30-year plan: Determination, dedication
KEYSTONE – Dan Ulmer has loved every minute of living in Summit County, all 14.7 million of them.The Keystone resident arrived with his young family nearly 30 years ago. In a desperate plea for Ulmer’s help, his old college buddy called him one day in 1976 with a job offer in property management. Little did he know his life and times in Summit County would also include firefighting, holding political office, picturesque snowshoeing, a new bride and even working with Boy Scouts.Today he owns and operates Basic Property Management in Silverthorne with a countywide clientele of 800 units. His business philosophy leans away from office phones, so he is out on the street most days.On Sunday afternoon, he could be seen picking up trash at a street corner in Dillon Valley.
“As a property manager you see everything,” Ulmer said. “It’s changed from a short-term visitors’ market to long-term leases for full-time residents. So now you see a lot more domestic violence and theft, instead of complaints about the hide-a-bed.”Ulmer was elected Summit County commissioner from 1984-88. He stayed involved in a myriad of community groups after he lost his re-election bid by less than 2 percent of 6,000 votes.Looking back, Ulmer thinks he lost because he held a very unpopular opinion at the time. He was one of the only politicians in the state who publicly favored the Two Forks Dam proposal in the mountain town of Deckers. Two Forks would have taken some of the pressure off of Dillon Reservoir to supply water to the growing Front Range, Ulmer said.
Environmentalists and Colorado residents successfully opposed the water storage project that would have submerged the mountain town of Deckers in Douglas County.In addition to political battles, Ulmer has fought fires as a volunteer with the Dillon Valley Fire Department. One time in 1983, he and the fire chief alone put out a house fire themselves.Ulmer said he doesn’t ski nearly as much as he did in the 1970s and ’80s, even though the advent of snowmaking has extended the season by several months. To escape the crowds he snowshoes, hunts, fishes and bikes.”When you work seven days a week, you want to retreat to someplace quiet by yourself,” said Ulmer. “It gives you a chance to clear your mind and think of what you’ve done during the week and whether it was right or wrong.”Teaching rights and wrongs to Boy Scouts was Ulmer’s duty as a scout master for his sons’ troop in the early 1980s. In fact, Fifth Judicial District Attorney Mark Hurlbert was in the troop.”Many of the kids in that troop have done very well,” Ulmer said.
His oldest son ,Todd, 34, runs an export business in Fort Lauderdale. His youngest son, Chad, 28, works on construction projects in Denver.Ulmer, 58, said he will stay just several more years in Summit County. He is engaged to marry Lanelle Barnett, a local accountant.When he’s 62, he plans to join a group of several hundred people who have moved from the High Country to Grand Junction for milder winters. The group of Summit County expatriates has a reunion every summer.Christine McManus can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.CUTLINE: Little did Dan Ulmer know his 30 years in Summit County would also include firefighting, holding political office, picturesque snowshoeing, a new bride and even working with Boy Scouts.
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