“Keystone wants to become a real town and take control of its destiny…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.”–Ken Riley, Retired Air Force Colonel.
Keystone Resort is one of Vail Resorts’ most important mountains, yet it’s technically located in an unincorporated community. That soon may change, as the Denver Post reports that the community is trying to hold a special election early next year to vote on whether they will become Colorado’s 273rd incorporated municipality.
In October, residents that live around Keystone filed a petition with the state court to hold an election to create the town and had the required signatures needed for it to happen. Currently, Summit County governs Keystone, with residents sending tax money to clear the roads and have police and fire management.
According to locals, some of the reasons that they want to officially become a town include creating a safe bus stop for kids, building a public park for families, protecting locals and guests from hazardous trucks that stumble their way through Loveland Pass, and reducing police and fire department response times.
The town would be around 1177 acres and have a property value of about $2.5 billion. The Vail-owned buildings and golf courses would not be a part of this new town, due to Vail Resorts not responding to citizens’ requests about the proposal.
Bill Bergman, the Co-Founder of Keystone, was originally against the town incorporating back in 1996. This time around, he’s for it. If the last sentence of these comments from him comes off as a bit odd, it should be noted that Bill is ninety-eight years old:
“It is necessary. We have a lot of things we can do ourselves and not have to depend on the county. Once you’re incorporated, you can keep the taxes. We just want to solve our own problems ourselves…We will know how to do it…I hope it won’t become a communist community.”
Vail Resorts opposed the first push in 1996 to become a town and has remained silent on whether it should become an incorporated municipality. They said the following to the Denver Post about Keystone resident’s push to become an incorporated municipality:
“Keystone Resort appreciates the skilled leadership of the Summit County Commissioners and staff, which has been particularly important for our community, our employees, and our guests throughout the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recovery. We look forward to continuing to engage in the community discussion about the potential benefits, risks, and costs of forming a new municipal government.”
Image Credits: Keystone Resort