Residents say the presence of the “Gold Rush” reality TV show has become a nuisance and have sued to keep the show from returning to Park County for a second season.
They say heavy equipment at the site of a mining operation would start at 7 every morning and wouldn’t stop until the evening, turning a rural neighborhood near Fairplay into an industrial zoned.
Save South Park also says the reality-TV gold mining operation wrecked a hillside landscape, ran afoul of its permits and shattered the quiet of their neighborhood all summer. In May, tensions boiled over into some alleged gun play and the arrest of a local man for felony menacing.
Mining stopped last week for the popular Discovery Channel show “Gold Rush,” on the eve of its season eight premiere on Oct. 13.
Last month, Save South Park — a group of about 30 people — filed a lawsuit against the Board of County Commissioners of Park County, accusing it of “abusing its discretion” by granting a favorable rezoning for the miners against the recommendation of its own planning commission.
“They’re not mining for gold, they’re mining for ratings,” is a common refrain among the unhappy locals. Either way, it was loud, and this summer it encroached on residential-zoned areas.
The Gold Rush crew first started mining an old dredge site below Colorado 9 in 2016. Not all of the neighbors share Save South Park’s complaints.
“As far as the relationship they’ve had with the town, it’s all been five-star,” said Fairplay Mayor Gabby Lane. “Nice gentlemen, they come into town, they spend a lot of money, they don’t cause any trouble. What more could you ask?”
The show itself, however, paints a different picture, at least for its TV viewers. The season’s second episode, “Blizzards and Bullets,” set to air Friday , promises a “rogue gunman” who “fires shots” at the crew.
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