|Tower Park. FTM file.|
On Monday, Fort Thomas Matters reported plans are already underway for the City of Fort Thomas’ 150 year sesquicentennial celebration July 2-9, 2017. One development that could coincide with those plans is the installation of a zip line and ropes course.
RELATED: Fort Thomas Planning “First-Class” 150 Celebration in 2017
Debbie Buckley, Fort Thomas Economic Development Director said, “We hope to add a zip line that will be located somewhere inside (Tower) park.” The zip line will “be another tourist attraction and something that we hope can stay permanently but is yet to be determined.”
The suggestion to install a permanent zip line and/or ropes course was first made by Fort Thomas City Councilman Jeff Bezold during a brainstorming session with the City Council, Mayor Eric Haas and City Administrator Ron Dill in December 2015. The goal of the brainstorming session was to work toward a new long-range plan for the City of Fort Thomas. The session netted many ideas, one of which was revitalizing Tower Park and bringing more business retreats to the Community Center (Mess Hall) as a corporate meeting space. Bezold asserted the addition of a zip line and ropes course could add a team-building element desirable for corporate retreats.
Fort Thomas Renaissance Board Chairman, Brian Sand, said, “I would hope the zip line course as well as the other proposals to enhance the park get serious consideration.”
RELATED: Brainstorming Session Could Lead to New Topics For Fort Thomas City Council
“The idea came to me as I was walking the trails in Tower park with my family,” said Bezold. “The slope, the trees, the staging area by the basket ball courts all had the set up for a great ropes course and zip line layout.”
Bezold participated in a ropes course and zip line track as a part of a team building event a few years ago in Annapolis, MD. The other elements of the event he attended, such as the lodging, meals and meeting space, were all coordinated around the location of the zip line and ropes course. Keeping activity to a particular area supports the economy in that area.
“The addition of the zip line and ropes course could potentially benefit the businesses in Fort Thomas and the meeting space in the Community Center (aka Mess Hall),” said Bezold. “Not to mention a creating employment opportunities for local individuals and a lot of fun for all. The research I have done so far indicates these are a revenue generator for the area and have been successful.”
The development and management of this project will depend on how the details unfold. “We are not far enough into the planning to know if the city will develop and manage, if the project will be completely outsourced with a profit sharing initiative or a combination of the two,” said Bezold.
|Ohio River from Fort Thomas. Looking down from Tower Park. FTM file.|
RELATED: Fort Thomas Looking Into Creating New Comprehensive Plan
“The timeline of this project is still being discussed,” said Bezold. “I would personally like to see this placed at the top of the list due to the potential this project has.”
Safety surrounding an adventure element such as a zip line or ropes course would be a critical piece of the puzzle concerning long-term use. “The safety and efficiency will be left up to the professionals,” said Bezold. “I'm sure a project of this size, with the potential safety concerns, will be gone over with a fine tooth comb to ensure the best procedures are in place.”
“I think anything that we can do to help make Tower Park better is a good thing. In my opinion we have the chance to make it the signature park in Northern Kentucky,” said Sand