Drinks and dinner on the beach? Boulder Reservoir changes shock neighbors – CBS Denver
BOULDER, Colorado (CBS4) – Boulder Reservoir has long been the place to go on hot summer days, but this year for the first time it will have nightlife too. Boulder Parks and Recreation has extended hours to 9 p.m. and has entered into a public-private partnership with a new on-site restaurant owner who plans to host Dinner on the Beach events that include alcohol.
Kim Bixel, who lives nearby, says neighbors have been blinded by the changes.
“No one really thinks about the real realities of security on the ground here,” she said.
Bixel says neighbors were tricked into believing the city was simply planning to upgrade the reservoir’s facilities and grounds.
“Don’t have dinner parties after dark when you can’t even see the water or the beach,” Bixel explained.
Allison Rhodes, Director of Boulder Parks and Recreation, insists that changes are the result of community input.
“We engaged with the community and countless onsite meetings. We had a mailing list of 8,000 people, ”Rhodes said.
Initially, the restaurant owner applied for his own liquor license, but withdrew it after neighbors protested. Today, six nonprofits are seeking special-use alcohol licenses for Dining on the Beach events, with the restaurant, called Driftwind, providing food.
Rhodes notes that people are already allowed to bring their own alcohol to the beach.
“We believe that having control over the sale and consumption of alcohol is a harm reduction strategy. And that would reflect the approach of many lakefront / beach venues across the country, ”she said.
Rhodes says the partnership is modeled on that of the city at Chatauqua Park. She says any event that takes place after 9 p.m. or has more than 200 people will require special approval.
“Our lease has guiding principles that inform everything that happens on this property,” she said.
Bixel argues that the reservoir was never intended to be a nighttime destination.
“They’re trying to really do something that wasn’t meant to be,” Bixel said.
She says alcohol during the day is quite dangerous. The only way to get in and out of the reservoir is an unlit two-lane road with lots of cyclists and no public transportation,
“We will now have lots and lots and lots of drunk drivers,” she said.
Rhodes says the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has been notified of the changes and has not objected to them. The authorities offer a special entrance fee to those who carpool to reduce traffic.