Friday, December 31, 2010

Silverthorne North Pond Park Ice Rink is Open

The Town of Silverthorne North Pond Park Ice Rink officially opened on Thursday with more than double the ice surface of previous years as crews have cleared a larger area in preparation of the town hosting the Pabst Colorado Pond Hockey Tournament at the park in February.

North Pond Park is located directly across the street from the Silverthorne Elementary School at Hamilton Creek Road and Colorado Highway 9. Free amenities include a warming hut, restrooms, parking and access to true pond skating.

Non-skaters can view the rink while staying warm inside the heated warming hut or relax on the dock.

Skating is available from dawn to dusk and the warming hut is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The ice is maintained by the town's Public Works Department.

For more information, call the Silverthorne Recreation Center at (970) 262-7370, or visit

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays to Everyone

Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Engine Number 9 Arrives in Breckenridge Today

Engine Number 9, built in the 1880', originally served the Denver to Breckenridge route over Boreas Pass delivering mail and people,  arrived in Breckenridge today.  The fully restored steam engine will reside at the Rotary Snow Park at the south end of Breckenridge.  Pictured here is the engine still on the truck that hauled it in.  It will be placed on the tracks in the next few days.  Pretty exiciting to see an 1880's engine that once steamed through Breckenridge back in place.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New lodging tax raises some ire

With a voter-approved 1 percent tax increase on accommodations going into effect Jan. 1, some Breckenridge lodging owners are concerned about the impression the tax hike will leave on pre-booked guests.

The ballot question, passed with over 70 percent of the vote, mandates that a 3.4 percent tax (up from 2.4 percent in 2010) be charged on rooms rented on or after Jan. 1, 2011, regardless of when the rooms were booked. Many rooms booked before the tax increase was approved were sold with the old tax rate, leaving a 1 percent difference that renters and lodging companies will either have to tack on to guests' bills or absorb themselves after Jan. 1.

One Breckenridge lodging owner said increasing taxes on his clients is unfair and will upset them, but absorbing the difference would be a significant hit for the business.

“To me, it's a matter of the integrity of the situation,” said Mitch Weiss of Pine Ridge Condo Rentals. “I think going back on the business agreement that was made just doesn't leave a good flavor in somebody's mouth.”

But others in the lodging community say they don't expect a strong reaction from customers.

“Most of the guests are just going to pay, not even blink and not even know there's a difference,” said Bruce Horri with Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center. “We're prepared if someone really does scrutinize it and really has a challenge, we're going to deal with it on a case-by-case basis. But that is not the majority of the business.” Horri also sits on the Breckenridge Marketing Advisory Committee, which manages the Breckenridge marketing budget, funded in part by the lodging tax.

The tax is expected to furnish Breckenridge with $740,000 annually, new dollars to fund marketing efforts to draw destination guests to Breckenridge.

With the new funds, Breckenridge will have approximately $3 million earmarked for marketing next year from a variety of sources. The additional dollars were intended to put Breckenridge's marketing spending on par with nearby competitors such as Vail and Aspen.

Making an exception to the tax increase for pre-booked rooms would not only violate the language of the law passed by voters, it would also cost Breckenridge as much as $200,000 in marketing funds next year, according to town manager Tim Gagen.

Approximately 40 percent of Breckenridge's reservations for the remainder of the season are already on the books, representatives of the lodging community said.

Weiss said for his company, absorbing the 1 percent difference for all pre-booked clients could cost thousands.

The lodging community supported the tax increase when it was proposed as a ballot item earlier this year, but members of the community say they didn't realize how the tax would work for pre-booked guests staying on or after Jan. 1.

“This is something that probably could have been handled better, before the measure was put on the ballot and voted into law,” said Toby Babich, owner of Breckenridge Resort Managers and a member of the Breckenridge Lodging Association. “But nobody really recognized the issue with prior reservations until after it had been voted in.”

The Breckenridge Town Council offered a compromise, suggesting property managers collect full payment on pre-booked rooms before the end of the year so they would not have to pay the increased tax rate. But Babich said few lodging companies will go that route because it will create accounting problems.

With the law approved by voters and ready to go into effect, there are few options available now to improve the tax increase implementation process for lodging companies, Babich said.

“It's just too late,” Babich said. “We're about three weeks behind when we should have been talking about this.”

Weiss said he has had customers unhappy about having to pay a higher rate than they were originally quoted, but has not lost any reservations as a result.

                                 - From the Summit Daily News

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It is snowing - a whole lot!

Blizzard conditions tonight.  12 inches of snow today, 30 mph winds.  It is winter!

Excellent early winter conditions.

Time to come ski and take a look at a second (or third, or fourth) home in Breckenridge or anywhere in Summit County.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Real Estate Update

Winter is in full swing - we've had 44 inches of snow since Oct. 1.  Breckenridge, Keystone, A-Basin and Copper Mountain are all open for the ski season.

Strong Pace of Sales in 3rd Quarter. Why? An exceptional selection of properties that are “on sale”, along with ridiculou...sly low interest rates.

Its been many years ago that we have seen the cost of money and real estate to be “on sale” at the same time! As a result, the 4th quarter has started out with a “bang” - already sales are up over the whole 3rd quarter a whopping 58% and we have two more months to go!So, if you are still “toying” with the idea of a Summit County Rocky Mtn. getaway or retirement home, there has been no better time than now and the next few months.

So, book your flights, tune your skiis, have little fun and then set aside a bit of time to find your mountain get-away with me., & NLY direct, 970-485-0293.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Silverthorne approves mill levy

Silverthorne Town Councilors again approved a mill levy to cover municipal services at a new development north of town.

It's the fourth time the mill levy has been approved, Silverthorne director of finance and administrative services Donna Braun said. Mill levies must be re-approved each year.

An initial review of the South Maryland Creek Ranch development of 83 residences over 361 acres showed the need for minimal police and administration services amounting to approximately $6,359.

A General Improvement District was formed in 2006 with the approval of the property owner to enable the certification of a mill levy. The Silverthorne Town Councilors act as the district's board of directors.

The district's board of directors annually certify a mill levy of 30 mills and allot a temporary credit of 30 mills to create a net zero levy until the property is developed, Braun said.

The goal is to set a precedent for the residents of the future development, Braun explained. The levy and its temporary credit should continue until the economy picks up and the land can be developed, she added.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Early winter update

Trick & Treat – after a glorious fall, Old Man Winter was feeling the Halloween spirit this past week, by tricking us into thinking it was January with our 1st early season storm with 26 inches on the mountain!

Strong Pace of Sales in 3rd Quarter. Why? An exceptional selection of properties that are “on sale”, along with ridiculously low interest rates. Its been many years ago that we have seen the cost of money and real estate to be “on sale” at the same time!

As a result, the 4th quarter has started out with a “bang” - already sales are up over the whole 3rd quarter a whopping 58% and we have two more months to go!

So, if you are still “toying” with the idea of a Summit County Rocky Mtn. getaway or retirement home, there has been no better time than now and the next few months. So, book your flights, tune your skiis, have little fun and then set aside a bit of time to find your mountain get-away with me., & NLY direct, 970-485-0293.

Mortgage Rates

U.S. averages as of September 30, 2010:

30 yr. fixed: 4.32%

15 yr. fixed: 3.75%

1 yr. adj: 3.48%

Upcoming Events and Dates of Interest

11/05/10 Keystone Ski Area Opens

11/07/10 Daylight Savings Ends – Set your clocks back one hour!

11/12/10 Breckenridge Ski Area Opens

11/25/10 Thanksgiving

12/04/10 Lighting of Breckenridge

12/31/10 Yamn – New Years Eve Celebration at the Riverwalk Center

01/09/11 Ullr Fest – 7 day event begins

01/13/11 Ullr Fest Parade

01/25/11 Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships

What's New in New Housing Design

Below are the products that are currently grabbing the most attention of the home building and remodeling industries:

Appliance Drawers. Small warming drawers, modest-sized dishwasher drawers for small loads, refrigerator drawers and microwave drawers.

Counter-depth refrigerators. Some are only 24 inches deep.

Motion-detecting faucets. Like you'd find in the restrooms of businesses.

LED lighting. These are used under cabinets and in ceiling fixtures as a longer-lasting, more efficient alternative to compact fluorescent lamps and incandescent bulbs.

Electric heated floors. A nice touch in bathrooms,

Showers with multiple heads and body sprays. Bathtubs are out.

Also, according to Pantone, has deemed turquoise “color of the year for apparel and home for 2010. Turquoise has made its way mark on the fashion side and is slowly moving into home accent furnishings.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yes, winter is here

The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Independence Pass for the season. The pass was temporarily closed on Monday due to the snowfall, adverse conditions and the winter storm forecasts.

This closure includes the area from just east of Aspen to west of Twin Lakes, approximately 18 miles. A re-opening of the pass following the storm was determined not to be feasible and safe, so will remain closed.

The pass's regularly scheduled seasonal closure is Nov. 7 each year. The 12,095-foot pass is closed for the winter every year for the safety of the traveling public. It is often closed temporarily before the goal date-last year, the pass closed for the season on October 29, for similar early storms. Each spring, CDOT plans the opening of Independence Pass for Memorial Day weekend in May, weather permitting.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Loveland wins the opening race

LOVELAND — Sunday's opening day at Loveland Ski Area had locals and folks from the Front Range feeling a little puff of powder under their planks.

Between a little help from Mother Nature — five inches of fresh snow — and some hard snowmaking work from Loveland employees, Chair 1 opened at 9 a.m. to an excited crowd. Winterhounds out for the first day saluted Loveland's opening day triumph — beating Arapahoe Basin by a day this year.

Loveland won the race from 1999 to 2005 until the Basin unseated the champion in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, the resorts tied for an opening day, but last season, Loveland regained the title.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Highway 9 widening project almost complete

The Highway 9 widening project is expected to wrap up this week, a few weeks later than previously expected.

Crews will replace a section of curb on the road and put some additional striping on the bike path at Coyne Valley before the job is concluded.

“The project is essentially finished with a few minor punch list items left to do,” said Bob Smith, project engineer with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

In June 2009 crews began construction to widen a one-and-a-half-mile segment of Highway 9 between Frisco and Breckenridge to four lanes. Though the project was originally scheduled to be completed in November, later estimates suggested the work might be done by late September.

Smith said utility delays in moving phone lines to construct a sound wall at Fairview Boulevard slowed the project down.

“We appreciate the public's bearing with us while we were doing this, we know there were some delays,” Smith said.

The speed limit along the wider sections of highway was set at 45 miles per hour. Smith said there are no plans to increase it.   What is up with that?  We make it a 4-lane divided highway and decrease the speed limit?

The recpath was also moved back from the highway and a bridge was put in over the Blue River north of Valley Brook as part of the $9.25 million stimulus-funded project.

Plans are under way to continue widening the highway between Tiger Road and the Agape Outpost Chapel, but the project will not move forward until additional funding becomes available.

“It's all designed, the right of way is purchased, right now there's just no funding for it,” Smith said.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Breckenridge hosts craft distillers festival

Colorado distillers will gather in Breckenridge on Oct. 15-16 for a showcase of handcrafted spirits complemented by restaurant specials and a downtown pub crawl.

The Craft Distillers' Still on the Hill Festival is a new Breckenridge Restaurant Association event, born of Colorado's rapidly growing artisan spirits industry, a news release said.

In the release, Jordan Via, master distiller at the Breckenridge Distillery, said he's not aware of anywhere else in Colorado where a small distiller's festival or similar event takes place.

The Grand Tasting, slated for 4-6 p.m. on Oct. 16, features several of Colorado's most talented craft distillers at an informal, walk-around event hosted by Beaver Run Resort.

From today through Oct. 16, restaurants throughout town are to offer dining specials at $18.59, an homage to Breckenridge's founding year.

The Downtown Poker Run and Pub Crawl, set for Oct. 15, lets players sample Breckenridge's best drinks and pick up cards at each location. The best hand wins craft spirits at the Grand Tasting.

Lodging specials starting at $96 per night will be offered throughout October as part of the Craft Spirits Festival and fall leaf-viewing season.

For lodging information or reservations visit or call 877-593-5260.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Blessing of the Pets

On Sunday, the lawn outside Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church was crowded with locals and their pets. They gathered for the renewal of the church's annual pet blessing, which occurs the day before St. Francis of Assisi's day of commemoration.

Locals were carrying cat crates, toting dogs on leashes, carefully handling plastic jars containing fish, and even bearing the ashes of a former pet.

Tina Oberheide balanced a canary cage. She had hoped it might sing along with the hymns, which were part of a brief service prior to pastors Darlene Muschett and Joe Holub performing the blessings.

“Pets are an important part of people's lives, particularly in Summit County” Oberheide said. “This is a way to make them special for a day.”

The pet blessing was last done by the church several years ago before taking a multi-year hiatus, Holub explained. They hold it prior to the commemoration day for St. Francis of Assisi because the saint was known for his appreciation of nature.

“His brotherhood was all of God's creation,” Muschette said. “His love of nature was so deep.”

The service included hymns and readings from Genesis and Psalm 104, which praise all of creation, particularly its animals.

Good news is so nice to read.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Aspen Leaves

A beautiful set of 3 aspen leaves Michael (my husband) shot the other day.  Autumn is winding down, but I thought you might like to see a professional photographers view of autumn.



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lawsuit over Lowe's

A lawsuit claiming the Town of Silverthorne incorrectly categorized a Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse plan for the town was filed Thursday. The suit was filed by attorney Rob Waterman on behalf of two Silverthorne residents and two individuals who claim they'll be negatively affected by the development.

Named plaintiffs in the case are Deborah Fort and Pamela Bent of Silverthorne and Timothy Reidy and Margaret Schweri of Mesa Cortina, an area of unincorporated Summit County located above the Lowe's site.

The suit centers on a planning technicality, claiming the town incorrectly categorized Lowe's as a hardware store, according to the documents Waterman filed Thursday. Labeled as a hardware store, Lowe's is considered a “use by right” entity and is guaranteed the right to conduct business in Silverthorne. Other designations for a C-1 Light Commercial Zone District, such as “lumberyard” or “building materials,” would put Lowe's in a “conditional use” category that does not guarantee the right to do business and gives town officials more negotiating power, Waterman said. His argument is based on town ordinance, section 4-4-17, which outlines designations for C-1 and C-2 zones.

The new Lowe's is slated to begin construction next spring and open its doors in early 2012, but the approval process has not gone uncontested. Some local residents have voiced disapproval of the project based on claims that traffic will increase, the town will lose aesthetic charm and the local economy will be affected by the big-box running out smaller competition. On Sept. 22, the Silverthorne Town Council approved the final details of the site plan, allowing Lowe's to proceed with construction.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Yes it is autumn in it's full glory.  Beautiful day today as you can see from this photograph.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Snow on the Mountain

Yes, we had snow last night. Only above 12,000 feet, so not on my deck.

But Breckenridge will open for the ski season in just 49 days.

Amazing how quickly summer flew by.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Summit County Parade of Homes winners announced

Fazendin Brothers and One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort, swept their respective categories in the 16th annual 2010 Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Summit County Builders Association.

In its category, Fazendin Brothers took every individual award and won “Best Overall” for Home #6 at 620 Two Cabins Drive in Silverthorne. Likewise, in the multi-family category, Vail Resorts took every individual award and won “Best Overall” for Home #8, One Ski Hill Place at the base of the ski resort on Ski Hill Road in Breckenridge.

Thebeau Construction took six individual awards and won “Best Overall” in its category for Home #11 at 508 Mountain View, Blue River.

Other multiple award winners in that category include Apex Mountain Homes for Home #2 at 1105 Bald Eagle in Silverthorne, and Carlson Builders Inc./Matthew Stais Architects for Home #17 at 510 Wellington Road in Breckenridge.

Dana Covert Contracting & Bostad International won “Best Overall” in their category for Home #4 at 31 Red Buffalo Trail in Silverthorne. Another entry winning multiple individual awards was Double Diamond Property & Construction Services for Home #22 at 172 Sunshine Ridge Lane, Breckenridge.

In its category, J&E Development won “Best Overall” for Home #12 at 170 Regal Circle in Blue River. Multiple awards also went to Home #14 built by Level One Building Company at 36 Lakecrest Drive in Blue River.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summit County is a recycling champ

Since Summit County opened its Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in 2006, diversions from the landfill have nearly quadrupled, with several thousand tons of recyclables and organic material being resurrected from the waste stream every year to live on as useful new products.

In 2009, the Summit Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP), formerly known as the dump, shipped 3,492 tons of paper, cardboard, metals, glass, plastic and electronics back into the market. Combine that with several-thousand additional tons of food scraps, wood waste, biosolids and yard waste that's turned into fertile soil at SCRAP's High Country Composting Facility, and Summit County achieves a waste-diversion rate of about 22 percent.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Autumn has arrived in Breckenridge

While it doesn't look like this today, it will in just another week.

Time to visit Breckenridge.  We've got some great buys in real estate.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A video of my latest listing:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bike Lanes Coming to Breckenridge Main Street

Soon cyclists will be able to travel Main Street in their own lanes — painted between parked cars and motor-vehicle traffic lanes.

Town council gave staff the nod to add the lanes at a recent work session, though not all were in agreement.

Councilman Peter Joyce said he was concerned with safety issues for inexperienced cyclists. He and Mark Burke both dissented from the opinion of the other five council members.

“I don't think it will be safe for kids,” Burke said in a phone interview Thursday. “When I drive down Main, it's tough enough with pedestrians ... My first concern is our citizens' safety, and that's the only reason I'm against it.”

Councilwoman Jennifer McAtamney said she keeps her young children on side streets or in Blue River Plaza when they're biking, as there are a variety of places for people of differing skill levels to ride.

“Experienced cyclists can ride on that road without much problem,” she said of Main Street. “It will be interesting to see whether narrowing those lanes visually helps slow traffic down.”

The striping of Main Street, as well as other striping and wayfinding improvements downtown, will cost $20,000. The town has $5,000 in grant money and $5,000 that was budgeted; the remaining $10,000 could come from Open Space funds.

Other improvements are to occur as shared lane markings along French Street, Wellington Road and a small segment of Lincoln Avenue.

The town was honored last year as a silver-level bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists. Its paved pathway system, singletrack trail network and other efforts were recognized. Town officials intend to improve wayfinding and safety with the new striping and some signs.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Annual Melt-Down of the Snow Has Started

Colorado's snowpack began melting quickly this spring because of warm, dry temperatures in early April, according to the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), which tracks snowpack and reservoir levels throughout the state.

Weather turned wetter and cooler throughout the mountains in late April, halting, and in some cases even reversing, the melt trend. Statistics from the latest NRCS surveys show snowpack is below average in all of the state's major river basins. Snowpack in the Blue River Basin in Summit County is 70 percent of average and 65 percent of last year's snowpack. At one NRCS survey site in the lower Snake River, snowpack is at only 7 percent of average.

“We did have some fairly warm temperatures earlier in April when melting was going on across the state for two weeks pretty steadily,” said NRCS snow survey supervisor Mike Gillespie. “We saw a lot of lower-elevation sites melting out at that time.”

Colorado's statewide snowpack decreased to the lowest reading of the season on May 1 at only 78 percent of average.

“For the most part, any gains we saw during the last week of April were far surpassed by the melt we saw earlier in the month,” said Allen Green, state conservationist with the NRCS.

Across northern Colorado, where the lowest snowpack readings have been recorded all season, snowpack declines were minimal in April. Basins showing the greatest declines during April included the Gunnison, Arkansas, Rio Grande and the combined San Juan, Animas, Dolores and San Miguel basins.

Monthly precipitation data collected at automated NRCS sites across higher elevations showed an above-average total for April across the Gunnison, Colorado, South Platte, Yampa, White and North Platte basins. For most of the region, April's above-average precipitation breaks a five-month-long dry period where the NRCS recorded below-average moisture. Statewide precipitation during April was 117 percent of average and was the first month of above-average precipitation recorded for the state since December 2009.

Late-season improvements in the snowpack will have positive impacts on this summer's runoff and water supplies, according to Green. However, forecasts of seasonal runoff volumes will remain below average, and in many locations across northern Colorado, this year's summer water supplies continue to be forecast at well below average volumes.

Inflow into Dillon Reservoir is expected to be 73 percent of average during the April-July period. Inflows into Green Mountain Reservoir and Williams Fork Reservoir are projected to be 75 percent of average and 78 percent of average, respectively.

“Reservoir stores are now in good shape, but they'll probably drop quite a bit as we go into the fall. They will be put to use in late summer to make up for these deficits in natural flows,” Gillespie said. “Without having much of a cushion, it increases the need for a good year next year.”

Friday, April 23, 2010

Breckenridge Gondola to Operate this Summer

The BreckConnect Gondola is to run daily July 1 to Sept. 6 this year.
The gondola hours this summer are to be from 8:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Arapahoe Basin to Sell Exhibition Lift Chairs

On May 1, chairs from the Arapahoe Basin Exhibition Lift will go on sale, as the ski area prepares to replace it with a detatchable quad.

The Exhibition triple chairlift has been turning since 1978, and it moves more people around the ski area than any other lift each ski seaon. Of the lift's 118 chairs, 110 will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis for $450 apiece. Local nonprofits will use the remaining chairs for fundraising purposes.

“The Exhibition lift is a great lift with few maintenance issues, but now is the time to replace it,” A-Basin chief operations officer Alan Henceroth said. “The new lift will have increased capacity, shorter ride time and easier loading. It will provide rapid, easy access to the upper mountain, Montezuma Bowl, and Black Mountain Lodge.”

The new lift, dubbed Black Mountain Express, will have a capacity of 2,000 people per hour, a length of 2,877 feet and a vertical rise of 719 feet. Ride time from the base area to mid-mountain will be just shorter than three minutes — half the time of a ride up Exhibition. Construction is scheduled to beging around mid-June and will not impact the current season's closing date, tentatively scheduled for June 6.

The eight donated Exhibition chairs will go to the Summit Foundation, High Country Conservation Center, Team Summit, Summit County Community Care Clinic, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the Family and Intercultural Resource Center, Friends of the Dillon Ranger District and the Keystone Science School.

Sale of the chairs will begin online at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 1, at The chairs will be available for pick-up on June 11 and 12 at A-Basin.

A pick-up truck or similar vehicle is recommended to transport the chairs. Arapahoe Basin will not take reservations in advance for the purchase of the chairs. All sales are final, and chairs should be used at the purchasers' own risk.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Copper Mt. Announces Major Upgrades

Copper Mountain announced plans recently to ramp up snowmaking for the 2010-2011 season as part of $6 million in capital improvements to the resort.

With the planned snowmaking increases, Copper anticipates better early-season coverage for race camps, training, and recreational skiers and riders. The planned 25 percent increase in snowmaking capacity will be spread throughout the mountain, with new systems planned for the Timberline area, adding significant intermediate terrain.

The resort also plans to expand its free Corn lot, increasing free parking at Copper by 40 percent. And additional parking in Union Creek will add easier access to Copper's beginner area, including Ski and Ride School programs and The Schoolhouse.

The improvements won't end in 2011, according to Copper Mountain President and General Manager Gary Rodgers.

“The focus on infrastructure enhancements sets the stage for future on mountain improvements,” Rodgers said.

The announcement was the first of its kind from Copper Mountain's new owner, Powdr Corp, which purchased the resort last December from Intrawest.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Breckenridge Gold Run Nordic Center

Breckenridge town officials plan to continue subsidizing the Gold Run Nordic Center operations after two failed attempts at securing a private operator.

As cuts were made across town budget last year to cope with the economic recession, the town's subsidy of Nordic center operations dropped from $170,000 to $80,000.

Hours, grooming and trail access were reduced, and nordic center revenue went from covering 50 percent of its operating costs to covering 68 percent of them.

With no suitable offers made by private entities to run the town, the center is expected to continue with this business model.

“That doesn't mean we won't continue to explore other opportunities,” town manager Tim Gagen said at Tuesday's town council work session.

Town recreation director Lynn Zwaagstra said there were about 8,200 visits to the nordic center this season — with 3,400 from season passes and 4,800 from day-use passes.

Gagen said both the Breckenridge and Frisco Nordic centers, which involve private operation, drew more visits. He added that it “doesn't pencil” for a private operator to operate Gold Run.

Councilman Mark Burke, who owns the adjacent Clubhouse Restaurant, said of the existing Gold Run Nordic Center staff: “They've done a phenomenal job. I vote to keep it as it's going.”

Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron said he, too, is “comfortable” with the subsidy but would like to give the staff further flexibility as far as what terrain is available and how it's groomed.

“I'd like to give the nordic people a little bit more autonomy,” he said. “The experience I think has improved dramatically, but I think we can improve the ski experience.”

Bergeron also suggested at the work session that offering transit to Gold Run could increase user traffic.

The Gold Run Nordic Center is open daily during the season, which ended April 4. It offers skiing and snowshoeing.

The center includes 22 kilometers of groomed classic and skate ski trails and more than 10 kilometers of snowshoe trails, according to

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dead and Infested Lodgepole Pine Trees Must be Removed by July 15

Breckenridge property owners are required by town ordinance to remove dead and infested lodgepole pine trees by July 15.

The town council Tuesday approved an update to the mountain pine-beetle ordinance that allows for deadline extension if the program's director determines the weather or “other unanticipated conditions or circumstances” make the deadline unresonable.

Property owners are responsible to pay for the inspection, mitigation and removal services involved with removing the trees. A class D permit is required to remove trees, unless a town-approved contractor is used.

For more information, call the town's community development department at (970) 453-3160, or visit and click on “Projects and Issues” then “2010 Forest Health Program.” A list of approved contractors is available on the website.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Does Your IPhone Work on Weekends in Breckenridge?

I know a number of people with IPhones.  And I must say they are way "cool."  However, a real problem surfaced this winter in Breckenridge.  Do to the influx of visitors shooting video, snapping photos and emailing them to their friends every weekend, the system became so overloaded you could not make or receive a phone call.  My Blackberry did not have that problem.  So . . .

AT&T is working with the Town of Breckenridge to get a new, permanent tower set up to better accommodate mobile phone customers.

“We have a high sense of urgency in Breckenridge, and we're moving through as quickly as possible,” AT&T spokeswoman Brooke Burgess said.

Meanwhile a temporary tower on wheels has been installed in town to supplement existing service. Town spokeswoman Kim DiLallo said people from public works and community development met with AT&T representatives recently to work on potential tower locations.

“There are a lot of technical issues that go into deciding where is a good location for a tower, and AT&T is working on figuring out the best locations, and then will need to negotiate with property owners,” DiLallo said in an e-mail.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Frisco's Affordable-Housing Neighborhood

Peak One parcel developer Ten Mile Partners jumped over its last big hurdle in the application process for Frisco's new affordable-housing neighborhood.

The planning commission OK'd the development and preliminary plat applications — now the developer must get council approval regarding dedicating public areas to the town. Public park areas, roads and trail connections will be maintained by Frisco's public works department.

“This is going to be a great project,” said lead developer David O'Neil. “We feel really strongly about that.”

Ten Mile Partners — consisting of Breckenridge Wellington Neighborhood developer O'Neil and Wolff/Lyon architects of Boulder, Breckenridge architect Matt Stais and Frisco builder Dan McCrerey — won the bid for development design last year.

The new deed-restricted neighborhood is set to be built south of Main Street starting this spring on the 12.68-acre Peak One parcel, and the plan will include 70 units in a mix of duplexes and single-family homes. Originally, the developer had planned for 72 units, but due to outside input two residences were cut from the design.

The pending units will range from small cabins (around 800 square feet) to single-family homes up to about 2,000 square feet. The homes are being made available to people making between 80 percent and 160 percent of the area median income, or income ranging between $68,000-$136,000 for a family of four. Ten Mile Partners anticipates that construction to build-out will take at least five years.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Frisco gets Wastwater Treatment Plant Upgrade

Frisco's wastewater treatment plant will get a $1.25 million upgrade this spring, including a new ultraviolet disinfection system. According to Butch Green, manager of the Frisco Sanitation District, the new system will use ultraviolet lights to remove 100 percent of the fecal coliform bacteria in the wastewater. Currently, the bacteria is removed with filters, which Green said are primarily designed to remove phosphorous. Increasingly, Green said, new regulations have ratcheted down the amount of the bacteria the plant is allowed to discharge into Dillon Reservoir.

“The machinery we've had for the past 20 years has just reached its limit,” Green said. Previously, the plant was allowed to discharge up to 12,000 parts per million of fecal coliform bacteria monthly, and that's been scaled down to a range of 143-258 ppm. With the new ultraviolet disinfection system, it'll no longer be an issue since the lights will zap all of the bacteria, Green said.

The UV system will cost the sanitation district about $600,000, but an Energy Mineral Impact Assistance Grant from the state of Colorado will take care of nearly $400,000 of that. The remaining cost will be covered by the district's reserve funds.

In addition to the new UV system, the district is using another chunk of reserve funding to replace two “equalization basins” at the facility. Green said these are the concrete dishes visible from Summit Boulevard that house large ponds of water for filtration.

“We didn't realize when we built them that junk flying around in the air collects on them,” Green said. “We even have skateboarders up there sometimes.”

The new basins won't be exposed to sunlight as the present ones are, eliminating another problem Green said they've had with algae growth. The basin replacement will cost another $650,000, bringing the total of the upgrades to $1.25 million.

Monday, April 05, 2010

New Listing on the Breckenridge Golf Course

Almost 3/4 acrea lot in the million dollar Fairways Subdivision.  Dream lot for a dream home on the Jack Nicklaus designed Breckenridge Golf Course.

Click this link for a virtual tour and full information

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Beautiful 5 Bedroom Home in Breckenridge with Great Views

This 5 bedroom, 3 bath home located high above Breckenridge offers some great views of the ski area and Ten Mile Range.  Great open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, entertainment room with pool table.  The perfect mountain getaway for a large family or investment home with a great rental history.

Take a look at the property by clicking the link below:

336 North Fuller Placer Road

Friday, April 02, 2010

Beautiful 2 Bedroom Condo in Breckenridge

Video of my newest listing in Breckenridge:

Please click the link below:

Villas at Swans Nest

Village at Breckenridge Major Renovation

An $18 million renovation of the Village at Breckenridge is set to begin April 5.

The five buildings at the base of Peak 9 are to be improved with new roofs, decks, windows, doors, siding and railings, according to a press release from Tony Wait, general manager with the Village homeowner's association.

Snowmelt systems and improved lighting are also to be among changes occurring by Dec. 15, when the project is expected to be completed.

“The project is funded by a special assessment of owners that ranges from $29,000 to $151,000 for residential units and up to $657,000 for the largest commercial unit,” Village association president Jeff Murrell said in the press release.

The Breckenridge Medical Clinic in the area is to close at the end of the current ski season and reopen for the 2010-11 ski season, according to the press release.

Access to the nearby chairlift and other Peak 9 amenities is to remain available with signage while the project is under way.

The Village HOA represents owners of 235 residential and 28 commercial units. Ground breaking on the project is scheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. at 535 South Park Avenue in the circle entry.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Summit County Says Goodbye to Jay Bauer

Roughly 400 people from Summit County and beyond filled the Silverthorne Pavilion on Saturday to reflect on the life of Jay Bauer, a beloved Breckenridge attorney who died earlier this month.

“He always had something funny to say. It would make you laugh. It would also make you think,” former Frisco Mayor Bernie Zurbriggen said.

Rick Bly, a longtime friend and Breckenridge resident, served as master of ceremonies. He said Bauer — who died March 2 at age 65 — contacted him a few weeks earlier and suggested the memorial service begin and end with music and “maybe you should tell a joke.”

Bauer moved to Summit County in 1973, and established his law practice soon after that.

When it was discovered that he had cancer, doctors gave Bauer four months to live. He survived more than two years. During much of that time he was working in his law office or going on trips — often with his wife Joni, who lived with him in Dillon.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Better Access to Breckenridge Town Council Work Sessions

Public access to Town of Breckenridge work sessions could be enhanced as town council recently gave the nod to recording the informal discussions where council members hash out ideas, review financial data and make suggestions to staff.

“I'm just really pleased,” Councilman Dave Rossi said. “It's a big win for the community — because a lot of people just want to know that we're accountable. They want to know how decisions get made.”
The town's official meetings that occur in the evening are always recorded on digital audio, and the public can come in and listen to the recordings or purchase copies on compact disc for $15, according to town clerk MJ Loufek.

While the full council on Tuesday was in favor of recording the work sessions, town spokeswoman Kim DiLallo said Friday that “nothing has been finalized.”
The matter is expected to be back before council in the coming weeks. The work sessions usually begin at 3 p.m. on the day of the official meeting, but attendance is often slim.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Frisco Main Street Re-Design

By approving the “Step Up Main Street” master plan this week, the Town of Frisco is one step closer to upgrading its main drag despite numerous financial unknowns.

Construction on Main Street however may be slow going — based on a poor economy, the town tentatively plans to break ground in 2012 instead of 2011.

According to town planner Jocelyn Mills, the project's next step will be converting the master plan into construction documents and determining actual costs. This was initially set for 2010, but it's now being pushed back to next year.

“Due to public comment, we will look at zoning codes to encourage redevelopment on private property to go hand in hand with the Main Street redesign,” Mills said. “Staff will be working on that this year.”

Master plan designer Mary Hart presented a pedestrian-friendly main drag to council and staff Tuesday, complete with tree lanes next to side walks, pocket parks, a pedestrian corridor by Third Avenue and public art. An upgraded option for a welcome sign to welcome visitors from Highway 9 to Main Street was also created.

Hart's redesign includes historic simple forms, a mountain-rustic look and natural materials. She suggests keeping sidewalks 8-feet-wide, and then creating a tree/amenity lane to the right of it to make the street-scape more interesting. The tree/amenity lane could even be used to accommodate tables and seating areas for Main Street eateries.

Both Hart and Mills also stressed the importance of getting visitors to walk the whole length of Main Street, which is currently a problem in town.

“We want to make Frisco memorable for visitors,” Mills said Tuesday.

The Council stressed to Hart and Mills the importance of creating additional parking spaces as the project moves forward. As the plan is purely conceptual at this point, this will be taken into consideration as it's turned into actual construction plans. Potential materials for the redesign project will also be analyzed by the town for cost and durability.

“The council and the town are sensitive to parking, and needs of retail and business on Main Street,” Hart said. “That's something that will continue to be important as the process moves forward.”

Hart added that public input was important to her design from start to finish.

“We tried to balance all the different needs of Main Street to accommodate maintenance, retail, traffic and pedestrians,” Hart said.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Alpine Coaster for Breckenridge

The Breckenridge Planning Commission is on board with a proposed alpine coaster at Breckenridge Ski Resort.

The commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the project; the plan will go before the Breckenridge Town Council March 23.

“Overall, it was fairly well received as an asset to the town,” Planning Commission chair Rodney Allen said. “We felt it fit into the character of the ski area as another recreational amenity.”

An alpine coaster is similar to an alpine slide, but the sleds run on rails set in a raised track, rather than in a trough. Breckenridge already has an alpine slide. According to Allen, the coaster's potential visual impacts received close scrutiny by the commission.

“There is going to be substantially less visual impact than the current alpine slide, which is out in the open,” Allen said.

The coaster will be located between two ski runs in a healthy stand of trees, comprised of a variety of species. The ski area committed to revegetating the area, should the trees die at some point in the future.

The commissioners also received assurance that the project would be in compliance with the town's outdoor lighting standards.

“There will be lights, but it won't be lit up like a football field,” Allen said.

The ski area could begin construction as early as this summer.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Vail Resorts to Move More Employees to Denver

Vail Resorts is moving about 100 accounting and purchasing positions from the mountains to the Front Range at the end of the ski season.
The company, which owns Keystone and Breckenridge ski areas, notified the employees on Feb. 16 that their positions will be moved to the corporate headquarters in Broomfield, just outside of Boulder. Employees who agree to the move will begin working at their new location on June 2, at the same rate of pay. Those who decide to stay in Summit County will complete their last day of work on June 1.
Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga said stationing the positions in Broomfield rather than at Keystone, “just made more sense from a business standpoint.”
“After really considering it very carefully, we saw it critical to move those accounting and purchasing functions to be with the rest of accounting down here,” Ladyga said.

The affected employees are mostly entry-level and junior-level accountants and purchasers who serve companywide functions. Most supervisory positions in those departments are already located at the company's Front Range offices.

According to Ladyga, the move will allow for greater oversight, efficiency and collaboration. She also said the company is more easily able to fill accounting vacancies with qualified candidates in the Front Range than in Summit County.

Many of the affected employees toured the Broomfield offices earlier this week. Vail Resorts will provide a relocation benefit to help with moving expenses.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lowe's Home Improvement Store for Silverthorne?

Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse was preliminarily approved by Silverthorne Town Council recently. The proposed store and attached garden center would be located on the corner of Wildernest Road and Buffalo Mountain Drive and and would total 138,000 square feet.

It will sit on 11.2 acres at the site of a former auto dealership.

Lowe's must address engineering issues (a retaining wall needs to be built to stabalize a steep incline behind the building that's prone to slides), architectural issues (like a light-colored roof, and a large, boxy building with no visual breaks), traffic issues (entrance sizes and vehicle congestion), visual problems (outdoor displays and landscaping), wetland and water questions, and other code issues.

Lowe's representative Ted Anderson said the corporation would address all design concerns made by town staff and council, and work with the town to make the plan acceptable.
Anderson said he hopes for the new Lowe's to be open within a year.