Posted: Oct 7, 2013 9:13 PM by Jamie Leary - KBZK News
Updated: Oct 8, 2013 9:39 AM
BOZEMAN - City commissioners have approved a letter to the County expressing support for the construction of a permanent ice climbing tower during their meeting Monday night.
The once stalled ice tower project is finally picking up steam.
Samantha Thompson lives near Fairgrounds. She said, "Ice climbing is a good thing, it's a sport and I have kids so sports are always a good thing."
Thompson has three children and she has a front row seat to all the action at the Fairgrounds.
So when she heard about a permanent ice climbing wall that is proposed for the Fairgrounds, she didn't mind that it would serve as a concert venue during the summer.
"I think that's actually a good thing, for Bozeman to get more entertainment," Thompson said.
Marketing Coordinator at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, Dan Jessen said, "So the corner of the berm over there would probably be about the area where it would come out and it would be a V shape facing out at the Bridgers. Looking at the designs and everything, they were talking about this whole area right here, facing out that way so that the sound would be heading out towards the mountain range."
Apart from proving to County commissioners that the funds are there for this multi-million dollar project, the Bozeman ice tower group needs to get public approval.
And that is where the City Commission is stepping in.
Chris Mehl of the Bozeman City Commission said, "Basically when you do anything you have to be cognisant of what it means to the neighbors and I don't think the neighbors are really concerned about the climbing wall, they're concerned about the entertainment venue, so while we're supporting the climbing wall we know that as a community, we need to address their concerns."
The ice tower was designed by MSU students in 2011. It will be close to 90 feet tall, service all levels of climbers and convert to a concert venue in the summer.
Mehl said, "There's an opportunity for this to be a good thing for the community. Ya know, bringing in people from out of state to spend their money here providing something for us to do ourselves."
City commissioners are opening up the proposal for public comment and then, "We're sending a letter of support for this project," Mehl said.
Thompson says she doesn't think it would be a bad thing. "I really don't. I've thought that Bozeman has needed more for the children anyway and I think that's a good first step."
The team working on the ice tower project will hold a public meeting on October 25th at 5: 30 p.m. at the Fairgrounds.
The group received their first donation of $5,000 last month and will use that money toward business and marketing studies.