Yampa River Queen plans adrift after nobody responds to city of Steamboat’s call for blueprints
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The fate of Steamboat Springs’ iconic riverboat-themed playground is once again in limbo after nobody answered the city’s call to submit blueprints for a modernized version of the structure.
“We still have the financing, and we could still accomplish something with the dollars we have, but it may not be what some were hoping to get through this process,” Craig Robinson, the city’s parks, open space and trails manager, said Friday.
The city decided late last year to pursue blueprints for a modernized version of the 30-year-old Yampa River Queen after more than 1,000 people joined a “Save the Queen” campaign.
The plan was to build a new shade structure with a riverboat theme along with interactive musical instruments nearby.
The total budget for the project was not to exceed $149,355, and interested parties had until March 27 to submit proposals.
But without any proposals from builders to make a new River Queen structure in West Lincoln Park, the city plans to ask its Parks and Recreation Commission what it wants to do next.
Robinson said there could be a number of reasons nobody submitted a proposal.
“It’s a very busy year, but it could be a number of things,” he said.
Time is running out for the city to come up with a new plan that could be built this summer.
Robinson said if the planning process for the new playground and shelter continues for another month, the city might miss the boat this year and have to wait until next year to replace the playground equipment.
City officials have said the current River Queen needs to be replaced because the playground does not meet safety guidelines or provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The original plan was to demolish the Yampa River Queen and replace it with an artistic shade structure that would resemble a hay or horse shed.
But the city charted a new course to save the Queen after more than 1,000 people signed a petition urging the city to save the playground in some form.
The design committee that was formed to vet plans for how to continue the River Queen’s legacy includes both members of the campaign that fought to save it and members of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council.
Robinson said the River Queen’s fate will likely be discussed again at the April 4 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.
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