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.