Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Parking Rules Changing in Breckenridge

About 50 people showed up to voice their opinions and concerns over potential parking changes at a community meeting last night at the Breckenridge Town Hall Council Chambers.

The changes being considered include making four all-day parking lots limited to three-hour parking, providing employee and residential permits, and posting a re-parking restriction on Main and Ridge streets to avoid employee abuse of the time limitations.

The lots that may change include Sawmill, Wellington, the courthouse and Barney Ford, and the idea is to take a proactive role in combating what may happen in January when Breckenridge Ski Resort changes two of their free lots to $10 a day parking, officials said at the meeting.

That change may throw ski area employees or guests into the nearby lots, particularly Sawmill and Wellington, because they are free. Three-hour time limits could help prevent this, said Jim Benkelman, transit parking and fleet manager. Along with that change, employee parking permits would become necessary so they could still use the lots all day, he added.“We’re not trying to change employee habits other than we prefer they not park on Main Street and Ridge Street,” Benkelman said, adding that those streets are for visitors.

A trend officials see is employees parking for three hours and then moving up or back a spot for the next three hours. If they install a re-parking restriction, people will only be able to park in a block once during the day.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Proposed Loft-Style Development in Silverthorne

Depending on who you talk to, a proposed loft-style development in Silverthorne could either be the key to creating the feel of a vibrant town center along the Blue River or simply an oversized building out of place with its surroundings.

Developers from the Florida-based Greenwald Group have proposed the 92,917-square-foot, four-story Blue River Lofts at 421 Rainbow Drive, a 1.28 acre plot of land owned by Allen Greenwald across from the Silverthorne Recreation Center and nestled against the Blue River.

Right now, the plans call for the building to rise 50 feet - 15 feet higher than the maximum height allowed in that area of town, although Greenwald vice president Jerry Miller said he is looking at options to reduce the height by at least a couple feet.

The sketch plan includes two levels of underground parking, a ground level with space for commercial uses like a coffee shop, a bakery, a day spa and a wine bistro, and three additional levels to house a mix of 37 studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Continued Study of Interstate 70

Maybe we should call it "continous" study! It never seems to end.

With another ski season getting underway over the busy Thanksgiving holiday, travelers along the I-70 corridor are preparing for the inevitable congestion that can make the trip to and from the mountain resorts slow and dangerous. There's no immediate solution in sight.

The burgeoning Front Range population means a steady growth in the number of I-70 trips, and plans by the Colorado Department of Transportation to significantly improve the highway are years away from being implemented. In fact, release of the final version of a long-awaited I-70 study has been pushed back until early next year. And once the plan is unveiled, it may be several years until construction actually begins.

But some short-term relief could come from a transportation demand management (TDM) plan forwarded by the I-70 Mountain Corridor Coalition, representing communities and businesses from all along the transportation corridor between Golden and Glenwood Springs.

The TDM plan includes a number of incentive-based measures intended to address peak-time congestion in the corridor. Some of the ideas floated in a draft version of the plan include free close-in parking at ski areas for carpoolers, as well as coupons for discounted goods and services for visitors willing to adjust their travel times to outside peak hours.

Additionally, the plan calls for installation of a high-tech traffic monitoring and notification system, which was implemented in a pilot phase this summer, visible to travelers in the form of new signs along the highway that detail travel times between key points.I t's not clear to what degree such measures will actually alleviate the crushing peak loads on the highway. The potential benefits haven't been quantified, coalition director Flo Raitano said. But similar measures have been tried - with mixed success - in other areas, notably in some of the long-distance travel corridors along the Eastern seaboard.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Two New Stores at Silverthorne Outlets

Two new stores have opened for business in the Outlets at Silverthorne just in time for the official start of the holiday shopping season.

Gymboree children's clothing store opened last Thursday, while Adidas opened last Friday.

Both stores are located in the Green Village off Rainbow Drive in Silverthorne.

Shirt Off My Back is scheduled to open on Friday in the same village, said Outlets marketing and events manager Janet Wolfson.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Colorado Mountain College Not Moving to Frisco

Colorado Mountain College will remain in Breckenridge and Dillon.

Since Frisco voters rejected a proposal to consolidate the campus on 20 acres of the Peninsula Recreation Area, the college is moving on to plan B.

They will be building a new 35,000-square-foot facility on Block 11 near the northern entrance of Breckenridge and, instead of consolidating, they will keep their Dillon site as well.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Breckenridge Nature Series

The Breckenridge Nature Series has standardized its hike and snowshoe times going into the winter.

The weekly hike/snowshoe will take place Thursday mornings at 10 a.m., starting on Thanksgiving day and running through April.

Prices do apply: A guided hike costs $15/person, $40/family up to four ($8/$22 with their own snowshoes).

Contact director Carin Faust at (970) 53-3362 for more information.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Breckenridge Town Welcome Center Grand Opening

Breckenridge's Welcome Center, at 203 S. Main Street, will join in the opening day festivities this weekend with a grand opening celebration of its own, featuring free coffee and other goodies between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Conceived as a one-stop information point for visitors, the 4,000-square-foot Welcome Center also houses a museum featuring multimedia interpretive displays on 1880s life in Breckenridge.

A 100-year-old log cabin that was discovered during the demolition of an existing building is part of the unique display.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Breckenridge Ski Resort Opens Tomorrow

This Friday, Nov 10 at 8:30 a.m., Breckenridge Ski Resort opens for the 2006-2007 season with three lifts, five runs and a terrain park with jumps and rails. Come celebrate with a complimentary pancake breakfast, live music and exciting giveaways throughout the day. As with previous opening days, lift ticket proceeds from Friday, Nov. 10 at Breckenridge Ski Resort will be donated to four local charities.

Breckenridge plans to open the Quicksilver out of the Village at Breckenridge, Beaver Run and the Mercury as well as the surface lifts for the Breckenridge Ski and Ride School. These lifts will serve five runs including Sundown, Columbia, Bonanza, Cashier and Silverthorne. Breckenridge Ski Resort will also be the first resort in the country to offer skiers and snowboarders jumps in addition to rails in the Country Boy Terrain Park. Breckenridge Ski & Ride School will also be open for the season, offering lessons at the Beaver Run base area.

This season, Breckenridge Ski Resort celebrates the opening of the BreckConnect Gondola that will bring together the town and the mountain. In addition to the gondola, Breckenridge is opening SnowWhite, 150 acres of expert terrain accessed off the Imperial Express. With the addition of SnowWhite, skiers and snowboarders can find adventure across 550 acres of lift-served terrain that the resort has added in the last two years.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Keystone Appoints New Exec.

Vail Resorts re-arranged its executive ranks Monday, promoting long-time Breckenridge skier services director Pat Campell to chief operating officer of Keystone Resort.

Campbell will report directly to Roger McCarthy, co-president of Vail Resorts' mountain division and chief operating officer of Breckenridge. McCarthy has served as chief operating officer for both Breckenridge and Keystone for four years since replacing John Rutter, who led the resort during much of the Ralston Purina era.

Campbell said no other personnel changes are planned at Keystone. Chuck Tolton will stay on as director of mountain operations.

Campbell's focus will be on delivering the type of guest experience that has "helped drive Breckenridge's growth and success as the second most-visited ski resort in the U.S.," said Vail Resorts chief executive officer Rob Katz.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Breckenridge Festival of Film Changes Dates

After 26 years as a fall event, the Breckenridge Film Festival is changing its dates to June 7-10 for the 2007 event.

While the time of year will be different, the festival's essential character will remain the same. Festival president Karin Penegor said, "June is equally well-suited to the casual and interactive atmosphere that has made the Breckenridge Film Festival special. The festival has always been enhanced by its beautiful mountain environment and June will provide as perfect a setting for the event as September always has."

Penegor said the many film festivals that occur in the fall (in Colorado and throughout the world) make it harder for people to make it to Breckenridge. Also the early summer is a good fit with the town.

Penegor wanted to emphasize that the new dates do not mean a change in the festival's fundamental goals - hosting stellar guests, presenting exceptional premieres and independent films, and creating an event to be shared by filmmakers and film-goers alike.

The 2007 Breckenridge Film Festival will feature forums, panel discussions and seminars throughout the weekend and continue its educational programs in association with the University of Colorado Film Studies Department.

Jeffrey Lyons, NBC film critic and co-host of ReelTalk, and Ben Lyons, movie correspondent for The E! Network, will continue to host the festival and conduct interviews with guests at open forums and post-screening Q-and-A sessions.

The festival website, www.breckfilmfest.com, will soon carry the Call for Independent Film Entries as well as general information for the June 7-10, 2007, Breckenridge Film Festival.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Real Estate Market Continues to Rise

After a slow August, the real estate market in Summit County proved bullish once again in the month of September, according to statistics collected by Land Title Guarantee Company.

In September, the Summit County real estate market increased 36 percent to $219,939,000 in monetary volume, as compared to $161,353,500 in 2005.

The number of transactions stayed relatively steady with 444 this month versus 445 a year ago - an encouraging upward trend after a slow August.

August 2006 sales decreased 12 percent over the prior year, and transactions were down 27 percent from 2005.

"Prices are significantly higher, but volume is the same as last year," said Brooke Valance, director of sales and marketing at Land Title Guarantee Company.

Breckenridge led all areas in the county with 94 transactions, which was 21.17 percent of overall Summit County transactions, and accounted for 37.16 percent of the total monetary volume in the county.

Keystone followed suit with 81 transactions at 14.01 percent of total monetary volume.

The Breckenridge Golf Course rounded out the top three areas with 54 transactions, accounting for 11.30 percent of overall monetary volume in the county.

With the winter season right around the corner, Copper Mountain and Keystone have both seen a significant increase in the number of transactions over the past two months.

Currently, listings are down about 25 percent over this time last year.

Valance attributes the increase in monetary volume to: baby boomers purchasing their dream vacation home, locals trying to get in to the market before the county reaches full build-out, affordability of properties when compared to places like Vail, and rental revenues increasing after a strong snow year - as in the record-setting winter of 2006.

Friday, November 03, 2006

And Yet Another Colorado Ski Resort Opens for the Season

Thanks to one of the snowiest Octobers on record (more than 3 feet) and efficient snowmaking, the lifts opened today for the general public at 9 a.m. at Keystone - a week earlier than the expected opening date of Nov. 10.

Thursday, the U.S. Ski team began training, three days earlier than originally scheduled.U.S. Ski Team athletes trained on the mountain Thursday morning and will load the chairlift at 8 a.m. tomorrow in River Run. The top U.S. men's and women's alpine athletes plan to train on Keystone's North Peak through early December as part of an exclusive on-snow partnership announced two weeks ago.

The resort will opened with six trails covering 133 acres - Flying Dutchman, Bachelor, Whipsaw, Endeavor, Santa Fe, and Jackface - all serviced out of the River Run base area.

Keystone's A51 terrain park team plans to offer a wide range of features, including boxes and rails, on the side of the Flying Dutchman trail. Terrain park manager Julian Lamarche enthused, "We're going to have plenty of jib-tastic goodness in the park. It's going to be a lot of fun."

The River Run Lift Ticket office will be open along with other skier services. Free parking will be available in the Montezuma lots in River Run.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Silverthorne Outlets Makes Purchase

The Outlets at Silverthorne has purchased the former Summit Chop House restaurant, which sat on the market empty for more than two years.

Outlets owner Craig Realty Group closed the $2 million sale on October 3, according to Summit County property records, for the restaurant located at 247 Rainbow Drive, near the Green Village of the Outlets.

Outlets manager Rob Goodell said the company intends to maintain the 6,300-square-foot building as a restaurant, and possibly even provide two or three different food options inside.

First, the Outlets needs to work with the Town of Silverthorne to modify the restaurant's planned unit development to allow for a remodel of the building, Goodell said.

The Outlets' intent is to provide indoor and outdoor seating, and the company is looking at potential tenant mixes, including one business that would offer quick service meals, and another sit-down establishment, Goodell said.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Adopt-A-Senior Pet Month

Elderly pets are looking to live out the rest of their lives in a loving home.

These pets are wiser, more set in their routines than younger pets and are very loving.

Like people, their personalities are not going to be different - what you see is what you get.

With November being Adopt-A-Senior Pet Month, the Summit County Animal Shelter is supporting the effort with an adopt-a-thon Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 11-12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days.

Adoption fees for elderly animals will be discounted. Call the shelter at (970) 668-3230 for more information.