to accommodate spectators, he said.

The nonprofit received a $20,000 tourism grant from the Glenwood Springs City Council to help pay for capital improvements at the site and event expenditures like transportation, traffic control and barricades.

But the whitewater park was turned down for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant, which Farrar was hoping to secure for landscaping and riverbank improvements before the upcoming trials.

“There was some disappointment,” he conceded. “But if you put in new landscaping and then have an event with 3,000 people, it doesn’t do much good for the landscaping.”

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