Lifeguards will be on duty, and alcohol is prohibited

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FARMINGTON — People who want to have private, after-hours parties at the Beach at Farmington Lake will be able to rent it this year.

The City Council approved a fee structure that would allow for private parties at the Beach during its work session today.

Cory Styron, director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, said the popularity of the swimming area at the lake contributed to public interest in renting it.

“Two years ago, we really weren’t sure how it was going to take off,” he said.

The fees would start at $200 for a party of one to 100 people. A larger party of up to 200 people would cost $300. The small party would allow up to 15 vehicles to enter without paying an additional fee. The larger party would allow up to 25 vehicles to enter without paying an additional fee.

The city will have lifeguards on duty during the parties, and alcohol would not be permitted.

After the meeting, Styron said alcohol and water don't mix.

Styron said the Beach is an unique facility and there are not nearby venues like it that offer rentals. He said there are brick-and-mortar aquatic facilities in Durango and Cortez, Colorado, and Bloomfield that offer rentals. The Bloomfield Aquatic Center charges $300 for a minimum of two hours to rent the pool. In Durango, the fees range from $60 to $170 for two hours, and Cortez charges $250.

"I think it's just a great way to add another element for people to have fun in our community," Styron said.

In addition to the new fee for the Beach rental, Styron presented an update on commercial vending activity in city parks.

He said the Paddle Shack will be entering its third year of providing rentals of kayaks and paddleboards at Farmington Lake. In addition to that enterprise, Animas Outdoors will be renting tubes and bikes out of Animas Park. Styron said the fire department's swift water rescue team will meet with Animas Outdoors next week to discuss safety.

Some food vendors also have shown an interest in selling products like hot dogs in parks.

“I just wanted to share with you that we’re actively trying to live our dream of being an outdoor industry initiative, that we’re providing opportunities for some of these folks that may need a second income to stay in our community,” Styron told the City Council.

Mayor Nate Duckett said he thinks the food-vending market is a huge opportunity for the city.

The PRCA has partnered with other organizations such as San Juan College and the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau to provide community meetings and workshops, such as the Outdoors Recreation Industry Initiative. The ORII provides people with information about starting outdoors-related businesses.

 “What I appreciate is the fact that we’re taking the first step forward and trying to bring these groups together and trying to provide education and the opportunity,” Duckett said. “We just have to keep marketing that.”

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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