A project years in the making, expanding dining options at the Boulder Reservoir, has been derailed by residents threatening to disrupt.
Inaugural dinners were meant to be held at a new Boulder Reservoir restaurant but residents who love near the Reservoir began raising concerns about the potential noise, drunken drivers, and environmental impact. Locals also had concerns around the fact that the reservoir has been hosting more events than in the past.
According to Boulder Parks and Recreation Director Ali Rhodes, The limited “Dinner on the Beach” series at the new restaurant, Driftwind, was meant to be a test and to show that people could eat dinner and have drinks at the reservoir without impacting the surrounding neighborhood.
This limited series didn't even get a chance to get off the ground, as several locals emailed the nonprofit groups hosting the dinners with personal attacks and the threat to interrupt the events. After receiving the emails the dinners were canceled by the nonprofit groups.
According to Tatiana Hernandez, the CEO of Community Foundation Boulder County, “We were really looking forward to hosting an event and bringing people in and sharing the work we do as a community foundation. But we weren’t going to do that if our guests were going to be under threat of intimidation and harassment.”
Tatiana says that some of the emails she received from the locals included treats to interrupt the events with bullhorns at the reservoir entrance, and the threat to photograph those who attended. Tatiana also said, “What’s most unsettling is this was developed in a democratic process. This is a community asset, it belongs to everybody, and bullying tactics like this are the ways that our democracy is slowly eroded.”
Josh Dinar, the owner of the restaurant Driftwind where the dinner series was meant to be held says that he was very surprised by the backlash. According to Josh, “I think it’s an important conversation for the community to have in whatever form that takes, not just for the folks who live nearby. It’s not just meant for them, it’s meant for the entire community. If Boulder as a whole feels that it’s a worthwhile endeavor, then that voice needs to be heard also.”
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