Friscoites call for scaled-down development plan on peninsula
FRISCO – On the surface, Thursday night’s public meeting in Frisco was about a Nordic Village, an ice rink, an amphitheater, a hospitality center and other possible future facilities at the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area.The group of about 35 attendees made no explicit references to the town-owned 10-acre parcel or to the council’s recent controversial decision to allocate it for retail development. But it was hard to ignore the implicit messages as the crowd sounded off against ambitious recreation facilities projects at the peninsula, even after town Manager Michael Penny took the peninsula off the table as a possible future location for Colorado Mountain College.”The discussion started off as a Nordic village,” said Frisco resident John Fayhee. “I thought a little, quaint cabin – maybe two of what we have now. And now, my God, it’s almost like an Alice in Wonderland conversation. This is going to get stomped.”
Many of the faces at the peninsula meeting were the same that appeared at Tuesday night’s council meeting, where officials said they couldn’t turn down sales tax revenue from a future shopping center on the 10-acre parcel if they were to maintain a steady stream of services and amenities. Many at Thursday’s meeting made the case that citizens don’t necessarily want all the amenities the town has on tap.”The scale of what you’re saying is extremely excessive,” said Pam Murano. “We don’t need all of this. It’s not a downhill ski area. It’s a Nordic center. I think it’s wonderful to expand, but we have to be realistic about what the town wants and needs.”In previous public meetings on the proposed Nordic center expansion, the tone was substantially more supportive. Designers have drawn up a “world-class” facility that would house the Nordic operations, sleigh ride business and a hospitality center that could accommodate weddings, community gatherings and other functions. The proposed facility would be 10 times the size of the existing Nordic Center building.”I think people go to the peninsula for disc golf, trail running, showshoeing, the Frisco Fun Club, Nordic skiing,” Laura Dickinson said. “That area serves a recreational need, and we need to maintain that focus. I don’t go there to hang out in a lodge. People are going there to be outdoors.”
The Nordic center expansion was not without advocates.One Nordic ski race organizer said he takes his events to other locations – despite Frisco’s superior trail network – because the building is too small to accommodate his needs.Local Nordic ski coach Matt Dayton, whose parents Gene and Therese operate the Frisco Nordic Center, agreed that the current facility is inadequate.”When the building was first put there, there was a lot of skepticism,” Dayton said. “People said we’d never fill it. Since then, we’ve obviously outgrown the building. For a lot of people who come, the building is a draw. After skiing they want to be able to sit inside. I think we’ve got a great thing going, and I can only see that interest growing.”
Ideas like an ice rink and amphitheater got little face time during Thursday’s meeting, since attendees focused almost exclusively on the Nordic center expansion.In coming months, officials plan to continue to gather public comment on the peninsula’s future through more meetings and a survey to be conducted by Northwest Colorado Council of Governments.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 203 or email@example.com.
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