Fiery backlash forces Fairplay mine owner to scrap asphalt plant 

A hotly anticipated hearing in Fairplay today never happened. The owner of an active mine just outside town limits has pulled his application for a new asphalt plant.  

Property owner Scott Downen says he is “back to the drawing board” after hundreds of people protested in person and online.  

A February planning meeting devolved into “chaos,” he says, when opponents crowded the meeting room. That hearing was rescheduled for a fire code violation, and then canceled when Downen pulled his application. 

Opponents like Alma resident Todd Anders Johnson are cautiously celebrating. He promises to closely watch for a future application. 

“There is now focus on what the new Park County master plan revisions will be and how will they relate to these types of industries,” Anders Johnson says via email. 

A petition against the plant recruited over 700 supporters. The year-round population of Fairplay is 729.