Miller: Keeping up with Summit’s changing face |

Miller: Keeping up with Summit’s changing face

ALEX MILLERsummit daily news
Alex Miller

This week we had several stories in the Daily that really drove home for me the liquid nature of the Summit County community. And by liquid, I dont mean our fondness for brewed and distilled beverages but, rather, the way in which our landscape shifts and changes around us.One story had to do with The Prospector restaurant on Main Street in Breckenridge. A fixture on the street for more than 30 years, it was the kind of place you could rely on for a good breakfast at a reasonable price. Although it had been a while since Id stopped in for a meal, Ill miss The Prospector not just as a restaurant but as a folksy fixture in a town thats identity is based on such places. The historic district designation protects much of the towns core, but the demise of the Prospector illustrates the fact that not all is safe.Meanwhile, in Frisco, our profile about Lynda Colety a.k.a. Ma Moose of Moose Jaw fame served as a reminder that not everyone in Frisco is ready to sell their property to be converted into a loggy multiplex home-a-saurus (with retail component). And thats not to say that there arent still some sad-looking properties in town that might benefit from an infusion of cash, but Frisco seems to be on the fast track to transmogrify itself from a locals town with a second-home component into a second-home-owners paradise with very little room left for locals.At least Lynda will be around to serve a cold one to those of us who can stick it out under the invasion of the checkbook-wielding Boomers.As I ride my bike past the old Frisco Boardwalk building now reduced to a pile of dirt I cant help but pause and think about one night in 1981 that I slept on the second-floor deck in front of the old record store up there. The guy who owned it, Jim, had a Ticketmaster machine at the time, and tickets for The Rolling Stones were going on sale the next morning. Lyndas son, Troy, was up there with me, and probably 20 or 30 others, freezing our butts off but having a good time. We got the tickets, although I recall Jim telling us we couldve just showed up in the morning and done fine.The Boardwalk was, of course, an ugly building and something of a blight on the town. So, in place of a carpet store, a ski shop, a bar & grill, a music store, etc., we will be getting luxury residences that sell for $600,000 and up. Thats about a $4,000 monthly mortgage payment, in case you were wondering. Any locals up for that?(Sound of crickets.)Oh well. Maybe in a decade or so, when the Boomer boom goes bust, theyll come back on the market at a lower price. Its difficult not to ride around Frisco and wonder what changes will come from the next guy with a wad of cash and a bulldozer. That quaint little home on the corner of Granite and Madison? That shack-looking thing over in Bills Ranch? That little cabin behind Main Street thats housed a few generations of dishwashers? They all have targets painted on them by someone; the brochure is in production.One thing I am encouraged by is the cabin zoning the town of Frisco is looking into. Im not sure how high itll fly with developers looking to maximize investment, but the idea is that the proposed new rules would allow you to build more units on a piece of land, only smaller. So, instead of putting up one of these timber monstrosities that blot out the sun and loom over neighboring buildings, you put up four or five modest-sized dwellings.Well see how that goes over with the Houston Joneses looking for their professional-style kitchen, elevator and home theater. But kudos to the town, anyway. Even in this slumpy home-industry environment, the train is still rolling pretty good in Summit County and tossing a few incentives on the track to slow it down a bit seems like a good idea.Editor Alex Miller can be reached at or (970) 668-4618.

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