Thursday, December 25, 2008

Frisco Historic Park Receives Grant

The Colorado Historical Fund recently awarded Frisco Historic Park and Museum $33,580 to help evaluate the condition of the park’s 14 small buildings that date back to the 1800s.

“This project will focus on maintaining the community’s historic assets, namely the outstanding collection of buildings at the historic park,” said museum manager Simone Belz.

After an initial assessment, the museum will develop a plan to ensure that the buildings in the park stay in pristine condition for future generations.

The Town of Frisco already set aside $25,000 of matching funds for any future renovations at the museum, resulting in a total amount of $58,580 for the project.

Now that the money has been put on the table, the museum plans to hire an architecture firm to evaluate the buildings in the park and develop a comprehensive preservation plan.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

X GAmes in Breckenridge?

Crews are working non-stop to prepare for the largest skiing and snowboarding event in Breckenridge Ski Resort history.

The Dew Tour events kick off today with qualifying rounds; competition begins Thursday.

“Here at this resort, this is the first time we’ve done an event of this magnitude,” said Nick Smith, competition department manager. "

“This is on the scale of X Games, as opposed to events we’ve done in the past where we’ve been focused singularly on one thing. We’re branching out and biting off more.”

The events include skiing and snowboarding by some of the biggest names in the business — including Olympic medallists Shaun White and Gretchen Bleiler — on slopestyle and halfpipe features.

It’s the first live winter-sports event to be broadcast from Breckenridge in 15 years and will be the first of the high-definition era, Smith said.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ski areas that open this week include: Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mt. will open this Friday, Nov. 7.

Loveland and Arapahoe Basin have been operating for a couple of weeks.

The big news at Keystone is the upgraded River Run gondola, with a relocated base terminal closer to the village and a midway unloading station. A ribbon-cutting is planned for 8:30 a.m. on Friday and the mountain will open for skiing at 9 a.m.

Breckenridge will open the Colorado SuperChair on Peak 8 at 9 a.m. with top-to-bottom skiing on Springmeier. The traditional opening-day pancake breakfast is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to about 10:30 a.m. on the deck of the Bergenhof.

In years past, the resort traditionally has opened on Peak 9 first.“Opening Peak 8 first this year gives our mountain operations team every advantage to prepare the mountain and venue for our largest event ever, the AST Winter Dew Tour,” said Breckenridge spokeswoman Kristen Pettit.

The Dec. 18-21 event features freeskiing and snowboarding with live coverage on NBC and additional coverage s on the USA network and MTV and MTV2.

Monday, November 03, 2008

After a long drought, local anglers may once again soon be hooking rainbow trout in the Blue River.

Hoping to rebuild wild populations of the popular game fish, the Colorado Division of Wildlife this week planted about 20,000 trout at three different spots along the Lower Blue north of Silverthorne.

“We’re hoping to see some decent survival,” said aquatic biologist Jon Ewert, after watching thousands of the five-inch trout splash from a hatchery truck into the chilly water below Dillon Dam.

The Blue River was once a stronghold for rainbow trout. Anglers who remember the good old days tell stories of three-pounders jumping acrobatically out of the water at the end of a taut line and flaunting their speckle sides against a brilliant Colorado sky. But whirling disease, a crippling ailment carried by a parasitic worm, wiped out rainbow trout across the state after the spores accidentally were introduced to the state in a shipment of fish from an Idaho hatchery in the late 1980s.

Ten years later, the fishery was decimated.Since then, Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists have been working to breed a strain of rainbows that’s resistant to the disease and maintains some of the desirable fighting fish qualities of the Colorado River rainbows.

The Hofer strain, named for a German breed of trout that evolved with genetic resistance, show promise. Lab tests and experimental releases in the Colorado River show that the fish can survive and even reproduce in the presence of the disease. We'll see - next summer.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dynamite Found in Frisco

A crew of contractors on Wednesday alerted authorities to the discovery of six sticks of dynamite next to a 102-year-old shed in Frisco, prompting a small-scale evacuation and bomb-squad response.

The workers were moving a pile of logs on Tuesday when they uncovered a bundle of cylindrical sticks wrapped in newspapers dating back to 1926, according to Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue spokesman Brandon Williams.

Given Summit County’s rich mining history, it is not uncommon to come across sticks of dynamite that were once used to excavate hillsides.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A-Basin an Loveland Ski Areas Tie for Opening First

No sooner than A-Basin officials announced that they would be opening this morning at 8:30 a.m., Loveland ski area announced the same thing.

“It was a gentleman’s agreement between the two GM’s, so, we are basically calling it a tie,”

A-Basin spokeswoman Leigh Hierholzer said.Loveland will open its Chair 1 lift and one run, linking Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run. It is offering an 18-inch base with tree-to-tree coverage.

“It’s very exciting to be the first place in the country to open and get the chairlifts running,” said Dustin Schaefer, the group-sales coordinator for Loveland.

“We are going to offer some great early-season skiing and snowboarding. There is no need to bring out rock skis. You can bring good skis out.

”The cold temperatures over the past few days allowed Loveland to run its snowmaking guns around the clock, Schaefer said, matching A-Basin flake for flake.

Loveland’s hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the cost for a pass will be $44 for adults and $21 for children ages 6-14.

A-Basin will open its intermediate High Noon run and part of the High Divide terrain park. Costs for A-Basin tickets will be $49 for adults, $44 for youths ages 15-19 and $25 for children ages 6-14.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Arapahoe Basin Making Snow

The temperatures dropped Monday night and Arapahoe Basin started making snow for the first time this season at 11:30 p.m.

All eighteen snow guns ran from midway to the base area until 8:00 Tuesday morning.

The race is on to be the first ski area open in North America.A-Basin has held the title for the past two years.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

August Real Estate at a Glance

Transactions are on pace to decline for a second consecutive year. Price, however, continues to increase, albeit at a slower rate than from 2006-2007.

These figures do not reflect September, which is usually the highest-volume month.

Overall, Summit County retains a strong housing market despite the national economic crisis.Here are some August highlights from the real estate world:

- August 2008 has the highest transaction activity that Summit County has seen all year.- The August Gross Residential Volume (new construction and resales) average prices for single family, mulit-family and vacant land continue to surpass the entire years of 2006 and 2007 average prices.

- The Market Analysis by Area YTD eight months reflects an average transaction price for all 19 areas of $563,291 and last August YTD eight months it was $365,500.

- The month of August 2008 shows a 50% decrease from the month of August 2007 in monetary volume. The month of August 2008 indicates a 49% decrease in number of transactions compared to the month of August 2007. However, month to date (eight months of 2008) monetary volume shows a 31% decrease (8 months in 2007). We are showing a 40% decrease (eight months to date) in 2008 with number of transactions in 2007 (8 months to date in 2007).

-103 Residential Improved Units sold for $1 million and over in 2008 (eight months) and 124 Residential Improved Units sold for $1M and over in 2007 (8 months)

- The Percentage Gross figures are very similar for both years with $1M and over transactions in Summit County YTD.

-100% Cash transactions in Summit County continue to be very steady — 39% of real estate closings were cash transactions at the time of closing in August 2008.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Copper Mountain Approves Plan

Summit County commissioners recently approved a plan to re-distribute about 420 units of previously approved, unbuilt density at Copper Mountain, focusing development in the core of the resort.

Copper Mt. officials said the redevelopment will breathe new life into the resort's base area by building a critical mass of beds and commercial activity with the addition of new residential units and a condo-hotel on the site of the Chapel parking lot.

The approved amendment to the resort's planned-unit development — a site-specific master plan — is a scaled-down version of several previously denied proposals. The earlier versions included significant new density that was unacceptable to the county.

“We're very pleased with the approval we received for the PUD amendment today,” said Copper president and chief operating officer Gary Rodgers, thanking the commissioners, as well as county and resort planners for all the hard work on the project.

Monday, August 11, 2008

County Adds Open Space

The county has finalized a $350,000 acquisition of a parcel of land along a half-mile of Green Mountain Reservoir shoreline (north of Breckenridge), eliminating the potential for development and protecting wildlife habitat and view corridors.

“Development on this site would have been highly visible from Highway 9 and almost any point on the reservoir,” said Brian Lorch, director of Summit County Open Space and Trails.

“With this site in public ownership, we can work with the U.S. Forest Service to manage the whole area for public benefit.”

The McDonald Flats property also provides habitat for rare non-game wildlife species and big game.

“This is another key piece in protecting the heritage of the Lower Blue Basin," said Summit County Commissioner Tom Long.

“We feel fortunate that the Knorr Ranch family members, who have ranched in the valley for generations, worked with us to protect their legacy.”

The county's Open Space Advisory Council will take public input to develop a management plan for the property.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Dillon Reservoir Hosts Races

The Dillon Reservoir was flooded with sail boats yesterday afternoon, as the Alpine Bank Dillon Open kicked off.

The 86 boats were divided into 10 fleets. One-design keelboat fleets — similar type of boats that race against each other without a handicap — include Etchells, J22, J24 , J80, Ensigns, Santana 20, Stars and Ultimate 20s.

A separate fleet, labeled the PHRF, allows dissimilar boats to race against one another and be scored with a handicap system based on the estimated speed of each boat. The J24 fleet was the largest with 12 boats. The dinghy sailboat fleet, called Lasers, was raced on a separate course also on the reservoir.

Participants and boats came from Texas, Georgia, New Mexico and South Dakota. Some bring their own boats, but with the cost of gas, the number of boats towed in from out of town has declined. Some crews were sailing with local skippers that they may or may not have met before, while others manage to borrow or charter a boat and bring their entire crew.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Friends of Breckenridge Trails

2008 volunteer events for the Friends of Breckenridge Trails are as follows:

Peabody Middle Flume Trail Connection - June 14 and July 14

Cucumber Weed Pull - June 28 and August 2

Pulling for Colorado - July 12

Nightmare on Baldy - July 19 and 20.

B-Line Trail Construction - August 16.

For more information contact or 970-547-3155

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Golf Course Openings

Summit County golf courses anticipate opening near Memorial Day as lingering snow continues to melt.

At the Breckenridge Golf Club, the greens of the Bear, Beaver and Elk nines are uncovered but “so much snow” remains on the courses, said head golf professional Erroll Miller.

Miller said crews are raking, vacuuming and “getting bunkers back into shape” as the club hopes to open the courses May 24. Last year they opened before Memorial Day.

The Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks superintendent Trevor Broersma said snow pushed back the course’s typical May 15 opening date now estimated for May 23.

The Keystone Ranch Golf Course is scheduled to open June 6 and the River Course at Keystone is planned for May 23, according to the Keystone Resort Web site at

At Copper Creek Golf Club, snowblowers are at work toward a potential opening the first week in June. “We always shoot for early June; we haven’t released an opening date yet,” said Copper Creek public relations manager Lauren Pelletreau. She said golf at 9,600 feet is not an exact science, as much depends on the weather. The National Weather Service predicts slight chances of snow or rain countywide the rest of this week.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Keystone Plans

Vail Resort executives will present their latest plans for Keystone at a meeting of the Keystone Citizens League tomorrow.

The meeting is open to the public and will be an opportunity to learn about the redevelopment of the Mountain House base and the new gondola being built at River Run this summer.

“This is the most exciting time for Keystone since Ralston started talking about River Run,” said Amir Pambechy, president of the Keystone Citizens League. “Until now, we've been on the back burner, now we're in the spotlight.”

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Breckenridge Gold Run Nordic Center

An experimental Nordic trail loop at the Breckenridge Gold Run Nordic Center may soon become a more permanent addition to the Town of Breckenridge.

For the past two seasons, temporary permission, through Summit County and U.S. Forest Service, was given to groom the experimental trail that starts at the Jessie Mill site, goes up to the Preston town site and loops using Turnpike, Draw and Extension Mill routes.

Town staff is working on a Gold Run Nordic Center Master Development Plan through the forest service to continue the loop as well as look at future expansion.

A feasibility assessment of extending Nordic trails from the existing Gold Run Nordic Center into areas of the Golden Horseshoe began and was recently completed. According to a memo summary of the findings, the Golden Horseshoe is an “exceptional” location to expand operations.

Town staff will be pursuing a conditional use permit to proceed with phase one of the Nordic expansion.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Limiting Offices on Brecekenridge Main Street Debate Continues

After gathering community feedback about limiting ground floor office space on Main Street, Breckenridge Town council members decided they needed to take a deeper look at the concerns and all possibilities.

Town staff recently provided information from a recent public open house on the topic to the council.

The three options the council is exploring include prohibiting new offices, allowing new offices separated by a set distance, or taking no action.

With all options, current office uses could remain that way even if sold.

Discussions about limiting office space on Main Street first arose more than a year ago out of concern for the area’s vitality. And while everyone who attended the community open house agreed they wanted to maintain vitality, the most favorable option from those who attended was taking no action, Mark Truckey, assistant director of community development, told the council.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Keystone/Breckenridge Land Swap Moving Forward

The proposed swap of private land in the old Chihuahua town site along Peru Creek, near Keystone, involving the U.S. Forest Service and the Town of Breckenridge won’t encounter any substantive opposition from Summit County, commissioners indicated at their recent work session.

Forest Service land specialist Paul Semmer presented the board of commissioners with the particulars of the swap, which will allow his agency to acquire about 40 acres of undeveloped land from Keystone-area developer Gary Miller, who owns the Chihuahua site along with several partners, in exchange for Dercum Dash, a little more than 20 valuable acres directly east of the River Run Gondola in Keystone.

The proposed swap also includes two parcels of Forest Service land in Breckenridge: the “Wedge,” about 42 acres in Cucumber Gulch, and the “Claimjumper,” about 10 acres along Airport Road.

If the swap goes as planned, the Town of Breckenridge will buy both parcels, with the intention of maintaining the Wedge as open space and developing at least a portion of the Claimjumper as affordable housing. Semmer emphasized that years of planning have already gone into the swap proposal, and the commissioners agreed.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Highway 9 Improvements on Tap for this Summer

The improvements will widen the road by adding two additional lanes, a raised median, as well as a curb and gutter system.

The new road will also include a school zone in front of Summit High School.

"The construction is going to be broken into three phases," said Angelo Mancina with Zak Dirt construction. "Traffic should move pretty easily during construction but we have to have room to do our work."

The first phase of construction will add a traffic lane to the east side of the road while working on adjacent side streets. Next traffic will be split down the middle and construction crews will install a raised median and drainage pipes. Lastly, construction crews will move to the west side of the road and, if everything goes according to plan, construction should be completed by November.

The total budget for the new expansion is $5.35 million.

The new construction project is just one of the phases involved in the ongoing road expansion that will run from Breckenridge to Frisco. Other projects currently in the design process will continue the expansion of Highway 9 from Valley Brook Road, to Coyne Valley Road, Coyne Valley Road to Tiger Road, and Tiger Road to Agape Church.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Keystone Mountain House Re-development

Building heights, employee housing and parking were listed as key issues during a recent review of a Vail Resorts proposal to redevelop the Mountain House base area at Keystone.

Similar proposals by Copper Mountain and Vail Resorts have met similar questions from the Board of County Commissioners, who recently gave its first look at the Keystone's proposal to amend development plans for the Mountain House.

Commissioner Thomas Davidson, who previously worked for Vail Resorts at Keystone, said the neighborhood needs updating, but still has questions about the plan. Davidson said the upcoming discussions should give the county and the resort a chance to work on critical countywide issues like employee housing.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Limit Office Space in Downtown Breckenridge?

The public is invited to an open house discussion about the possibility of restricting the location of new offices in the downtown commercial area of Breckenridge.Breckenridge

The Town Council has discussed the topic occasionally throughout the past year with mixed opinions and is looking for community input.

The idea would be that restricting office uses would ensure Main Street vitality by retaining pedestrian-friendly commercial uses such as retail shops and restaurants.

The open house will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the Council Chambers of Breckenridge Town Hall. There, the public will be able to share their thoughts about a series of options.

For more information, contact Mark Truckey in the Breckenridge Community Development Department at (970) 453-3184 or

Monday, January 21, 2008

Breckenridge Heritage Alliance Appoints Director

The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance has named a new executive director.
- Linda Kay Peterson. Ms. Peterson has worked with the Summit Historical Society as a volunteer and tour coordinator and will continue to volunteer for the organization as secretary, while she takes on the lead of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance.

She's been working with the Alliance since its inception in February of 2007.

The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance promotes heritage tourism in the town through offering tours at and maintaining the local historic sites, along with events like Kingdom Days and outreach programs.

In the year ahead, Peterson said the organization is working with the Breckenridge Arts District to restore historic buildings into art workshop space, along with the National Repertory Orchestra to incorporate history into their concerts.

Breckenridge will celebrate its 150th birthday next year.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Old Dillon Reservoir to be Expanded?

The U.S. Forest Service will soon begin a formal review of plans to enlarge Old Dillon Reservoir.

The proposal to increase the reservoir’s surface area from 10 acres to about 16 acres has been in the works for several years.

Pending completion of the Forest Service analysis, work could start on the ground in 2009, said County Commissioner Tom Long.

The project is a partnership between Dillon, Silverthorne and Summit County. Long said all those entities could benefit from an increase in capacity.

Right now, the reservoir, built in the 1930s, holds about 46 acres feet (and acre foot equals about 326,000 gallons).

As envisioned, that capacity would increase to more than 200 acre feet, Long said.

“It’s a strategic spot ... it would be valuable water,” Long said.

The project could be developed at a cost of about $40,000 per acre foot. For the sake of comparison, Long said water from Clinton Gulch reservoir costs about $35,000 per acre foot.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Land Swap In Progress

The U.S. Forest Service has formally launched the public process of a land swap in the county. The trade involves several federal parcels, including the Dercum Dash property just east of the River Run Gondola. That parcel has preliminary zoning approval for 24 single-family homes, subject to completion of the land exchange.

The other National Forest lands that would go to private ownership are the Claimjumper and Wedge parcels near the town of Breckenridge. Breckenridge wants to use the lower part of the land, along Airport Road, to expand its affordable housing supply. The upper part would be managed as open space.

The Wedge parcel is a key piece of open space near Cucumber Gulch that will help preserve habitat connectivity from the wetlands in the gulch to nearby upland forest areas.

The key private tract in the deal is the Chihuahua town site along Peru Creek. Keystone-area developer Gary Miller owns the town site along with several partners. He has been trying to trade it for the federal owned Dercum Dash parcel for several years.

In a prepared statement announcing the exchange, the Forest Service said acquisition of the Chihuahua town site is the primary purpose of the deal. The parcel has a diversity of habitats, high quality wetlands and is also a key piece of land for recreation in the Snake River Basin. The Forest Service also cited Chihuahua’s historical significance as a motivation for the trade, with federal ownership “enhancing management” of the parcel and consolidating federal land ownership patterns in the area.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Summit School District's Water Rights

The Summit School Distict is considering selling water rights it owns near Summit High School.

The district owns 21.87 acre feet and .9928 cfs of the Blue Danube Ditch No. 2 water rights.

While the value has not recently been assessed, about 10 years ago these rights were worth about $220,000, school officials said.

Selling is an option that has been discussed for several years.

And after looking into whether the rights would be more cost effective to use as irrigation for the fields at the high school, it was determined that it is less expensive to purchase the water needed from Breckenridge, said Karen Strakbein, assistant superintendent of business services for the district.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Breckenridge Peak 6 Meeting Postponed

An open house to present plans for new lifts and trails on Peak 6 at Breckenridge will not be held January 9 as previously announced by the U.S. Forest Service.

No new date for the meeting and the start of the formal Forest Service review process has been announced yet.

The Forest Service is set to begin evaluating a ski area proposal to add 450 acres of traditional downhill and hike-to skiing accessed by a single lift on Peak 6.

According to a press release issued last month, the agency will do a full-blown Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the highest level of environmental review, for the project.

Although the formal public involvement process has not yet started, pending notification in the Federal Register, the Forest Service said it will include any public comments already received as part of the review.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Breckenridge's Ullr Fest

Breckenridge's annual Ullr Fest will take place this January 6-11.

Throughout the week of this annual winter festival, both visitors and locals pay homage to the mythical Norse god of snow, Ullr-and every year he rewards the historic town and world-class ski resort with nearly 300 inches of powder.

In return, Breckenridge throws Ullr the biggest party of the year, with the help of presenting sponsor, Bud Light.

Events include an Ullr skating party, bonfire, dating game, Ullympics, comedy night and the famous Ullr Fest Parade down Main Street.

The 45th Annual Ullr Fest is produced by the Breckenridge Resort Chamber.

Call Carly Grimes at 877-593-5260 or visit for the latest event details and lodging information.