The busiest part of the 2021 season has concluded for the Boulder Reservoir.

To look back and evaluate how operations went, Parks and Recreation Department (BPR) staff gathered feedback from stakeholders and neighbors, and reviewed data, like visitations, special events, budget, and Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) status.

BPR staff discussed the findings with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) last month, and with their and the community’s input will be making the following adjustments to 2022 Reservoir operations.

To reduce ANS risk:

  • BPR will not issue any new Class V boat permits
  • Existing boat permit holders may renew. Class V boats must boat exclusively at the Reservoir.

BPR will explore the future of all Class V boating during the Boulder Reservoir’s Master Plan update next year.

To increase small craft permits:

  • BPR will issue an additional 1,000 small watercraft permits: 500 seven-day permits, and 500 weekday permits
  • Small watercraft permit sales will begin Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022
  • Small watercraft permits that are not claimed by June 30 will be resold

To ensure clear cost transparency and promote fee fairness, BPR will separate boat permits from access fees:

  • Boat permits will not include access to the Boulder Reservoir. Each permit holder will purchase the type and quantity of entry option that works best for their needs and pay fees accordingly.
  • BPR will introduce the systemwide “Summer Fun Pass” as part of an a la carte model for boat permit holders and available to all users. Patrons will be able to select monthly, summer, six-month, or annual passes, or purchase punches and/or pay gate fees.

To reduce single occupancy vehicle trips to the Reservoir:

  • Gate fees will be discounted by 25% for customers that arrive by foot, non-motorized vehicle, or have three or more people in a car. Staff will monitor nearby roads/areas to address issues should they arise from the practice.
  • Increase storage fees 10% annually until at 2/3 of market average
  • Continue work on South Shore trail enhancements.

In addition, to further support pedestrian and bike travel to the Reservoir, BPR staff will continue to:

  • Consult with subject matter experts in the city’s Transportation and Climate Initiatives Departments on additional Traffic Demand Management strategies to reduce single occupancy vehicles and vehicle miles traveled to the Reservoir.
  • Partner with Boulder County Transportation, the city’s Transportation and Open Space and Mountain Parks Departments on trail development to support pedestrian/bicycle routes to the Reservoir.
  • Include sustainability initiatives and incentives in partnership agreements (e.g. with rowers, Rocky Mountain Paddle).

In addition, we will continue to monitor Driftwind Restaurant operations and work on a more responsive approach regarding any potential noise concerns from our community.

For the most updated information, check the Boulder Reservoir website and sign up for the e-newsletter.