Freestyle center holdup: VR
KEYSTONE – Despite the delayed opening of the Landon Morley Freestyle Center, the founders say they are still committed to bringing a world-class training center to Keystone. The center was initially scheduled to open to elite athletes and the general public in April. Back in October, the Summit County commissioners approved the rezoning of the property from a tennis complex into a freestyle center for the next generation of freestyle skiers and snowboarders.When tennis players on the northeastern side of the county see the center is still quiet, many have been wondering what’s going on behind closed doors.”If they’re not going to do this ski center anytime soon, we’d like to be able to play,” said former Keystone tennis instructor Daniel Pitner, who lost his job with Keystone Resort last year. “I’m just curious as to what’s happening.”The indoor and outdoor tennis courts at Keystone closed last year as part of Keystone’s backing away from services unrelated to its core ski resort operations.Tennis players in northeastern Summit County have been watching and waiting for the courts to be converted. They wish they were still able to practice their serves and backhands indoors and out at Keystone, Pitner said.For eight months, the Sawyer Foundation has been converting the indoor Keystone tennis courts into the freestyle center, with trampolines, exercise machines and foam pits and other acrobatic features.”The Sawyers are fully committed to the freestyle center and have no intention of backing out,” said Mitch Baranowski, the Sawyers’ spokesperson. “They’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in this hiring staff members and developing programs. They’re ready to go.”The center would accommodate elite freestyle athletes and the general public alike. The foundation secured an insurance policy for elite athletes and the general public, Baranowski said.For eight months, the Sawyer Foundation has also been waiting for Keystone and Vail Resorts to finalize the lease on the center, Baranowski said.The ski resort owns the property. Vail Resorts and Keystone are working out the final details of the lease for the freestyle center, said Lisha Burnett, spokesperson for Keystone. Some tennis players from Dillon and Keystone area are trekking across the county to the Breckenridge Recreation Center tennis courts.”We’re getting a lot more people playing tennis on the courts,” said Allyson Terpsma, Breckenridge Recreation Center employee. “I’ve heard people are coming from Dillon, Silverthorne and Keystone.”The Sawyers still have their business license at the Summit County Clerk’s Office. The license was issued in January and is good until 2005.If freestyle center organizers want to build a ski jump or convert the tennis courts outside into a skate and BMX bike park, they still must receive final approvals from the county. “They haven’t come in with any outdoor proposals,” said Kristin White, Summit County planner. “I don’t really know what their status is (on the ski jump and skate and BMX bike park).”The Snake River Planning Commission would cast the final vote on a jump or skate and BMX park, White said. Christine McManus can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229 or at email@example.com.
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