STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – An iconic Steamboat-inspired playground is slated to be removed which has a growing number of people demanding it stays using the hashtag #SaveTheQueen.
Meghan and Kaitlyn McNamara grew up playing on the Yampa River Queen and say it is too important to just destroy.
While they agree it needs improving, they disagree with city leaders’ assessment that it is damaged beyond repair.
“Part of my childhood. She is just awesome,” Kaitlyn told CBS4. “A little construction, paint and love… TLC — she will be chugging again.”
The sisters are collecting signatures on a petition and hope they can figure out a way to save the Queen.
Plans, which are already in the works and approved by city leaders in the 2017 budget, call for the old playground to come down to make room for a new building and installation.
City officials claim the current playground is a safety issue and has structural issues along with not being handicap-accessible.
“There was not much word about how do we save the river queen, but all of a sudden it popped up and we are getting lots of emails from folks from around the United States and even the world,” Chairman Parks and Recreation Commission Alan Koermer said.
City leaders had meetings over the past several months asking for input, but few people showed up.
Community leaders from the The Creative District and the Steamboat Springs Arts Council tell us they were thrilled to be a part of the design process to replace the current playground.
The arts council came up with a plan proposal to build a new shelter and play component and stay within a $150,000 budget along with other funding they could find in the community.
Despite the 10 months of planning and securing funding for the remodel of the park, few members of the community voiced any concerns until stories from the Steamboat Pilot and Today hit the front page.
Now with more than 1,000 signatures on Facebook in a matter of days, the “Save The Queen” movement is forcing planners to reconsider their plans.
“Anything is possible in the world of social media. My gut feeling… this is an iconic structure. The fact that we did not get much during the public process, we were sure we could move for with this, but ultimately we are getting word that people do want to see what if we can save this,” Koermer said.
There is a public meeting scheduled for Dec. 13 where park planners hope to have more information at that meeting on how they will move forward.