Vandals target jump
Steamboat Springs — Despite signs, fences and safety netting, there continues to be vandalism on and around the Howelsen Hill recreational areas.
Todd Wilson, the Nordic program director for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, said officials have experienced vandalism and trespassing near the K-68 ski jump. There is evidence that skateboarders and bicyclists are riding near and on the jumps, he said.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of vandalism all over Howelsen Park,” he said. “We’re seeing our office trailers being hauled off onto the ball fields, vandalism in our weight rooms and people sliding rocks, skateboards and bikes off the jump.” he said.
Wilson said he is concerned that the trespassing and vandalism issues the city is experiencing could potentially result in an injury.
“This is not a toy,” he said. “The signs we put up all over (Howelsen Hill) are there for a reason. It’s very dangerous to play on or around the jump.”
The recent death of a deer that slid down the jump and died when it hit the jump’s landing area has grabbed everyone’s attention to the dangers of using the jump improperly.
“What happened to that deer, could have happened to a child,” he said.
Wilson said the damage to the jumps is cutting into the resources and funds available to repair them and decreasing their longevity.
“(The jump) is here to keep the tradition of ski jumping alive in our community,” he said. “All we are asking for is people’s respect. We want it to last as long as possible as it can. It should only be used for what it was designed to.”
Chris Wilson, the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Service director for the city, encourages people to use the Howelsen facilities responsibly and to abide by all signs and closures and city ordinances that regulate the use of the hiking trails, ski jumps, and skate park.
“We’d hate for someone to get hurt when they’re having a recreational experience inappropriately,” he said.
Residents of Steamboat Springs who use the Howelsen facilities should take an active interest in policing the area and report any person misusing the property, Chris Wilson said.
Wilson said those who want to report any vandalism or misuse should call the Steamboat Springs Police Department.
— To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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