New Keystone taking shape; rec district might help save tennis |

New Keystone taking shape; rec district might help save tennis

Keystone Resort watchers are seeing a gradual change in business priorities. Tennis is the latest casualty of a ski resort trying to focus on its core business – skiing.

The choices at Keystone are difficult, but it comes down to whether people want better grooming, more efficient snowmaking and other such core improvements, or do they want a resort doing just about everything – and some of it not very well.

Money still makes the world go round, and new resort chief operating officer Roger McCarthy is making the tough calls on how to direct resources. He’s going to fix the hill first.

What people in Keystone will have to figure out is if they want to compensate and backfill a need with funds to make it happen. The Keystone Citizens League might consider forming a metropolitan district to administer and finance an array of services and recreation. That’s how it works at Copper Mountain.

Perhaps the tennis question could energize an idea floating around Summit County to form a recreation district. A recreation district could join Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne and unincorporated Summit County in shared financial efforts to support tennis, the Blue River ballfields and were it ever to come to this, a municipal-type golf course in a place it makes sense.

The inherent problems with the Keystone Tennis Center are clear in the fact Keystone can’t afford it, and an independent operator couldn’t be found. Recreation requires subsidy, public or otherwise. That’s a fact of life that drives both the Silverthorne and Breckenridge recreation centers.

The only legitimate reason anyone could demand that Keystone keep the tennis center open is if it is somehow in the purchasing contracts or other bylaws of homeowners, a tennis center was guaranteed. If so, we should anticipate a lawsuit, and a legitimate one.

Otherwise, for all the criticism Keystone has taken this year for making cutbacks in on-mountain operations, one should only expect that same group of people to support Keystone in any decision that frees up money to mitigate the on-mountain losses.

Building a top-notch resort takes time, and maintaining it takes money. Keystone, as a skier’s destination, might have slipped recently in its reputation, especially as other Colorado resorts make improvements that allow them to offer more.

The long-term planning at Keystone is an investment in the future of the resort, and therefore in the future value of the homes and condos there. Stand by the leaders at the resort, and in time, you’ll see Keystone return to its former glory – perhaps surpass it.

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