Eagle approves Chambers Park lease for tubing business idea
EAGLE — It will be many months before Eagle debuts its new whitewater park along the Eagle River, but this summer, the town will closely follow the outcome for a private business using the current riverfront amenities as a base point.
Local resident Ken Hoeve has persuaded the town to approve his business idea — Eagle Tubing and Photography. The business will be a temporary one, operating out of a mobile trailer at the Chambers Park parking lot this summer. As the business name suggests, Hoeve plans to rent tubes, wet suits, booties and life vests and take photos of customers’ river adventures. His trailer will also rent stand-up paddleboards and disc golf equipment and sell ice cream. It will operate four months this year.
Economic benefit for Eagle
After the town agreed to a special use permit to allow the operation, staff proposed a $250 per month rental charge. Additionally, the town will receive 15 percent of the gross rental income from the operation. The board and Hoeve agreed to those terms.
When he first brought the idea before the Eagle Town Board, Hoeve received a mixed reaction. Some members noted they were uneasy with the idea of allowing a private business to operate from public space. But Hoeve convinced the group his proposal can lay the groundwork for Eagle’s planned riverfront park, which will be located on county-owned property west of Chambers Park that is currently used as truck parking and contestant parking during the Eagle County Fair & Rodeo. The proposed park will be designed to enhance access and enjoyment of the Eagle River and will include both in-stream and riverbank amenities.
“Why not give this a try?” said Eagle Mayor Anne McKibbin. She said the operation will give the town some experience with river park-related business practices and demands.
Hoeve said his proposal fits in with the town’s long-term park plan and would lay groundwork for the river park plan.
After a unanimous vote to approve his lease agreement, Hoeve thanked the board for the opportunity and made a promise.
“I will do you proud,” he said.
“This is a celebration of all our veterans have done for us,” said Pat Hammon with the local VFW Post, who served as a nurse in Vietnam. “It’s not a time for sadness.”