Three years ago, Copper Mountain Resort chief David Barry talked about cutting nonresort expenses, such as the post office and public works type things such as street lights.Today, the resort is making good on its word about the post office, much to the worry of the Copper community wondering where it will meet and greet while sending and receiving mail.Copper is forcing the issue after what it says have been $2.5 million in subsidies since 1974, calling on the post office to solve the problem.Keystone Resort chief Roger McCarthy is acting on the same principle addressing noncore expenses, much to the chagrin of some in his community.Both resorts sit in unincorporated Summit County. They function much like towns and the resort companies as the developers took on many public works and services trappings to make the communities work. Special districts fill in to provide water, sewerage and firefighting.Thirty-some years later, the model is changing as the now publicly traded resort companies retrench. In Copper, about three years ago, many were willing to go with the idea and form a town, but ironically perhaps, Intrawest, the owner of Copper, vetoed the idea.That probably had as much to do with Intrawest’s now-dead development plan as it did with the prospect of local taxes funding a town. Three years ago, Intrawest liked its development approval chances with the Board of County Commissioners.In retrospect, a Copper town council might have been kinder with the plan to almost double the size of the resort, at least granting some density instead of killing the plan entirely. Times change and so do local politics.Keystone residents recently decided they had nothing to gain by becoming part of the town of Dillon. At the same time, they fret about the resort’s new attitude about paying for services.Time will tell, but if the resorts continue paring back, incorporation or annexation may start looking better. If the two resorts were to incorporate, each would keep the county’s 2 percent sales tax for their own purposes.And if that occurs, county government will not look like it does today. Where’s former county commissioner Gary Lindstrom when you need him to talk about the “City and County of the Summit?”
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