Jim Keating will step down as executive director of the Blaine County Recreation District on Aug. 10. He will be returning to the technology industry in a management role and remain in the Wood River Valley.

“We are sad to see Jim move on to a new position in the technology industry, but we are grateful for his 13 years at BCRD,” district board of directors President Mike Burchmore said. “During this time, he has built an organization that provides the highest quality of active recreation for the benefit of Blaine County. He is a trusted leader within our community, and we support his move.”

During his time on the job, the district largely completed a years-long plan to “restore and renew” all its major departments, programs and facilities, Keating said, bringing the budget from $2.45 million in 2007 to $5.78 million this year.

“The goal was to increase the value of every operation for the community while improving the business model and economic sustainability of this community organization,” he said. “I consider it one of the greatest experiences of my life to have served as leader of the BCRD. I treasure this time and am excited about pursuing some new opportunities in the future.”

Keating oversaw the board’s participation in a $500,000 Community Campus renovation that brought 30,000 square feet of space into use, in collaboration with other community organizations. The campus gets more than 100,000 visits per year, he said.

“Our collective efforts created more value for youth programming, team sports, active play and fitness offerings,” he said.

Keating oversaw the district’s development of summer trails and the expansion of Nordic ski trails around Galena Lodge and elsewhere in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and in Hailey.

“These trails complemented the existing offering by integrating moderate, accessible terrain for all users, including fat-bikers,” he said. “These locations enable more people to learn this affordable, healthy and active sport. More than 3,000 pass-holders enjoy the BCRD Nordic Trails in our community every year.”

Keating said he is excited for the future of the Recreation District, which he expects will include development of more hiking and biking trails in collaboration with the BLM at Quigley Canyon and in the south valley.

“The organization’s model is based on deep relationships with partners, and its mission of a healthy, active lifestyle truly connects everyone in our community,” he said.

The renovation of the Aquatics Center in Hailey, started a few years ago, is nearly complete, with pump track biking trails also under construction nearby.

Burchmore said the district is in a “strong financial position” and will be completing several large capital projects this summer. The board of directors will be working on an updated job description for the executive director position later in July, Burchmore said.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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