Synthetic skating could be ready by July 4
If all goes according to plan, locals and visitors will be able to skate on a synthetic ice rink, jump around on a fancy European bungee trampoline, and play on a large climbing wall at Crested Butte Mountain Resort by the time summer heats up.
The Mt. Crested Butte Downtown Development Authority reached an agreement with CBMR last week where the DDA will contribute $450,000 to help fund part of the cost of CBMR’s proposed Adventure Park, with CBMR covering an additional $450,000, or possibly more, to fund the rest.
While the intent of the agreement is there, the actual details have not been finalized. Town manger Joe Fitzpatrick says a lease agreement is still being written. However, part of the agreement will be that CBMR will pay the DDA 15 percent of the Adventure Park’s revenues for a course of four years, or until the $450,000 is paid back, whichever occurs sooner.
CBMR first approached the DDA during their April meeting, presenting plans for the Adventure Park before making a request for funding.
The proposal is to build a facility with several different activities located at the site of the old Gothic Building at the base area. The activities will include rock climbing on a free-standing climbing wall, jumping on European “bungee” trampolines, and summer and wintertime skating on synthetic ice. All the activities will be available for summer and winter seasons, but CBMR will also be building a new lift accessed tubing hill for wintertime use. The new tubing hill will be built at the current location of the adult beginner ski corral (adjacent to the Mall building) and a new surface lift will be constructed. The adult beginner ski corral will be moved closer to the beginner youth corral across from the Axtell building.
On Monday, May 4, CBMR vice president of sales and marketing Daren Cole said the proposal had not changed and he was available to answer any questions from the DDA. Cole also said CBMR had new information on the synthetic ice-skating after Crested Butte Vacations director Jeff Moffet got to experience skating on a similar rink in California.
“It was overall a very enjoyable experience,“ Moffett said. He described it as skating on hard plastic.
The synthetic ice doesn’t require special skates, but Moffet said he felt that sharp skates made gliding easier, as the synthetic surface seemed to have more friction than real ice.
Fitzpatrick says after the April meeting, town staff began crafting a lease agreement based on the idea that the DDA would be funding just the skating rink portion of the adventure park.
During the May 4 meeting DDA member Chip Christian said he felt that since the DDA would be receiving 15 percent of the revenue from the overall Adventure Park sales, the DDA should provide funding that will go to finance the entire park’s construction, not just the skating rink.
DDA member Al smith asked if a roof was necessary for the rink even if it’s synthetic.
Christian said the roof was important because it would allow the space to be used for other events such as weddings.
Cole said CBMR was ready to move forward within the month on installing the climbing wall and bungee device. The lift for the tubing hill would also be built this summer but that facility won’t be ready until it snows.
Christian asked if the other features of the park would be finished by July 4.
“It’s going to be tight but that’s our target date,” Cole said.
In addition to approving the agreement, town finance office Karl Trujillo said the DDA would also need to amend its budget. The DDA had $123,000 budgeted in 2009 for continuing planning work on the rec center, and Trujillo said they would need to bump the “projects” line item up to $450,000. He said the DDA has the funds available.
The DDA unanimously agreed to enter the agreement with CBMR and amend their 2009 budget.
The DDA’s amended budget must be ratified by the town council on May 19.