Better City: Center for Outdoor Adventure in the works with wide focus

MEEKER I Prior to the regularly scheduled Meeker Town Board meeting on Aug. 2, representatives from Better City presented a completed feasibility study for the Center for Outdoor Adventure, one aspect of their strategic plan to revitalize the local economy.

The concept for the center was initially focused on shooting sports but grew to include adventure tours, motorsports rentals, hiking and backpacking trips, wildlife watching, sightseeing and a variety of other outdoor activities.
Kelby Bosshardt of Better City described the idea as a “snowball” with the need for a big push to get it rolling and said the goal is “to drive job creation with the local businesses that are here.”
Bosshardt also stated there was a “largely positive response” from all parties contacted during the study, including local outfitters, landowners of potential building locations, possible private-sector operators and investors that include Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Pope and Young, Easton’s Foundation and the National Field Archery Association.
“I thought we’d be having this conversation a year from now; it’s really exciting,” said Katelin Cook, Rio Blanco County’s Economic Development Coordinator.
Bosshardt described the center as a “golden goose” for the town.
“It’s really important for communities to invest in assets … previous administrations have been very good stewards with their money and you have an ability to actually invest in projects like this,” he said.
The project comes with a $9.9 million price tag, with funds being raised in a variety of ways.
Better City ended the presentation with a request for approximately $235,000 for initial marketing efforts and asked that a final decision be made by the end of August.
The town currently has about that amount budgeted for implementation of economic development and could use those funds if they so choose, Town Administrator Scott Meszaros said.
Other business completed at the regular board meeting included approval of two liquor licenses and a few updates from Meszaros.
Instead of upgrading the phone system, those earmarked funds will be used to install heat tape on the roof of Town Hall.
Additionally, the rezoning of the old hospital lot on Third and Cleveland has provided plenty of fodder for the local rumor mill, but there are no solid plans in place for the property at this time, Meszaros reported.
The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 345 Market St.