Copper: It’s not personal; it’s just business | SummitDaily.com
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Copper: It’s not personal; it’s just business

JENNIFER HUFFMANsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Frank Inserra sells hot dogs at Copper, but it may be his last season since his cart changed locations on orders of Copper Mountain Inc.
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COPPER MOUNTAIN – Frank and Linda Inserra have been serving up hot dogs to the droves at Copper Mountain for five and a half years from a cart near the American Eagle Lift in front of the Lazy Lizard restaurant in Center Village.However, Copper Mountain Resort and the Village at Copper Association (Village Company) decided in January to roll Frank’s Franks up the street next to Endo’s Adrenaline Cafe, and the Inserras said that business has suffered as a result.On the Lazy Lizard terrace behind Frank’s former spot, Lazy Lizard manager Robert Coleman has started selling food outside, including hot dogs.The couple said that if they have to stay in the new spot next season, they won’t be able to continue the business because of reduced revenue.”We have other tenants to consider, and (Frank) doesn’t have an agreement with us. The Lazy Lizard does,” said Copper Mountain spokesperson Jamie Wilson. “We need to look out for those who do have a lease agreement.”

Frank’s agreement with Copper Mountain expired on April 30, 2004.Copper Mountain Inc. maintains control of the liquor license for the Lazy Lizard and is the operating entity for its building.”We have to make sure that one business isn’t in front of another business,” said Peter Siegel, the Village Company executive director. Siegel said the commercial division of Copper Mountain Inc. would be handling the cart vendors going forward.As far as the Lazy Lizard being a direct competitor to Frank’s Franks, he said that telling retailers what they can and can’t sell doesn’t fall under the purview of the Village Company.

Graeme Bilenduke, commercial manager for Copper Mountain, said that the new location was agreed upon by all involved parties, including the Inserras.”We agreed to try the new location, because we had no choice,” Linda said. “We just got a letter that said, ‘This is your new location.'””We were told that it’s not personal; it’s just business,” Frank said.Frank and Linda are only guaranteed their new spot until the end of the ski season.”I’m retired, so this was my golf. And now they took it away,” Frank said. “I just wish I could afford to be out there for nothing.”

The Inserras are two of Copper Mountain’s rare longtime residents.Frank and Linda said that after Intrawest decided to close the Copper post office’s regular operation, Frank’s Franks was one of the only local meeting places left.”This is our home, but it’s made it not fun to live here anymore,” Frank said.The Copper commercial community has for many years endured a split between resort-controlled businesses and independents. Jennifer Huffman can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 248, or at jhuffman@summitdaily.com.


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