Wednesday, October 3, 2012

White water park would benefit all

As a resident of Hulen Meadows, I express my support for the proposed white water park and related recreational amenities at Sun Peak. After being raised in the Wood River Valley, I returned in large part because of the recreational amenities the area offers. I was attracted to Hulen Meadows in particular due to the neighborhood’s close proximity to various trails, parks and the Big Wood River.

Many in the community, including several of my neighbors, have suggested that the proposal is fatally flawed. I strongly disagree.

Some believe that the development would cause the bridge at the entrance to the neighborhood to become overly congested. If that were true, then how do so many traverse the many two-lane bridges along Highway 75 and Warm Springs Road every day?

Others assert that a water park near the neighborhood will most certainly decrease property values. Many of us purchased our properties because of proximity to recreational amenities. A white water park that I could carry a kayak to from my front door would make my home worth significantly more to me and others who covet ready access to white water boating just like we have today with hiking, biking and fishing.

Still others are dubious of the economic value of a whitewater park. I’ve been to Durango and Gunnison in Colorado and can attest to the great energy (and dollars) that flow into those towns via their white water parks and events. Such an amenity would be a huge benefit for our community at large.

I believe that a decision to develop a well for the city of Ketchum on the same site should be decoupled from the white water park proposal. They are different projects that serve different uses and should be fully but independently considered.

Michael Wise




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