“It’s hard to describe what a four-foot boulder sounds like getting dropped into metal.” Fairplay, Colorado Resident
Discovery Channel’s new season of the reality show Gold Rush filmed in Fairplay, Colorado has been divisive for the rural mountain town. Some residents enjoyed the economic boost of having a production crew renting homes and eating at local restaurant while others are angry that the show turned a small old mine into much bigger operation.The Denver Channel headed out to Fairplay to speak with locals and get their take on how the show has effected their way of life and discovered rifts that have been created during filming.
Producers of “Gold Rush” said they will not return to Park County to film, but locals say they are still feeling the impacts and are worried the exposure will create future growth and want to retool the zoning laws to protect themselves:
“Me and a bunch of other of our folks said we can’t allow this because if they can rezone that parcel from residential to mining, they can do any parcel. They could rezone next door to us, next door to anybody.”
To give some historical reference, mining has been around in Fairplay since 1856 and the town’s mayor says it’s here to stay.
There has been an increase in tourism to the town from fans of the show wanting to the see the mining operation first hand but one local warned of the boom and bust nature of pulling gold from the ground and the importance of protecting the towns natural resources:
“The population that comes up here to look at the beauty, to enjoy the beauty, is way bigger. We believe the overall economic impact from our maintaining our aesthetics here is way bigger than a small TV show and way longer lasting. You know gold mining is a boom and bust.”
How to do you feel about the town’s dilemma? Do you sympathize with townspeople who feel having a TV show filmed in their town has brought unwanted growth to a traditional industry of the area or do you think the inconveniences of living next to mine come with the territory?