The City of Golden has made it official.
Commercial outfitters wanting to utilize city access points along Clear Creek will first need to check with the city.
On May 10, Ordinance 2182 passed unanimously and requires outfitters to be licensed by the city and hand over 5% of gross revenues derived from tube rental and tube rental packages in the form of a permit fee.
The fees would not include revenue from other sales such as t-shirts and souvenirs.
Using best practices from neighboring communities such as Steamboat Springs, Golden city councilors hope the measure helps restrict creek user volume through the outfitters.
Along with adding a new chapter to Golden City Municipal Code, the ordinance takes a bold step in prohibiting the use of disposable containers along the creek.
Specifically, creek users carrying or using disposable containers will not be allowed to enter the Clear Creek corridor from any public access point.
Disposable containers will also be prohibited between the north and south city paths that run parallel to the creek or the Clear Creek corridor and while “floating on recreation tubes, rafts, paddleboards and other watercraft devices.”
Beginning May 1, 2023, all outfitters that operate within the city must provide a shuttle service option to their customers who rent recreational float devices on Clear Creek.
The shuttles will transport tubes and customers to approved Clear Creek public access locations, as determined by the City Manager, and should be able to meet the rental capacity demands of the business.
The shuttle service cost will be rolled into the tube rental fee.
The ordinance comes just in time as the busy summer season in Golden gets underway.
While Clear Creek is a valuable economic generator for the city, the growing number of visitors each summer has resulted in crowded pathways and increased bottlenecks as people carry large floatation devices up to launch points.
Litter in and along the creek has also been a problem for the city.
“When it gets down to the nuts and bolts, what we’ve been is — nothing, so far,” Ward 4 City Councilor William Fisher told councilmembers. “So I’m fairly comfortable this is going to be a pretty big change. We have a lot of people who are motivated to use the rental services, so we are not creating rental services; we’re taking advantage of the fact they are already here. And, in fact, we probably should have put this regulation into effect years ago.”