Copper post office to close
COPPER MOUNTAIN – Copper Mountain might lose a slice of its small-town character next month when the local post office closes on Oct. 31.Longtime resident and business owner Tom Malmgren, who visits the post office daily, was disappointed in the news from resort owner Intrawest that it would discontinue subsidies at the office, effectively shutting it down.”We’ll have no social place to buy a stamp and say hi to our neighbors,” Malmgren said. In a Sept. 1 letter to employees, business owners and residents, resort general manager Steve Paccagnan said that as resort operations continued to change and move forward, the company was “no longer in a position” to continue to fund postal service.
The operation was always financially unsuccessful, Paccagnan said.Malmgren said the village has few locations where residents interact and get to know one another. The post office is the main focal point for such activity.”It seems like we’re going backwards,” he said. “It’s frustrating; we seem to be losing more and more of our community-type venues that previously existed at Copper Mountain.”Malmgren named two former restaurants that used to be local gathering spots in the village. “Now they are offices, which has diminished the activity of things in the East Village,” he said.
The post office at Copper opened 30 years ago -in October, 1974 – in a trailer in Ten Mile Circle. In that time, resort officials subsidized its operation at a total cost of more than $2.5 million. Paccagnan said the company “should get back to focusing on its core business and let the U.S. Postal Service do what they do best: manage the mail.”Malmgren questioned why the resort had to subsidize the operation to the tune of $175,000 annually.”Why does the post office cost so much, and are they really subsidizing to that amount?” he asked, suggesting officials reconsider price structures.
What the decision means for postal customers at the resort was unclear Friday. Paccagnan is researching ways to continue postal service after October, possibly through rural boxes or a third party vendor that might provide boxes and retail service.In the letter, Paccagnan acknowledged the decision would not be easily accepted. “We are constantly seeking out innovative ways to more efficiently manage our day-to-day operations,” he wrote. “Decisions such as these are not easy but must be made.”Kim Marquis can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 249, or at email@example.com.
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