The park for RVs, nestled alongside U.S. 34, sits between Lake Granby and Shadow Mountain Lake, its cool blue waters reflecting the surrounding mountains. Just up the road, visitors can hike the vast west side of Rocky Mountain National Park or cast a line in the Colorado River.
The grounds sport 55 RV and trailer sites, with another 23 mobile home units. The 80-some owners only come during the summer months as the park doesn’t have running water or sewage systems during the winter. None use it as their primary residence.
Residents call it an RV park. But the state says it’s a mobile home park subject to the Mobile Home Park Act, a series of laws aimed at protecting low-income residents from predatory owners looking to jack up rents. This distinction, T Lazy W Park’s owners contend, “threatens to destroy the recreational community.”
Meanwhile, a statewide group that represents RV parks and campgrounds says these rulings could completely change the business model for its members.
“This is a massive distraction from the (Colorado Department of Local Affairs’) primary purpose: to protect those who can’t protect themselves,” said Colin E. Moriarty, an attorney representing the Grand County park owners. “Instead they’re wasting taxpayer money squabbling over vacation homes.”
The park’s lawsuit against the state is one of two legal battles that cut to the core of Colorado’s recent legislation: Which communities, exactly, should be counted as mobile home parks and afforded increased protections?