Sledding will move to annexed land at old town landfill
By Aimee Eaton
The town of Crested Butte has a new plan for the location and update of the town sledding hill and skate park, both of which are currently located at the corner of 3rd Street and Belleview, adjacent to the Big Mine Ice Arena.
As part of the land annexation transaction occurring with the Cypress Hills development, the town will move the sled hill to the site of the former landfill. The move will allow the sled hill to grow from its current size of about 10,000 square feet to about 62,000 square feet, with 4.5 feet of vertical loss.
“The annexation site is bigger, longer, steeper and safer,” said Crested Butte town parks and recreation director Janna Hansen at the March 19 Town Council meeting. “Currently we can’t do anything with the dump site except have it be a park or open space. Moving the sled hill to that location allows the town to maintain other green spaces while capitalizing on land appropriate for this use.”
According to town community development director Michael Yerman, the dump site will be capped prior to being developed as a sled hill and any amenities that will be built near the site will be constructed in such a manner and location as to avoid digging down into the old dump.
The move has been several years in the making.
In 2015 the town created a master plan for the Big Mine Park. Within that plan, staff found that the skate park and the sled hill were in conflict with several areas of contention, but “in particular the dangerous situation it causes with the lack of a sledding runout, and the lack of space for a much-needed skate park renovation.” With that in mind, the council met repeatedly as it tried to find a new home for one or both of the amenities.
“At that time it was determined that an acceptable alternative location did not exist for the sled hill,” said Hansen. Following that 2015 decision, the council voted to keep the sled hill at Big Mine Park and move the skate park to Town Park. That move would have required the volleyball courts and horseshoe pits to be relocated to Rainbow Park.
“The current situation had been deemed unsafe and something needed to be done to remedy it, whether that was moving the skate park or the sledding hill,” said Hansen. “They can’t coexist together. If one stayed, then one had to go. The annexation agreement brought forward this new opportunity.”
Hansen added that by moving the sled hill and keeping the skate park at Big Mine Park, there will be a significant cost savings.
Many members of the skateboard community were in attendance at the council meeting, and the majority seemed supportive of keeping the skate park at its current location.
“This seems like a great opportunity for the sled hill; it’s a way better location than where it is now,” said Pete Peacock, a long-time local who has been heavily involved in the maintenance and promotion of the skate park. “The skate park has served so well where it is now. It works great where it is and there’s history there. We’ve had no issues with neighbors. It makes sense to keep it where it is and moving the sled hill will create more available square footage for the skate park during the renovation.”
The Town Council agreed, and Hansen said staff would move forward with a plan to relocate the sled hill to the annexation site while keeping the skate park in its current location. She added that the skate park renovation is currently planned for 2021. At that time it is expected that the park will be expanded by an additional 5,000-7,800 square feet.