See, Keystone isn’t a real town. It’s merely just a resort (and a fantastic one at that) surrounded by the immense natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains. It was a real sight to behold, especially waking up every morning to babbling brooks and views like this outside my window:
But this insular little community troubled me the entire time I was there. It felt like a resort. Its logo was everywhere. Something was off here. But what was it…
Interwebs, don’t fail me now! And the answer, as I and my fellow researcher Laurel came to learn on Sunday night is that Keystone, Colorado is not technically a town. No, no, it’s a little something termed as a Census-Designated Place.
What’s a Census-Designated Place?
Turns out a Census-Designated Place, or CDP, is a term assigned by the U.S. Census Bureau to communities that resemble cities but lack incorporation or any sort of municipal government. Or a post office, it seems (at least in the case of Keystone).
So in the eyes of the Census Bureau, Keystone is not a real place. Great! But it gets slightly more complicated than that…
Hawaii for instance, doesn’t have incorporated communities, making it a state full of Census-Designated Places… Take Honolulu. According to Wikipedia, Honolulu is considered both a county and a city and the government is consolidated into one, so the Census Bureau considers the urbanized areas of Honolulu to be a Census-Designated Place. Crazy, right??
A Census-Designated Place may be nothing more than a statistical blip according to the Census Bureau, but I think they’re kind of fascinating. Though I don’t think anyone would argue that Honolulu isn’t a real city, we now know what we can call a town that is nothing more than a corporate owned resort. So please, let’s get our terminology straight here. And know that next time you find yourself in an isolated resort that you may not be in a town at all! At least according to the Census Bureau!
Oh, and the conference?
As for Keystone and the conference? They were both awesome (this year’s TBEX was a major improvement over last year, with reliable WiFi and coffee!) and the perfect end to my 5 weeks of travel through Turkey and Iraq (with an all-too-brief stop in Vienna). And just what was it like to travel in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region? Well, you’ll have to wait till Sunday to find out!
Cheers! And here’s to Census-Designated Places everywhere!