Glenwood to begin work on whitewater park |

Glenwood to begin work on whitewater park

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” About seven years of planning and effort to locate a whitewater park in Glenwood Springs are coming to fruition.

The Glenwood Springs City Council recently voted to award an $888,838 bid to begin work on park features to American Civil Constructors, of Littleton, Colo. Construction of phase one should begin Dec. 1. A second phase will include amenities along the Colorado River’s banks at the site near the West Glenwood bridge.

Mayor Bruce Christensen said the park would include a “U-shaped” wave feature that spans the full width of the river, just upstream from the bridge in West Glenwood Springs. That way, waves could be ridden when the river is running at various levels.

Members of the public who showed up at the meeting encouraged the city to move forward.

“I think it will bring definitely national recognition for what we have here in Glenwood Springs, if not global,” said Chris Vogt, co-owner of Glenwood Canyon Kayak.

The park will be an economic generator for the city, added Davis Farrar, a whitewater park committee member.

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Kjell Mitchell, representing the Hot Springs Lodge and Pool, encouraged the city to go forward with the park. The pool operators previously expressed concerns about locating the park near downtown Glenwood, citing fears that it could harm the geothermal aquifer that supplies heated water for the pool. The city ultimately decided to locate the park farther west; the pool contributed $25,000 to the project, Mitchell said.

The city agreed to contribute up to another $275,000.

The city decided earlier not to apply for a $200,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant because it was under the impression that its chances of receiving the grant would be higher if it promised not to apply for recreational water rights for the park. However, GOCO said no such condition exists. Christensen said he spoke with GOCO on Thursday, and GOCO indicated it would be very receptive to helping with the second phase.

“It’s going to secure our place as a water destination,” Christensen said.

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