Ice woes, health scares dim ’07 summer |

Ice woes, health scares dim ’07 summer

EAGLE ” Melting ice and an e-coli scare notwithstanding, the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink continues to be popular downvalley, according the facility’s end-of-season report.

Presented to the Eagle Town Board earlier this fall, the report details summer use at the 5-year-old facility and outlines future building and maintenance plans.

This was the first season the facility has to complete with the Gypsum recreation, said Steve Russell, Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District director.

The pool recorded 16,169 visits this summer with user numbers reaching new highs during June and July, Russell said.

But when Eagle County experienced and outbreak of e-coli in August, the pool was targeted as a possible source of the outbreak. Subsequent investigation determined the pool was not the source, but by that time visits at the site had significantly dropped, Russell said.

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Despite the bad press, Russell noted the facility still racked up respectable numbers this summer including:

– 2,317 swim lessons

– 78 swim team participants

– 561 summer passes sold

Russell said the Eagle Rec Kids summer day-camp program remains one of the most popular offerings at the facility.

As the Eagle pool ages, Russell said money must be spent on upkeep. He said there are cracks on the decks and drainage problems, among others.

Next year, the pool deck will be expanded into the grassy area and add some bleachers will be built on the north side of the pool so spectators can watch swim meets. Also look for a new water feature in the kiddie pool.

“We are going to continually add more shade and we want to do something different the kids will enjoy,” Russell says.

The ice wasn’t staying frozen earlier this fall, but the rink is now operating. The problems were uncovered during a slow time for the rink, though it was unable to host training camp for the Florida Panthers hockey team, which has promised to return in 2008.

The cost of creating a sheet of ice is about $6,000.

“We took the problem as an opportunity to improve operations and provide a consistent sheet throughout the winter season,” says Russell.

Elsewhere, the rec district is considering expanding in mountain bike training park and begin building tennis courts near the pool, Russell said.

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