Robin David: A queen worth saving
When I travel somewhere and people ask the question, “Where are you from?” I proudly say “Steamboat Springs.” Those who know this glorious place, whether by firsthand experience or heard tales from a friend of a friend, stare at me with envy. This is a look I have become all too familiar with — someone looking at someone who just popped in from paradise to say “hello” to the tiny mortals.
This exchange is then followed by a compliment to our fair city, which makes me proud to call this place my home. I moved to the Yampa Valley with my parents and brother in 1988, and anyone who has lived here long enough knows that a lot has changed, even in the last 10 years.
So many times changes made to our little piece of paradise are done in order to bring in more revenue from the tourist industry. Now, wait just a minute, don’t get all upset. I appreciate the tourists, I really do, but, I am sorry, not everything in Steamboat can be about you. Some things belong to the locals.
What do I mean? Well, in case you did not know, a passionate group of people has formed sharing one common goal and that is to find a way to save the Yampa River Queen from being lost forever. When I heard that she was at risk of being demolished and would end up in a heaping pile of splintered memories, I jumped on the #savethequeen bandwagon. Are the McNamara sisters on to something? You bet your sweet heritage they are.
Time marches on, and things will continue to change; nothing can stay the same forever. Yet, if the proposed plan of entirely removing the Yampa River Queen goes forward, there will be an ache in the heart of this community — an ache caused by a decision to eliminate part of what sparks those envious looks from strangers.
As the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on Dec. 13 approaches, I believe that this community, this town, this group of people all have a voice that deserves to be heard. Let’s do more than just dispose of her completely, let’s find a way to work together.
We would simply like to compromise and be part of the decision, so on that day when West Lincoln Park is open for play, everyone can be proud of what was accomplished. After all, the Yampa River Queen represents how Steamboat Springs got its name, and her presence is so much more than just a neglected play structure. In all her glory, she is Steamboat.
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