Wednesday, August 30, 2006

2018 Winter Olympics in Colorado?

A Denver committee is exploring a possible bid for the 2018 winter Olympic games.

"If the (U.S. Olympic Committee) would make a decision that they would open up bids for 2018 from any U.S. city, then we would like to be considered as a potential contender for that," Robert Cohen, chairman of the Metro Denver Sports Commission said.

Among those contacted as the group puts together its plans was the Vail Valley Foundation that puts on the Birds of Prey World Cup ski races at Beaver Creek, the only U.S. stop on the men's World Cup circuit. The foundation also hosts The Session, a pro snowboarding competition on Vail Mountain.

John Dakin, spokesman for the foundation said they've discussed conceptual plans.

"Right now it's pretty safe to say that everything is still in the investigation stage and trying to understand what they are looking for, what their goals and objectives are both in the short term and long term," Dakin said.

The USOC likely will decide within two years if it wants to make a U.S. bid for the games. Reno, Nev./Tahoe Lake; Salt Lake City; and Lake Placid, N.Y., have also expressed interest in the 2018 Games, Cohen said.

The Denver exploratory committee formed three years ago and is composed of about 30 people.

Denver was awarded the 1976 Olympic Games in 1970 but opponents, led by former Gov. Dick Lamm, then a state representative, said the games would be too costly, environmentally harmful and spur too much growth. Voters rejected funding the games in 1972 and the city withdrew as host. Innsbruck, Austria hosted the 1976 games.

The site of the 2014 Winter Games will be selected next July. The finalists are: PyeongChang, South Korea; Salzburg, Austria; and Sochi, Russia

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Farmer's Korner Noise Wall Decision

With the four-laning of Highway 9 near Farmer's Korner (just north of Breckenridge) scheduled for next summer, the one thing that residents of the Farmer's Grove subdivision could agree on is that all the new noise would need to be mitigated.

What wasn't decided was whether a landscaped berm or a concrete wall was the best solution to the new problem.

Yesterday, residents, county officials and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) agreed on a combination solution. Where there is enough width for a landscaped berm, that is what will be built, and where room gets more scarce, CDOT will build a berm and wall combination.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Breckenridge Film Festival

The Breckenridge Film Festival is holding a meeting on Wednesday for people willing to volunteer some time during the festival, Sept. 7-10.

Many volunteers are needed, especially in ticket sales.

Different amounts of time are available from a three-hour slot to working the entire festival.

Three hours gets you a ticket to a show.

The Wednesday meeting at 5 p.m. will be at Downstairs at Eric's in Breckenridge where those interested in volunteering can eat pizza and sign up for a slot to work.

Call the Breck Film Fest office at (970) 453-6200 for more info or to volunteer.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Historic Breckenridge Museums and Mines

The Edwin Carter Museum, located at 111 N. Ridge St., is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Barney Ford House Museum, located at 111 E. Washington Ave., is also open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Museum entrance is free.

For more information, contact the Summit Historical Society at (970) 453-9022 or the Saddle Rock Society at (970) 453-5761.

The Rotary Snow Plow Parkl ocated on Boreas Pass Rd. just off Highway 9 is open every Wednesday from Noon to 3 p.m. Donations accepted.

Washington Mine tour is open every Wednesday at 1 p.m.. Located 1.1 miles from the intersection of Highway 9 and Boreas Pass Rd. on Illinois Gulch Rd. $3 charge.

Lomax Mine tour is open every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Located on Ski Hill Rd, 1/2 mile from the intersection with Park Ave. $3 charge.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Great-West Celebrity Golf Tournament

Plenty of sports celebrities and Hollywood stars will participate in the Great-West Celebrity Golf Tournament this Monday and Tuesday, to benefit The Summit Foundation.

Continuing in the tradition of 2005, teams of four golfers will be matched with a celebrity and enjoy tournament play at both the Breckenridge Golf Club and Keystone Ranch Golf Course on alternate days. There will be plenty of opportunities to mingle with celebrity guests, tournament players and event sponsors at the Main Street Station Plaza for the Welcome Cocktail Party and team buy-out on Sunday, and the Golf Gala Dinner at Beaver Run Resort on Monday.

This year's play includes everyone from hometown ski racing heroes like Jake Fiala, Jason Rosener and Chris Canfield, to Olympic gold medalist Al Joyner.

It culminates with the awards reception at the Breck Golf Club on Tuesday from 4-6 p.m.

For more information, call The Summit Foundation at (970) 453-5970.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Keystone Receives FedEx Donation

The Keystone Center's program division Keystone Science School has been selected as the beneficiary of an inkjet cartridge recycling program launched in early August by FedEx and EnviroSmart.

Proceeds from the program will provide partial scholarships for up to 100 students to attend Keystone Science School's summer education programs.

The pilot program, launched August 4 at all seven FedEx locations in Memphis, Tenn., encourages FedEx employees to deposit used inkjet cartridges in workplace collection containers for recycling by EnviroSmart - the world's leading independent recycler of printer cartridges.

EnviroSmart uses FedEx to ship the used cartridges to its recycling center and also pays FedEx for each recycled inkjet cartridge.

FedEx's goal of collecting 8,000 cartridges by the end of 2006 would generate about $10,000, which FedEx is donating to support Keystone Science School's education programs.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Golden Horseshoe Meetings

The following Golden Horseshoe work group meetings are open to the public:

Recreation Distribution Group:

Thursday, Aug. 24, 5:30 p.m. County Courthouse, BOCC meeting room, 208 E. Lincoln Ave., Breckenridge.

Wednesday, Aug. 30, 5:30 p.m. County Courthouse, BOCC meeting room, 208 E. Lincoln Ave., Breckenridge.

Natural Resources Group:

Thursday, Aug. 24, 5:30 p.m., Breckenridge Town Hall, Planning Conference Room, 150 Ski Hill Road.

Plenary Group:

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 5:30 p.m. County Courthouse, BOCC meeting room, 208 E. Lincoln Ave., Breckenridge.

These meetings consist of local citizens who are volunteering their time to help the town of Breckenridge, Summit County Government, and the Forest Service to develop a management plan for the area of public land east of Breckenridge known as the Golden Horseshoe. The public is welcome to attend these regularly scheduled meetings to observe and contribute comments.

For more information, contact the Summit County Open Space and Trails Department at (970) 668-406

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Fatty's Golf Tournament

Fatty's Golf Tournament was not a real golf tournament. It was a pub crawl with Whiffle balls. Players would dress up to whatever tune they danced in those days, and hit their Whiffle balls with an item of their choosing - golf club, hockey stick, badminton racket - moving from one bar to the next as quick as the pace would allow.

They played from Fatty's restaurant through the Breckenridge streets, over the river, from one end of town to the other, and then back to Fatty's.

If they could stand up when they returned after the all-day affair - which required they consume a drink at each of the 18 "holes" - there was a good chance they'd be on the leaderboard. This all took place during the late 1970s and dearly 1980s.

As Fatty's owner John Daisy recalls it, the tournament only lasted 10 years, despite popularity unlike anything that exists today.

"We used to get upward of 300 people playing in this," Daisy said.

One year, a photo from the post-tournament party graced the pages of Golf Digest.

Then, as with any of the grand-old-games in town (the old-timers bemoan), responsibility took over. Town officials required the event to be insured. That took care of the event.

It is returning this year, but not as it once was, of course. This time it will be the Fatty's-Golf-Tournament-that's-actually-a-golf-tournament. It's set for Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Breckenridge Golf Club. Costumes will still play a role. So will good old-fashioned cheer and beer. To preserve the event's history, each of the 18 holes will be named after a bar that once housed a stop on the original downtown Breckenridge links.

To sign up call Fatty's at (970) 453-9802, or go by Fatty's pizzeria. The event features a shotgun start at 10:30 a.m., and the $125-per-person registration fee includes drinks, a box lunch on the course, prizes and dinner at Fatty's afterward. All proceeds benefit Summit Youth Hockey and Summit Lacrosse.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blue River to Decide on Road Paving

The Blue River Board of Trustees has taken the initial steps to include a question on the November ballot that would form a special improvement district to pay for the paving of all the narrow, gravel roads in town.

Residents who already have homes in the town's three paved subdivisions or live on Highway 9 would not be included in the district, said Mayor Darcy Lystlund.Lystlund, who's been on the board for nearly a decade, said a meeting rarely passes by when somebody doesn't ask when the town is going to pave the dusty, pothole-ridden roads.

She said the board isn't advocating for the improvement district to pass, but wants to put the ball in the property owners' court so they can answer the paving question once and for all.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wells Music-Yamaha Piano Competition

This Sunday, teen piano prodigies Jeffrey Lee and Colin Barnett-Hart, both co-winners of the prestigious Wells Music-Yamaha Piano Competition, will perform the popular Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor with the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra.

Created by Bob Baker of Wells Music, the Wells Music-Yamaha Piano Competition was first held at the store's location in Englewood, with 25 students competing. Now, 18 years later, it has grown to become the largest Yamaha piano competition in the country. Still hosted and sponsored by Wells Music, which is now located in Denver, the week-long event features more than 450 young pianists competing in different age divisions for trophies, plaques and scholarship awards. In addition, winners of the junior and senior divisions are given the opportunity to perform with Colorado orchestras.

The Breckenridge Music Festival presents "Austrian Masterworks" Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center.

The program features the BMF Orchestra with guest soloists Jeffrey Lee and Colin Barnett-Hart, winners of the 2006 Wells Music-Yamaha Piano Competition.

The concert will feature the Tchaikovsky Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23, Schubert's Symphony No. 2 in B-flat Major, D. 125, and the Mozart Requiem, featuring the Summit Choral Society and Front Range Choruses.

For ticket information: Call (970) 547-3100 or visit

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Our Future Summit

Local residents met Aug. 10 to talk about a common vision that would embody the values of a diverse cross-section of the community. Hosted by Our Future Summit, a grassroots nonpartisan public policy education organization, the gathering challenged participants to identify and discuss circumstances that would contribute to a better quality of life here in Summit County, a process initiated last February.

Meeting facilitators Jennifer Kermode and Sarah Stokes Alexander asked the audience to define important core values that make Summit County a special place to live. Many people cited environment, community, and quality of life. Growth issues were seen as a challenge. Important goals were affordable housing, sustainability, business diversity, energy independence, a strong middle class, and increased grassroots participation.

A web survey conducted prior to the meeting asked people about their concerns for the county. Affordable housing/cost of living, traffic/transportation, growth and land use and the environment were identified as having the greatest importance. As part of the February meeting, individuals were asked to submit their vision statements for the County. These have been accumulated into a library of vision statements, and are available along with survey results, at

The next step, according to Our Future Summit president Howard Hallman, is to distribute a draft vision statement drawn from opinions and values identified in meetings and surveys.

Our Future Summit’s next community forum, After the Pine Beetle, Summit County’s Future Forest Landscape?, is set from 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Community and Senior Center in the County Commons near Frisco.

The draft statement will be available online and as a handout. Our Future Summit is asking for comments on the proposed statements from residents, businesses, and civic organizations prior to presenting the results later this year. All interested individuals are urged to review accounts of the two visioning exercises, examine proposed vision statements, complete the current survey, and comment on a consensus vision statement, once available, at

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Summit Huts Seeking Volunteers

Summit Huts Association is seeking volunteers to help get the back-country cabins ready for the upcoming winter season.

Work days are Aug. 25 and 26 at Francie's Cabin; Sept. 16 at 17 at Janet's Cabin; and Sept. 30 at Section House and Ken's Cabin.

Contact SHA at or (970) 453-8583 for more info or to sign up.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Intrawest Bought by Fortress Investment Group

Intrawest announced the $1.81 billion dollar buyout by Fortress Investment Group Friday morning. Intrawest owns Copper Mountain and Winter Park.

Intrawest chairman and chief executive officer Joe Houssain said the deal is in the best interests of the company's shareholders.

Skier visits have grown under Intrawest's ownership in the past eight years, but some base-area businesses have languished. Some Copper residents have been unhappy with Intrawest management, and have expressed concern with the company over development plans in recent years.

Intrawest Colorado officials said the sale won't have any immediate impacts on day-to-day operations.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Blue River "Pumpback"

Blue River pumpback negotiations intensified recently, as local lodge owner Tom Gleason suggested that the Summit County commissioners are delaying approval for the project at the expense of residents and businesses who can't hook up to sewer facilities unless the project goes forward.

Several other locals also spoke in favor of the $10 million project at a public hearing, touting the potential benefits of the pumpback, which would carry Blue River water from Farmer's Korner back up to Breckenridge.

"I'm a little disturbed by the infighting between the boards," said Ron Shelton, referring to the ongoing negotiations between the BOCC and the Breckenridge Sanitation District.

"You're bickering and racking up the legal bills ... There's so much positive to (the pumpback)."

At issue is county approval for the sanitation district's plan to build a roadside pipeline from the Farmer's Korner water treatment plan and pump up to 17 cfs of water back upstream. The pumpback could boost flows during the winter, when parts of the river dry up completely, especially during snowmaking season.

Water from the project could also help the sanitation district meet strict water quality standards.

The county and the sanitation district agree that the project offers significant public benefits during the winter. But they have been unable to finalize an agreement that would govern summer operations, when upstream users could potentially divert the water.

The county wants to maintain its review authority for summer operations under its 1041 powers, established by state statute to regulate areas of state interest. The "unintended consequences" of the pumpback could include harm to downstream water users in the Lower Blue, for example.

A pending application by Colorado Springs (which diverts from the headwaters of the Blue River) shows there is a risk that other parties could take advantage of the increased flows from the pumpback, with potential impacts to downstream users, said Barney White, the county's water attorney.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"Bark" Festival in Breckenridge

The Carter Park Bark Festival and Rummage Sale is Sunday, Aug. 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The second annual event includes door prizes, a bake sale, paw painting, canine massage, splash pools and photos.

Volunteers are needed to help with general admission, the rummage sale and activity booths.

Baked goods are also needed for the bake sale.

Call Karen Martiny at (970) 453-9717 or ask for Kathy Hickey at Starbucks in Breckenridge to help with the event. To offer a baked good, contact Charlie Jackman at (970) 453-2513 by Wednesday.

This event is a fundraiser for the Animal Rescue of the Rockies' shelter fund for Mariah's Promise Animal Sanctuary.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Friends of the Eagles Nest Wilderness

The Friends of the Eagles Nest Wilderness (FENW) is looking for volunteers for their S. Willow Creek trail project on Saturday, Aug. 19.

Volunteers are needed to work on the trail connecting Buffalo Mountain with the Gore Range Trail as it crosses the South Willow Creek drainage, installing bridges and other drainage measures.

Volunteers will hike in from the Ryan Gulch Trailhead about 3 miles. Interested volunteers should RSVP to Jonathan and meet Saturday morning at 8 a.m. at the Dillon Ranger District office in Silverthorne on Highway 9, just north of I-70.

FENW will supply a light breakfast of coffee and bagels and juice. Volunteers should bring work gloves, long pants, sturdy boots, raingear, sunscreen and food and water for lunch. FENW will host a tailgate party at the end of the day with beer, drinks, chips and snacks.

FENW is an apolitical nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization created in 1994 to raise money, goods, and services to help the Dillon Ranger District maintain the Eagles Nest and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness areas. Check out FENW's new website

RSVP to Jonathan at (970) 262 -2399 or

Sunday, August 06, 2006

"Ghost" Ski Areas

Swaths of grass that cut through the pine forest are the first clue of a ghost.

Rusting engines and grooming equipment sitting amid aspens are more evidence of a sighting.

Concrete footings confirm the hillside is the site of the old Holiday Hills ski area - one of dozens of ghost ski areas scattered across the region.

More than 100 ghost ski areas exist in Colorado and are documented on the Web site -

It's a great site for those who want to explore them on hikes or back-road trips. Or people can simply read some history or share memories of the lost ski areas. Often, rusting lift towers, rotting wooden lift signs and trail markers are all that remain. And, of course, the telltale gaps in the trees where ski runs were carved through the forest.

"We had three tow lifts and nine ski runs," said Kay Nimrod, 75, of the ski area that she and her husband, Harlan, operated from 1963 to 1973. Now retired in Colorado Springs, Harlan Nimrod was a developer who built the ski area as part of the Holiday Hills subdivision, southwest of Woodland Park. The Nimrods had never skied, but, like many other 1960s entrepreneurs in Colorado, they thought it seemed like a good business.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Dillon Ranger District Seeks Volunteers

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) invites you to join them for a Post Fire Rehabilitation Day on Saturday, August 12th, from 8:30 a.m. to 1p.m.

They will rehabilitate burned forest land in the 2005 Ophir Fire area in Summit County.

This is an excellent opportunity for community members to participate in local efforts relating to fire, fuels, and forest health.

Meet on Iron Springs Road, located just north of the Summit County High School, on the west side of Highway 9, at 8:30 a.m. for bagels and coffee and an education segment on fuels and fire by the Summit County Fire Mitigation Program. Snacks and beverages will be provided at the end of the workday tailgate party. Volunteers are needed to help build erosion control structures and re-establish native plant species in this area. This effort will reduce: the amount of erosion; water runoff that might cause flooding; and the risk of water quality problems; and will help native plant species return to the area, providing for a healthier forest.

Volunteers should dress for a day outdoors, and be ready to get dirty. Bring water, work gloves, layered clothing including long pants, long sleeved shirt, sturdy boots, sunglasses, sun hat, sunscreen, rain gear, and insect repellent.

To RSVP for this project, contact Scott Fussell at or (970) 846-1530.

For more information on FDRD, including membership, board member and steering committee participation, and volunteer opportunities, including those on the Summer Calendar, contact Guff Van Vooren at or 970-389-6058, or visit

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Steep and Deep for Keystone

Powder skiers will have some new acreage this coming winter, as Keystone last week won final approval for an expanded snowcat skiing operation, pending a 45-day appeal period.

White River National Forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson issued a July 28 Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for Keystone's proposal to add both guided and unguided bowl skiing in 278 acres of terrain in the upper Jones Gulch area, off Independence and Bear mountains.

The terrain, which is already part of Keystone's permit area, is north and east of the existing snowcat-served terrain in Bergman and Erickson bowls.

Access to the new area would be via snowcat or hiking. Nearly all the skiing would be in open bowls above 11,400 feet, with some of the pitches approaching a 50 percent grade, just a bit steeper than much of the terrain in nearby North Bowl. Total snowcat skiing at Keystone would reach 858 acres with addition of the new area.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wind Power for Vail Resorts

Vail Resorts became the second-largest corporate buyer of wind power in the nation on Tuesday when it announced it would offset 100 percent of its total electricity use by purchasing wind energy.

Through Boulder-based Renewable Choice Energy, Vail Resorts will buy 152,000 megawatt hours of wind energy a year for its five mountain resorts, including Breckenridge and Keystone, its lodging property, all of its 125 retail locations and its corporate headquarters.

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said that while Vail's five mountains had been using various alternative energy sources in the past - Keystone purchased enough wind energy last year to offset electricity costs of its nightskiing program - it was on a much smaller scale than what the corporation committed to on Tuesday.

Katz said the idea behind Vail Resorts' huge investment in wind power was "to reinforce our commitment to the natural environment in which we operate and be a leader on this critical effort within the travel industry."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Vail Resorts' commitment to wind energy will avoid more than 211 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every year, which is equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off the road or planting more than 27,000 trees.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Nordic Skiing for Breckenridge's Golden Horseshoe

As part of the planning process for the Golden Horseshoe area, the town of Breckenridge would like to promote the idea of developed Nordic skiing in the area, including a 50-kilometer groomed trail system and potential support facilities like parking areas and warming huts.

“We’d like to put a stake in the ground ... as saying that we’d like to establish a Nordic experience,” said Town Councilmember John Warner, as the town council discussed the results of a Nordic feasibility study recently.

Council members acknowledged there are a multitude of interests at the table in the ongoing Golden Horseshoe discussions, but also said the town has been clear since the beginning of its involvement in the purchase of the B&B property (that led to the creation of the town and county owned open space) that it considers the area ripe for a crosscountry skiiing trail system. That could help the town move toward its goal of becoming a Nordic destination, council members said.

Other major destination Nordic resorts encompass at least that many, and generally more trails, with Aspen tallying 65 kilometers, Devil’s Thumb, 120 kilomters and Snow Mountain Ranch, 100 kilometers. The trails in the Golden Horseshoe would be a mix of groomed skating and diagonal stride tracks, as well as ungroomed backcountry trails, according to the feasibility report.

“We didn’t develop the Gold Run Nordic Center so people could slide around out there on the golf course,” said Mayor Ernie Blake, explaining that the idea all along has been to somehow connect that venue with a trail system in the Golden Horseshoe.