Steamboat Springs Creative District: The Queen is beyond repair |

Steamboat Springs Creative District: The Queen is beyond repair

The question we have been asking ourselves is, “how did we get to this level of controversy?”

Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation staff began a process over six months ago to seek public input on West Lincoln Park with stated plans to replace the Yampa River Queen playground. The site was identified by city staff as beyond repair, not ADA compliant, under-utilized and a safety hazard for a variety of reasons.

Knowing the replacement of the Yampa River Queen was inevitable, the Creative District saw an opportunity to help the city meet its goals of replacing it with a new structure that is tied to Routt County’s agricultural roots, thus honoring our heritage. We have been working toward that goal through conversations with city staff, stakeholders, citizens, elected officials and community leaders.

As a result, we submitted and refined a design that meets all of the city’s goals for the park and provides an attractive shade shelter inspired by agricultural hay sheds, interactive musical elements and other play features that are not found elsewhere in the community. Because West Lincoln Park is the gateway to our community, our priority with this design was to maintain Steamboat’s unique charm. We understand that there are many ways to celebrate our authentic story through the built environment and open spaces.

Like the Creative District, the city understands the importance of creative place-making projects that further the value of our community. At the most recent Parks and Rec Commission meeting, the agricultural heritage design concept was unanimously accepted with slight modifications to include some additional physical play elements.

All of this said, we continue, as we have for the past six months, to serve as an advocate for, and partner of, the city and the community. We strive to work toward a design that will serve the community well into the future.

We are listening to all sides on the Yampa River Queen, as well as on the park itself, but, we are also considering needs and opportunities that are not represented at other parks in the area.

We will passionately pursue ideas that create new opportunities for community use at West Lincoln Park and beyond. We ask that those who wish the Yampa River Queen be saved consider that, according to city representatives, the Queen is beyond repair.

Steamboat Springs Creative District


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