Keystone resort residents seek self-rule as Colorado’s newest town

“We’ve been powerless," said one Keystone resident

Bruce Finley
The Denver Post
River Run business Pizza on the Run entices riders to come and have a slice and a beverage on opening day of the season at Keystone, Oct. 28, 2022.
Andy Cross/The Denver Post

KEYSTONE — After 50 years as an unincorporated mountain resort, Keystone residents are trying to become Colorado’s newest town — taking on the challenges of democratic self-rule.

They filed a petition in October in state court with more than the required number of signatures and are preparing for a special election early next year. It’s a matter of freedom, residents say, to focus on meeting human needs: school bus stops for kids, safety for visitors as hazardous oil and gas tankers from Loveland Pass rocket through, and power to shape their own future.

“Keystone wants to become a real town and take control of its destiny,” said Ken Riley, a retired Air Force colonel and aerospace industry executive leading an 11-member committee coordinating the campaign.

“And it’s important that the community have an identity. We’ve grown by 40% over the past five years in full-time population. It’s time to recognize we are indeed a community. … a family-friendly resort community,” Riley said.

But the company that controls much of Keystone, and owns 575 acres — Vail Resorts, with global revenues around $2.5 billion — hasn’t taken a position.


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