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New campground at Shelf Road
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By slim
Administrator
May 7, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
good point about the loans - i misread his post last night. i still think they are underestimating the cost, and i base this on the statement that "If crowd-funding does not work, then we will go the standard business loan or investor approach to acquiring the funds". this to me implies that they have hopes that crowd funding will cover it, which seems unrealistic.

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By Ian Stewart
May 7, 2013
Greg Kimble wrote:
Granted, those costs will be high but in 6 days they raised almost $30k.


You glanced over the number too quick...they've raised almost $3k ($2,905 as of right now), not $30k. Their goal is listed at $250k.

I agree with everything Captain Chaos said...I was just too lazy to say it myself.

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By slim
Administrator
May 7, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
quick back of the envelope calc, a $250K long term small business loan (assuming 25 year term, 7.5% interest) would be a monthly payment of about $1850. would the campground pull in the money to, not only cover the loan, but also provide living costs for 2 people?

also, 250K isn't a reasonable estimate of the cost.

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By Eric and Lucie
From Boulder, CO
May 7, 2013
SUSTAINABLE + DEVELOPMENT = OXYMORON.
No amount of bullshit green-washing will change that.

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By Greg Kimble
From Colorado
May 7, 2013
Haha stupid decimals. I also get lost in libraries. My bad.

Eric or lucie, what is currently in place is not sustainable.

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By mike h
From Denver, CO
May 7, 2013
vv, laos
More camping is definitely needed at Shelf, I'm totally on board with that, as well as a focus on minimizing environmental impact.

But I do have a few.... points of constructive criticism:

Sustainability is awesome, but I'm not sure I agree with your interpretation of it. For starters, adding solar panels AND wind turbines to your facility seems far less sustainable than the electricity-free camgrounds at the Bank and Sand Gulch. Occasionally an RV will run their generator at night, but I think you will be too if your facilities require electricity (there's a lot of dark, windless hours up there!). It's critical to note that your renewable energy sources will exist to support amenities that the other 2 campgrounds manage just fine without, and you'll still need some backup power source for when the wind and sun aren't doing the job.

Not much to add to the many "road" comments except a +1. Again, even if you manage the finances/logistics of that, is it truly sustainable and in the best interest of Shelf Road as a whole?

I'm a bit put off by the fundraising campaign too. If this will become a for-profit business that will potentially provide you two a residence and income, what's my incentive to "donate"? If $50 got me 4-5 free nights, that might entice me, but a "sticker and a shoutout"?!? For that same cost, I could stay 4 nights at the Bank and donate $22 to the Access Fund (they'd probably give me 2 stickers and, say, open Cactus Cliff 15 years ago). Remember that we also don't have money to start our dream businesses - you could attract more investors by making it seem like that, an investment with a real return, not a donation.

Good luck with all of it, probably see you at Shelf!

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By Eric and Lucie
From Boulder, CO
May 7, 2013
Greg Kimble wrote:
Eric or lucie, what is currently in place is not sustainable.


Greg: In a sense, I agree with you: the place is overcrowded. What I don't understand is why you think that adding more facilities, hence attracting more people, will help with this situation. Constantly adding new development to satisfy growing demand is not sustainable.

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By Ian Stewart
May 7, 2013
Eric and Lucie wrote:
What I don't understand is why you think that adding more facilities, hence attracting more people, will help with this situation. Constantly adding new development to satisfy growing demand is not sustainable.


+1

The only way you could make Shelf "sustainable" is if new cliffs magically appeared at the same rate as the increasing climber population.

Alternatively, you could LIMIT the number of people that access it. There's a good reason why many of the most popular outdoor destinations in the world are limited using permit systems...

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By Greg Kimble
From Colorado
May 8, 2013
Or we could chop the bolts on anything below 5.9. That'll keep a lot of people away. I also agree with Mike, money is probably better spent with the Access Fund.

But we are talking about a low impact commercial campground, not a Walmart. Right now you have people shitting in the woods and sleeping wherever they want because there aren't enough places to camp. Anything's gotta be better than that.

Does anybody know of any similar camp grounds and their results? I wonder if a low impact commercial camp ground has been done anywhere with any success.

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By TKeagle
From Eagle, CO
May 10, 2013
Nothing sustainable about this kind of thought process, and I quote:

"But we are talking about a low impact commercial campground, not a Walmart. Right now you have people shitting in the woods and sleeping wherever they want because there aren't enough places to camp. Anything's gotta be better than that. "

That is not very critical thinking and the intelligent folks here know that this is about far from low impact as you can get considering the spatial context of where it is proposed. Greg, your comparison to a walmart development is a total fail.

No one is going to die without another campground, and I don't know how a few stupid people shitting in the woods compels me to to anything other than fundraise for BLM and RMFI to install another vault toilet at the bank parking lot if its such a problem, which I don't think it is- ever climb in spain or france?

Adding more camping and more people will truly make shelf UNSUSTAINABLE, but these guys seem to want to press on no matter what anyone says (i.e. thanks for your opinion and unless you support our project, we don't care). They were on the radio today gathering support with their sustainability whitewash talk.

In reality, the land they are interested is not zoned or approved for this type of commercial use, and isn't designated by the adopted master plan for this area, so the developers need to ask permission from a few agencies including the County.Speak up people, submit your comments and valid concerns about road safety, traffic and other issues to Fremont County.

Send letters and or emails with your concerns regarding "SHELF LIFE CAMPGROUND PROPOSAL" to:

Bill Giordano
Planning Director
Fremont County Planning & Zoning Department
615 Macon Ave, Room 210
Canon City, CO 81212

email to: planning@fremontco.com
and the County Engineer: don.moore@fremontco.com

call Fremont Planning with questions at: 719.276.7360

And the BLM office:

Royal Gorge Field Office
3028 East Main Street
Canon City, CO 81212

email: dadamic@blm.gov (Denise Adamic, Public Affairs Officer)
email: kberger@blm.gov (Keith Berger, Office Manager)

Thanks !

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By Kyle Rodman
May 12, 2013
I can see both sides to this, its tricky because I know the BLM has had to deal with many illegal campsites on the road up to the bank, and poorly set up primitive sites in the area. Giving those extra folks a different place that is more properly maintained could be a great thing. That being said, I'd hate to see the result of that being even more use on the fragile area that is shelf road. I'm not completely sold on another campground increasing use substantially though.

In regards to the comment about Mark Hesse and RMFI's involvement, he is a phenomenal resource for trail layout, construction and many other issues in the area. He recently retired from the organization however, Rebecca Jewett and Joe Lavorini are the contacts you would want to make if talking to RMFI. Chances are they wouldn't really want to be too involved (except in an advisory role) if the project was on private land. All of their work takes place on public lands.

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By PMO
May 13, 2013
Thank you "captchaos" for all of the relevant information and thoughtful comments.

If the goal is to teach people how to "decrease their carbon footprint" and to live a "sustainable" life, you do NOT build a COMMERCIAL RECREATIONAL campground where more cars, more trailers and more traffic will destroy this beautiful, pristine ground.

Find yourself an area off the grid and set up your own little commune. You can use all of the warm fuzzy "green" words you want, but this looks like a couple of guys that want someone else to pay for their desire to own property near the cliffs.

As one of my friends said, look to the Amish...aren't they a living example of how to live with a minimum "footprint"?

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By PMO
May 13, 2013
I would like to thank "captchaos" for this information. I would warn anyone interested in contributing to this project: these two DO NOT OWN nor do they have any PURCHASE AGREEMENT with the owner of the two targeted properties in Cliffside Heights.

PS: WARNING: You appear to have been trespassing on OUR property when you were videotaping your "promo" and you DID NOT have our permission to be on our lot. No trespassing signs are posted for the entire private area known as Cliffside Heights.

Nor, apparently, did you have permission from any other property owner(s) PARTICULARLY the current owners of the two lots you are raising money to ruin with your little enterprise.

The CURRENT owner of those two lots claims there is no plan, contract or proposal in place for the sale of these lots and has no plans to sell them to anyone "incompatible" with the current owners and the area.

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By slim
Administrator
May 13, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
the first question that i have heard from a handful of people - "if this doesn't go through, what happens to the money? will we get our donation back, or will the guys keep it?". i think this is a relevant question.

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By Ian Stewart
May 13, 2013
slim wrote:
the first question that i have heard from a handful of people - "if this doesn't go through, what happens to the money? will we get our donation back, or will the guys keep it?". i think this is a relevant question.


(The following information was gathered from the indiegogo terms: indiegogo.com/how-pricing-work... )

Since this particular project is considered a "Flexible Funding Campaign", this means that they get to keep your money REGARDLESS of whether or not they meet their $250k goal. The only importance of their goal is that it determines how much of a fee indiegogo takes: if they meet the goal, they take 4%; if they don't meet their goal, they take 9%. There's a 3% credit card processing fee regardless of the outcome, too.

Yes...this means that if they don't meet their goal, they still get to keep 88% of the funds while indiegogo pockets 12%.

You'd think that if they had ANY money sense, they'd try to avoid these fees as much as they can. Yet the largest contribution so far has been $1000 from Paul DeWeese...obviously related to the co-founder Hudson DeWeese. So instead of just asking his family to write a fee-free check for $1000, he thought it would be better to go through a third party that shaves off $120 the top...

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By slim
Administrator
May 13, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
damn, i should start coming up with some ideas..... the 12% off the top isn't too bad, all things considered.

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By Climbingmama
From Colorado
May 14, 2013
While I think your hearts are most likely in the right place, I think that your idea of building a “sustainable” campground in this area is totally misleading.

The first issue is that the area you’re thinking of developing is private property, surrounded by a number of different property owners. It’s clear from your photos and video that you were on their land. Unless you were invited by one of the property owners, you were trespassing.

The bigger issue, though, is that your project is an outright contradiction- full of smoke and mirrors. In your video you talk about macro-level issues including natural resource use, hunger, the unsustainability of society, but then go on to introduce a project that (1) in no way addresses any of those issues and (2) is a commercial enterprise that will only further the environmental degradation of the Shelf Road area. There is absolutely nothing sustainable about developing a campground in this area, especially with the amenities you’re proposing. This is a fragile, semi-arid environment with little to no water; bringing in hundreds to thousands of people a year will do nothing to enhance the environmental well-being of this area.

If increasing the sustainability of the area truly is your goal, then the changes you propose simply don’t make sense and will have a number of detrimental environmental effects. Supplying running water to campers in this area, as you propose, is in no way an efficient use of resources; this is an extremely dry environment, meaning the only way to get water is through drilling a well. I fail to see how taking water from a water-scarce environment is sustainable (especially considering how you talk about the unsustainable use of water and other natural resources in the introduction of your video). Further, per your project description, the idea of growing food in this environment is ludicrous. You could do so, but certainly not without applying copious (unsustainable) amounts of water and other inputs for amending the soil.

I’d go on, but the bottom-line is that increasing the number of visitors to the area and introducing these changes will not preserve “the local habitat and its wildlife” as you say in the project description, but will contribute to the degradation and overuse of an already fragile ecosystem. I don’t consider this sustainable, no matter how well intentioned you may be… and I do think you are well intentioned. The most sustainable thing you can do is to let it stay as it is.

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By Cor
May 14, 2013
black nasty
It all seems better than the Dept. of Corrections building another prison, which is
unsustainable... Bringing more people to the area, with limited resources!

Maybe the ShelfLife fellows should have put together a better advertisement before
putting it up here for a show down of gun smoke!

It does seem obvious that more camping is needed though. Especially when you drive all that way, no camping is left, so you just camp wherever... I see people doing this for many years now! The BLM (or whoever collects the camping fees) should charge more, then have the funding to develop more...

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By Passive Aggression
May 14, 2013
Lurkin' for certain
Perhaps the point is that our lifestyle is unsustainable. It's not reasonable for everyone to do what they want all the time. It's likely that the worlds resources will become so diminished that americans will be forced to sacrifice a bit of our comfort and convenience to continue living.

I believe a sustainable approach to over-crowding is closing climbing gyms. Less people easily introduced to the sport and less resources wasted on construction and maintenance of unnecessary buildings.

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By Dan G0D5H411
From Colorado Springs, CO
May 14, 2013
Dan on Hurricane
The premise that Shelf needs more established campsites is probably valid. I can't count how many times I have had to dismantle rogue fire rings or place rocks to obstruct impromptu sites that have sprung up along the roads leading to the Bank or Gallery. Vegetation along these roads has taken quite a hit and will be VERY slow to recover. I appreciate the initiative to help remedy the current situation but would rather see someone work with the BLM, RMFI, etc to expand existing campgrounds or build new campgrounds with very minimal amenities (no electricity, no water). I think the founders have identified a real problem although their execution may be lacking. I am also very skeptical of the entire funding model. If you have the potential to make money on this venture, I would at least expect to be re-compensated for any contribution, either by being paid back or through some amount of free camping. There seems to be an extremely high risk for donors without a very substantial incentive if the venture succeeds. All said and done though, I hope the founders can come up with a solution for the problem of indiscriminate camping and vegetation loss.

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By grampa potate
May 14, 2013
Is it just me, or do these two guys act like a couple of low budget televangelists in their facebook video?
Have they actually seen the road leading up past cactus cliff?

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By Kenan
May 14, 2013
Shelf Rd
I agree that the camping situation at Shelf needs to be improved. The established areas are overrun on the weekends and people are doing quite a bit of damage to the landscape by just camping wherever they want. But as others have said, if the goal is truly to reduce this impact, building a commercial campground with more amenities that requires a new road is not the answer. I have to say that all of the 'sustainable' talk smells like green-washing to garner support for an initiative that is based on personal and financial gain. It's pretty clear that the best way to improve the camping situation at Shelf and reduce its impact is to work with the BLM, RMFI, and Access Fund to expand/improve the current areas.

Another issue that hasn't been brought up... Stricter enforcement by the BLM (i.e. ticketing violators) could help to deal with those who are disrespecting the land and making their own sites. It's probably a funding/resource issue for the BLM, but it seems like people will continue to do whatever they want as long as there are no real consequences to them.

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By John Tex
From My camper, CO
May 14, 2013
Seems to me like a hell of an idea to make some money now that the ball is rolling. I think 250k is totally unreasonable and will not even come close to being reached. I doesn't seem to me like this campground will ever be built but the guys collecting donations may make a few grand. If they truly are trespassing a JPO says, then I can't imagine that they would truly have any desire to make a fully sustainable campground (which sees more like an oxymoron to me, especially under this plan). Even if not intended as a scam, you seem to have pulled one off if you have made 2k in donations already not including the rich relatives money.

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By Kaleb Brown
May 15, 2013
Sunset at The Bank campground
Hello,

I just wanted to inform everyone that you have all gotten your wish and the project will not be moving forward from this point on. Sorry we're not sorry for trying. I challenge any one of you to try and do something for the better. It is very easy to throw stones behind a computer screen. Try actually making a difference and then see how you feel about it. You guys sure talk a big game. Let see anyone actually try and back it up and do something. Thanks for making us feel like terrible people for trying to do something for the common good of everyone that uses the area. Show me a better plan to improve the situation or make a difference. At least we tried to take initiative.

And not everyone is out to screw people over. Do you really think that was our intention?! It's called crowd-funding because it takes a "crowd" and many people to make it happen and we thought that enough people would support the idea but I guess we miss-read the situation. You tell me a better way to get money for a venture like this for two people out of college with massive student loan debt. I'd love to hear it.

Maybe it's not all bad tho camping in a parking lot or anywhere else you can find. Sounds fun I hope you all enjoy it.

OH and Just an FYI the video was taken while we were walking the land with the realtor. Try asking a couple questions next time before jumping to conclusions.

Have a great day!

"It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders of those who would gain by the new ones"
- Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 - 1527)

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By Cor
May 15, 2013
black nasty
Kaleb, I don't know you... but thanks for trying to make more amenities for climbers.

PMO, You should just delete that trespassing comment. I totally called it (Realtor, DUH!)


I always dreamed of having a big climbers camp area in Boulder. The land cost is so high that there would be no way to regain the investment. Then there is the cost up front, how would you do it.... Investors, kick starters, etc. But internet tough guys can't seem to get it.

Maybe someday....

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