Thursday, October 31, 2013

Keystone, Copper Mountain open on heels of Summit County snowfall

#Summit County, Colorado.

Mother Nature laid a fresh blanket of snow onto High Country mountains just as two major Summit County ski resorts prepare to usher in the season.
The early winter storm swirled over much of the west Tuesday night, and swept in anywhere from 3 to 10 inches to the mountains of Colorado, according to meteorologist Joel Gratz’s Colorado Daily Snow report.
Most of the moisture was expected to push out by Thursday morning, but Gratz said he expected another flurry of snowfall, ranging from 2-4 inches in the mountains along and north of Interstate 70 Thursday night before rolling into a clear and sunny weekend.

Keystone Resort

Keystone Resort representatives welcomed the new layer of fresh snow Wednesday as they ramped up for opening day.
“Early snow and cold temperatures allowed us to begin snowmaking on Oct. 5 this year, which has helped lay down a great base in preparation for our season,” said Laura Parquette, senior communications manager for Keystone Resort. “We’re excited for some additional natural snow this week ahead of opening, and look forward to fantastic skiing and riding beginning on Friday.”
The Keystone season will debut with 65 skiable acres on Dercum Mountain. Lifts will open at 9 a.m. with skiing and riding continuing through 4 p.m.
The resort will offer top-to-bottom skiing and riding on the intermediate Spring Dipper and River Run trails.
“Spring Dipper is one of Keystone’s signature cruisers and is the perfect run to get in early season turns,” Parquette said.
The River Run gondola, Summit Express, Montezuma and Ranger lifts will provide uphill access for skiers and riders. For beginners, the resort is offering a learning area at the top of the mountain on the Endeavor trail, including a carpet lift open to the public. Keystone Ski & Ride School will also have ski and snowboard lessons available on opening day.
Park lovers will have the chance to catch some air and grind some rails at the resort’s A51 Terrain Park, opening Friday. This terrain park is comprised of more than 20 features available in three lines ranging from beginner to advanced, Parquette said.
“Our early season terrain park, the largest available in the country, will be on Scout Trail with designated lift access on the Ranger lift for easy lapping,” she said.
Skiers and snowboarders who attend opening day can take part in events and activities throughout the day.
The first 200 guests to line up at the gondola will receive a raffle ticket for prizes — including a GoPro Hero 3, Never Summer snowboard, Starbucks gift cards and Keystone swag.
The first 43 guests to line up at the gondola will receive a Starbucks gift card and a Keystone Starbucks mug. Complimentary hot chocolate and donuts will be available to all.
Free parking will be available across the resort on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“Mountain access is easiest from the Gondola East/West lots and the River Run lot,” Parquette said. “Our free in-resort transportation system will be running as well.”
Both the River Run ticket window and pass office will be open on Friday. The pass office is currently open seven days per week and Keystone staff are suggesting pass holders pick up their passes prior to Friday morning, if possible.
For more information about Keystone Resort, visit or call (877) 204-7889.

Copper Mountain Resort

Copper Mountain snowmaking teams have been hard at work since early October to prepare for great early season conditions, said Austyn Williams, the resort’s communications manager. Their efforts, combined with recent snowfall, have transformed the mountain into a snow lover’s haven.
“Conditions are looking incredible on the mountain,” Williams said.
Copper will kick off their season on Friday featuring top-to-bottom skiing and riding off the American Eagle chairlift and in the Easy Rider learning area.
American Eagle chairlift will start turning for the 2013-14 season at 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 and at 8:30 a.m. on weekends and holidays.
“Nothing is better than taking the first runs of the season on top-to-bottom terrain. It’s one of my favorite feelings to get back in the groove after a summer off,” Williams said.
The early season terrain is suitable not only for experienced riders, but beginners as well. Terrain off of American Eagle and Excelerator accommodate intermediate skiers and riders, while Easy Rider surface lift is the perfect beginner learning area, Williams said.
Throughout opening weekend guests can get lucky on Copper Mountain’s Loot Lift, a contest based on the New York City television hit Cash Cab. Guests riding the Loot Lift (the American Eagle chairlift) are randomly selected and quizzed on their ride to the top of the mountain. Prizes include complimentary Copper lift tickets, village gift cards, GoPro cameras and more.
The newly renovated Woodward at Copper Barn will also be open daily starting Friday, Nov. 1, from 1:30 to 8 p.m.
Staff said they are looking forward to the opening day buzz created by early season skiers and riders.
“I’m most looking forward to the opening day excitement, you can’t swing a dead cat around Copper during opening weekend without finding someone who’s just as excited to get back on the slopes,” Williams said.
Guests can park in the resort’s Alpine or Far East lots for free during opening weekend and all season long. Tickets are available at the mountain on opening day, but the lowest prices on Copper Mountain lift tickets can be found online, Williams said.
More information about Copper Resort can be found at
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Haunted history in Breckenridge: Milne Madhouse, tours bring stories to life for Halloween

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

Visit some historical haunts in Breckenridge for Halloween, starting with a special Breckenridge Haunted Tour tonight.
The 90-minute tour explores the Breckenridge historic district, as a guide tells stories of unexplained phenomenon and intriguing deaths and tales about some of the town’s most notorious inhabitants. Dive deeper into the stories Thursday with a special edition of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance’s Tombstone Tales at Twilight tour through Valley Brook Cemetery.
“We cover about 75 percent of the 20-acre cemetery,” said Jen Baldwin, tour guide and genealogist with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. “We kind of tell the story of Breckenridge history through the individual lives of the people who lived it.”
Stroll through the cemetery
Baldwin said that for a lot of people, cemeteries are a place of genuine emotion.
“In today’s society, it’s a place to mourn and grieve a loss,” she said. “We try to present the cemetery as a historic location, and seeing the headstones gives people that one-on-one feeling that they can relate to the individual person rather than a historical event or building.”
If you eat dinner at the Hearthstone Restaurant, for example, you’re sitting in a historical home, but it doesn’t have the same impact as going to the cemetery and seeing the family plot and gravesites of the people who owned the home, Baldwin said.
“You get a perspective on the human level instead of a human to property level,” she said. “It’s just a more emotional connection.”
Baldwin said there’s a big difference between the way people in the United States remember the deceased and the way other cultures do. We see death as a final, lasting thing, she said, rather than celebrating it, and touring the cemetery can help dispel some of the sinister vibes of death.
“It’s a chance for us to share the idea that a cemetery is not necessarily a creepy place,” she said. “When Valley Brook Cemetery opened and was first being used, it was a place to have picnics and parades, and they would go to church and celebrate, rather than just to mourn. It’s a chance to expose our community to all of those elements.”
The Milne Madhouse
The Heritage Alliance is also bringing back the Milne Madhouse for the second year in a row. The haunted house, staged in the Milne home and park on Harris Street in Breckenridge, played host to almost 500 people last year and even more are expected this year when the historic site opens Thursday, said Cindy Hintgen, operations manager for the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance.
“I love Halloween, and I’d say 75 percent of those decorations are mine,” Hintgen said with a laugh about the ghoulish garnishes in the home. “It’s one of my favorite times of the year, and the Milne is a little bit more conducive to having the haunted house because we don’t have to worry about people damaging things like we would (at other historic sites). It has the newspapers on the wall, so it lends itself to being spooky and dark.
“And the name is perfect — the Milne Madhouse.”
Hintgen said she’s never had an encounter with a ghost in the Milne house but said some people who are sensitive to the paranormal have said they’ve picked up on some different feelings in there.
“The creepiest place in that place for me is the bedroom; it’s just a weird vibe,” she said but added that it doesn’t take the appearance ghosts to make the Milne Madhouse frightening. “It’s usually so many kids that our theatrics lend themselves enough to being spooky.”
Keeping with the atmosphere of the house, volunteers will play the parts of history-based characters from Breckenridge’s past. Hintgen will portray Mrs. Briggle at the piano because she was known for giving piano lessons. Other characters include Pug Ryan; Sylvia, the ghost who is said to haunt the former Prospector Restaurant; prospector turned accused cannibal Alfie Packer and Ada Finding, a little girl who was thought to be dead and then came back to life for two days before eventually dying of diphtheria.
“Having these historically based characters gets people’s curiosity started,” Hintgen said. “They come through and hear about the characters and then they’ll look them up and read about them.”
The Heritage Alliance sees Halloween as an opportunity to engage and educate in a fun way, Baldwin said. Today’s version of Halloween is highly commercialized, so the concept behind the organization’s activities is taking something that’s popular in today’s culture and giving it a positive, learning-based slant within the community, she said.
“We can take a site like the cemetery and use the exposure of Halloween to educate people about the value of what is there and hopefully get them back at some other time,” Baldwin said.
Hintgen said a visit to the Milne Madhouse or a trek through the town or cemetery is a chance to see some of the people who built the town, lived here, died here and were buried here brought back to life.
“It’s a perfect way for us to share the history and be a part of Halloween,” she said.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Summit County pets available for adoption

The pet of the week is Foxy. Foxy is a 12-year-old domestic shorthair spayed female cat. She is very friendly and would do great as the only cat in a home. She’s a big cat with a lot of love to give.

Available for adoption at the Summit County Animal Shelter. Contact the Summit County animal shelter at (970) 668-3230

CATALONIA, 4 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, white and black, spayed female
GOLDIE, 1 year 4 months, Domestic Shorthair mix, white and brown tabby, spayed female
MASYA, 7 years, Domestic Mediumhair mix, tricolor and gray, spayed female
CUBBY, 10 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, gray and white, neutered male
JEREMIAH, 9 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, black, neutered male
FOXY, 12 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, buff tiger and white, spayed female
COPPER, 4 years, Domestic Mediumhair mix, tortie, spayed female
GRACIE, 10 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, tortie and brown tabby, spayed female
PEARL, 2 years, Birman and Siamese mix, white and brown, spayed female
ALADDIN, 4 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, black, neutered male
ENYA, 8 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, tortie, spayed female
MONA, 9 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, brown tabby, spayed female
MISSY, 3 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, tortie, spayed female
ROY, 6 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, orng tabby and white, neutered male
CHUPPIE, 7 years, Domestic Mediumhair mix, bl tabby, neutered male
AVERY, 1 year 5 months, Domestic Shorthair mix, calico, spayed female
APOLLO, 3 years, Welsh Corgi - Cardigan and Australian Shepherd mix, blonde, neutered male
LULU, 2 years, Dachshund and Chihuahua - Smooth Coated mix, red, spayed female
PORTIA, 9 years, Labrador Retriever mix, yellow, spayed female
BEAR, 7 years, Labrador Retriever mix, chocolate, spayed female
BELLA, 7 years, German Shepherd Dog and Great Pyrenees mix, white, spayed female
JOEY, 1 year 10 months, Labrador Retriever mix, white, neutered male
MORRIE, 3 years, Welsh Corgi - Cardigan and Australian Shepherd mix, blonde, neutered male
MICHELOB, 9 years, Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever mix, gold, neutered male
ROCCO, 9 months, Irish Wolfhound and Schnauzer - Miniature mix, brindle, neutered male
IZZY, 3 years, Boxer mix, black and white, spayed female
COCOA CHANEL, no age, Chihuahua - Smooth Coated mix, tan and buff, spayed female
MIMI, 11 months, Beagle, black and white, spayed female
MITSUBISHI, 4 years, Chihuahua - Smooth Coated mix, tan, spayed female
TOYOTA, 10 months, Chihuahua - Smooth Coated mix, tan and white, neutered male
LUCY, 2 years, Dachshund and Chihuahua - Smooth Coated mix, red, spayed female
RONNEY, 2 years, Dachshund and Chihuahua - Smooth Coated mix, red, neutered male
WAFFLES, 8 months, Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix, tan and white, spayed female
CLEMENTINE, 2 years, Pit Bull Terrier and Boxer mix, white and tan, spayed female
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Udall, Tipton introduce companion legislation for wildfire mitigation

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

Last week U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., heralded the introduction of legislation in the House of Representatives that mirrors his plan, which would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to work with local governments on wildfire mitigation projects.
Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has worked to protect Colorado communities from the threat of modern mega fires, according to a news release from Udall’s office. With companion legislation now in the House, Udall said this important milestone demonstrates the growing, bipartisan support for his common-sense and fiscally responsible idea.
“Colorado communities and firefighters across the west understand that the cheapest fire to fight is one that never burns,” Udall said in the release. “The mitigation projects this legislation will support will put Colorado communities and public lands managers on the offense, heading off mega-fires before they even start.”
Udall’s bill and its House companion would place wildfires on par with other natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes. Colorado and other states would be eligible to receive an additional 15 percent of the total funds FEMA allocates for fire suppression to support wildfire-mitigation efforts.
“And this is more than just a good idea, it’s the fiscally responsible approach to dealing with the threat of wildfire,” Udall said in the release. “Studies show that every dollar spent on hazard mitigation saves an average of four dollars in costs down the line. I am proud that my common-sense and fiscally responsible plan has the support of Republicans and Democrats alike in the House.”
The House bill’s co-sponsors include Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, who also has worked to strengthen wildfire protections for Colorado communities, the release stated.
“For too long we have been working to combat wildfires once they start instead of proactively addressing the conditions that cause them,” Tipton said in the release. “As the old saying goes, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ and that is especially true when it comes to forests management.
“By making FEMA resources available for hazard mitigation in our forests, this bipartisan legislation will help take a more proactive approach to restoring forests to a healthy natural state, reducing the risk of wildfire, and doing so without increasing taxpayer spending.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Awards announced for spirits featured at Breckenridge craft spirits festival

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

The fourth annual Still on the Hill Craft Spirits Festival in Breckenridge in early October gave the public an opportunity to taste spirits produced by 25 craft distillers from Colorado and beyond.
New this year, the festival added the element of industry judging. Each distillery could enter two spirits in a variety of categories. The spirits were judged in a double-blind taste test by an esteemed panel of industry experts, including Tom Fischer, host and producer of BourbonBlog; Penfield Jensen, head of the American Craft Distillers Association; Dave Pickerell, of Oakview Consulting and formerly of Makers Mark; and Richard Wolf, industry consultant formerly with the Kentucky Distillers Association and Buffalo Trace.
In this inaugural “Judgment on the Hill,” 20 distinctions were awarded in 11 categories. The panel bestowed three Double Gold, eight Gold and nine Silver judgments. The awards were based on the quality of each spirit with regard to taste, smell, integrity and smoothness and not as a ranking of spirits against one another.
“This format of judging helps raise the quality of the emerging craft spirits industry as a whole because our products are being judged on their intrinsic merit,” said Jordan Via, master distiller at Breckenridge Distillery.
The public was able to meet the distillers, try the various spirits and vote for their favorite spirit at the festival’s grand tasting.
Many of the distillers made up cocktails featuring their spirits so that guests could experience how the products can be used.
Attendees received poker chips used to vote for their favorite distillery. They could purchase additional votes by placing a dollar in the bucket of their favorite.
The funds raised from people’s-choice voting were donated to American Red Cross for flood-relief efforts, following the devastating Colorado floods in September. Peach Street Distillery, from Palisade, won the coveted People’s Choice award.
The Still on the Hill festival raised money for the Breckenridge Restaurant Association.
For more information on the event,
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Team Summit christens Copper Mountain slopes before opening day Nov. 1

#Copper Mountain, Colorado.

While Copper Mountain doesn’t open to the public — or even to the U.S. Ski Team — until next Friday, for some members of Team Summit it’s already day five on the snow.
“It’s awesome getting out on the mountain before it opens,” 11-year-old Jasmine Laube said, while taking a break in the Solitude Lodge at mid-mountain.
Team Summit ski and snowboard members ranging in age from 10 to 22 have been sharing lane space on the upper mountain with other groups from around the country all week, while resort crews prepare for opening day below.
“We’re working on a lot of preseason drills just getting our legs back,” snowboard coach Nichole Mason told the Daily. “We’re very fortunate that Copper gives us lane space.”
The groups have been practicing on the Copperopolis slope, which is above American Eagle chair and accessible by Excelerator lift. With crews still preparing the lower mountain, team members still have to ride American Eagle chair down at the end of their sessions.
“This time of year, early season, we’re trying to revisit the fundamentals,” ski coach Jared Hedges said.
That means balance, edging, pressure control and rotary drills.
“Very few of them are going at full speed,” media relations manager and intro-to-race coach Peter Alexander added.
Team members, many of whom are in their schools’ early release programs, have been doing drills that work each skill set as they make their way through on-mountain courses.
Early season conditions were impressive Friday, with solid coverage across the slope. Work crews looked as though they’d made a lot of progress on the lower mountain, and what will be the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center in East Village looked almost ready to go.
“Today, day five, is probably the best conditions we’ve had,” Hedges said.
Next week the team will be sharing the mountain with some of the best athletes in the world as Copper welcomes the U.S. Alpine Ski Team when it returns from Europe to open the annual Speed Center training program starting Nov. 1.
Team Summit organizers plan to bring their team members to the Speed Center at the base of Super Bee lift in the East Village, to catch a glimpse of the pros.
“Any exposure that these athletes can get to some of the best in the world is a positive experience,” Alexander said.
Laube said it was cool to watch them last year, and she’s looking forward to it again this year.
Neighboring Team Breck also got on-snow activities underway on Thursday at Arapahoe Basin.
Copper Mountain opens to the public and the U.S. Ski Team next Friday, Nov. 1. Copper will host the ski team’s official team announcement ceremony the following week, Nov. 8.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Breckenridge Ski Resort’s “First Tracks Fridays” program gives guests earlier slope access

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

Breckenridge Ski Resort on Oct. 25 announced a new, exclusive opportunity for guests staying in official resort lodging properties this winter.
The program, “First Tracks Fridays,” allows guests to access the mountain on Friday mornings one hour before it opens to the general public.
One designated chairlift will open early on Peak 9 and will be available to guests who stay Thursday nights at any of the official lodging properties: The DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge, Mountain Thunder Lodge, One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort, Crystal Peak Lodge and the Village at Breckenridge.
No special lodging package purchase is required, but participants must be guests of one of the official Breckenridge lodging properties at the times the weekly events occur, and must also hold a valid Breckenridge lift pass.
First Tracks Fridays will begin once mountain conditions allow this winter, and will occur every Friday through the remainder of the season. More details will be announced soon.
A representative from Breckenridge Ski Resort could not be reached for comment Thursday, Oct. 24.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Keystone Ski Resort expands family friendly option

#Keystone, Colorado.

Keystone Resort is gearing up for another winter season, with new offerings for skiers and snowboarders of all ages.
Staff said they are pulling out all the stops when it comes to providing a family friendly ski experience.
“Keystone is incredibly proud of not only being a family friendly destination, but a family focused resort,” said Keystone Resort spokeswoman Tucker Vest Burton. “From red wagons to haul gear to the lifts, to warm chocolate chunk cookies at condo check-in, to the new Family Front-Row Parking program, the resort truly takes into account a family’s needs and caters towards each guest.”
Keystone staff said the resort is a place that allows kids and parents alike to enjoy their well-earned vacation time together.
This season the resort is taking the next step in creating unique family ski experiences with the introduction of the first-ever family ski trail.
The schoolyard will debut on Keystone’s signature green cruiser, Schoolmarm. The trail will be designed to engage skiers and riders of all ages, while promoting on-snow progression with specialty features such as Rockin’ Rollers and Tornado Alley, as well as additional programming including meeting the avy dog and glow stick parades.
This winter, the resort is also introducing free family front-row parking in its main parking lot, steps from Keystone’s gondola. Other family oriented amenities will include wagons and gear chauffeurs available throughout the resort to help guests easily transport skis and snowboards to and from the lifts.
Keystone staff said no other ski resort in the country offers a Kids Ski Free program that is as simple and valuable as theirs.
Children 12 and under qualify when staying two or more nights in one of Keystone’s many owned and operated lodging units.
“It does not matter if a family has one kid or 10 kids, they all ski free if they’re 12 and under with two or more nights lodging stay,” Vest Burton said.
There are no blackout dates, no restrictions and no red tape, she said. Children ski free all season long even if it’s the holidays or spring break.
“Families really are receiving an incredible deal at a world-class ski resort, leaving more time for enjoying experiences together rather than worrying about the cost,” Vest Burton said.
Keystone Resort includes more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain accessed via 20 chairlifts as well as the largest night ski operation in Colorado. Opening day is Nov. 1. More information can be found at
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Breckenridge Ski Resort releases new trail map featuring Peak 6 terrain

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

Skiers and snowboarders can start mapping out their runs at the new Peak 6 terrain at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
The resort released its 2013-14 trail map, which features the new Peak 6 terrain and lifts set to open this season. It’s the first time Breck has released a trail map to the public ahead of the resort’s winter season opening.
The map gives skiers and riders a complete look at all of the Peak 6 trail names and routes. It also includes the two new lifts, the Zendo Chair and Kensho SuperChair, a high-speed, six-pack that tops out at 12,300 feet.
“Peak 6 will be a tremendous addition to Breckenridge, significantly improving the guest experience by adding new terrain and lift capacity, spreading out skiers and offering them more terrain to explore,” said Kristen Petitt Stewart, communications manager at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Peak 6 will feature approximately 400 acres of lift-served terrain and 143 acres of hike-to terrain. The dominant trail rating at Peak 6 will be intermediate, with 182 acres of blue access. There are also 62 acres of advanced-intermediate terrain and 163 acres of expert territory in the expansion.
“The highlight of the terrain will be the above-tree-line intermediate bowl experience,” Stewart said. “There is also some great expert terrain in the expansion similar to the terrain you might find in the Lake Chutes off the top of Peak 8.”
The variety of terrain offered on Peak 6 will give more skiers and boarders the opportunity to experience high alpine bowl skiing and riding.
Stewart said she’s excited to see how guests react to the views from the top of the superchair. “They are spectacular,” she said.
The opening of Peak 6 represents the largest ski area terrain expansion in the last decade, and the first at Breckenridge since the Peak 7 expansion in 2002. The new terrain will be opened based on snowfall, with more specific dates being released as the season progresses.
Opening day at the resort is Nov. 8. Staffers started making snow this week, but don’t have an opening day terrain announcement yet.
“We will know as we get closer to opening day and will be sure to get the word out on Facebook, Twitter and local media outlets,” Stewart said.
The public can view the new trail map and stay up to date with terrain updates, snow reports and other information at
The map is also available on Breck resort’s Facebook page.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Breckenridge quarterly commercial report shows strong growth

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

Commercial and retail trends reveal Breckenridge is on the up and up, with sales increasing in general from this time last year.
Wolfe & Company Real Estate released a quarterly rundown of the business environment in town, including the fact that Breckenridge has the lowest vacancy rate for retail spaces for the quarter since 2007.
President Jack Wolfe said he has seen a number of businesses come to town this year.
“Looking at a year ago, there’s a lot more optimism now,” he said.
There were 23 vacant retail spaces as of Oct. 2, which is a 23.3 percent reduction — seven spaces — from 2012.
Though Breckenridge occupancy was down 1.2 percent in September compared to 2012, the town’s occupancy pacing for the upcoming six months, October to March, is up 14 percent compared to the same period. That forecast could result in a positive impact on restaurants and retailers this winter season, Wolfe said.
“Lodging is a key component as to how well everyone is doing,” Wolfe said. “The higher the occupancy, that directly contributes to retail and more people here spending money.”
Wolfe said the key to surviving economic downturn in a seasonal location is adaptability. He said the retail sector is almost back to 2007 levels, a benchmark often used because it was the year before the recession.
“That doesn’t mean all businesses are dancing in the street,” he said. “The luxury section was hit the hardest, they have the farthest to go to come back.”
For 2013, all retail sales so far through August are ahead of 2012 by 14 percent. Tax revenues are also ahead of last year by 9.34 percent.
“We’re starting to see restaurants having the best year ever — and we said last year was the best year ever,” Wolfe said.
With decreasing vacancy rates and increasing retail and restaurant sales, Wolfe expects lease rates to continue to edge up, leading to increasing commercial property values in 2014.
“There’s an increasing relationship between retail and restaurant success and things like lease rates, tax revenues,” he said.
Wolfe said with new businesses joining the Breckenridge community and owners seeing success, these numbers bode well for the overall success of business in town.
“Everybody was affected by the downturn and the outcome was everybody had to get smarter,” he said. “We are definitely doing better than three, four years ago and even last year.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Serving Up Summit dishes out healthy, easy community cooking classes

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

Added sugars and unhealthy fats make up 40 percent of children’s diets, but Erica Ewald is ready to serve up something different for families in Summit County.
Serving Up Summit is a monthly culinary class at Summit High School providing adults with culinary tips and techniques by teaching new, exciting recipes using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients.
Ewald teaches culinary classes at the high school. Serving Up Summit is also an opportunity for the high school students in the culinary program to use their skills to teach others.
“People tell me all the time they wish they could make what my students make,” Ewald said.
At the first class on Oct. 18, six people — middle-school boys and grandmothers, moms and older brothers — donned aprons and prepared to make chocolate-covered bananas, caramel apples and pumpkin parfaits.
Serving Up Summit is run under the Families First program of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, (FCCLA) a nonprofit national career and technical student organization in family and consumer sciences education.
“Under the Families First program we want to get adults to share what they learn with their students, to take these skills home and spread that knowledge,” Ewald said.
All of the desserts on Thursday night were less than 500 calories, and Ewald said the pumpkins were local to the area and a healthy fall treat.
“We’re starting simple today,” she said. “These desserts are all a pretty easy level of difficulty.”
Kalee Hollingsworth is co-president of FCCLA at Summit High, and said the school’s Prostart classes have helped her prepare to work in the industry.
“We have a catering class and basic cooking classes here,” she said. “There’s hospitality, food prep, customer service, business, all of it.”
As participants used bright-red blenders to make real whipped cream, Monica Shantz, who was there with her son and her mother, said she liked the simple recipes.
“It’s definitely great for family bonding,” Shantz said. “You don’t have to set up, go out and buy the ingredients or clean up.”
In the industrial kitchen in the high school, pans rattled as the class learned culinary techniques such as how to set up and use a double boiler to melt chocolate on the stove.
“The recipes seem like we can do them at home,” Shantz said. “It’s fun to learn something new.”
Ewald said every class, which will have a different theme, will incorporate healthy choices and local produce.
“For example, breaking down a whole chicken is much more cost-effective,” she said. “Some parents say, ‘Oh I don’t know how to cook, I never cook’ but this helps show them how. It keeps the circle of education going.”
Classes run from 6 to 8 p.m. every month and cost $30 per person or $50 per couple. Reservations are required. Email Erica Ewald at
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Frisco Adventure Park’s bike facility earns Colorado Lottery Starburst Award

#Frisco, Colorado.

Drivers passing by Frisco’s Adventure Park are likely to have seen bicyclists of all ages tearing through curves, over jumps and speeding down slaloms.
The bicyclists who take advantage the bike park are benefitting from the Colorado Lottery. The town of Frisco funded more than a third of the bike park project with a $200,000 Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant — from a funding pool that’s made up of lottery profits.
Colorado Lottery representatives recently recognized the bike park’s enhancement to the community, and are applauding Frisco for using grant funds to the fullest, with a 2013 Starburst Community Award.
“The Starburst Awards began in 1992, and are given to projects that represent excellence in the use of lottery funds,” said Matt Robbins, community relations specialist for the Colorado Lottery.
Robbins said Frisco achieved its goal of fostering a community of bicycle riders of all ages and abilities at the bike park with the successful design, production and maintenance of the facility.
The entire project, which cost a little more than $500,000 consists of trails, jumps, pump-track features, ladder bridges, landscaping, signage and a parking lot.
Frisco recreation director Diane McBride said town officials are thrilled to receive the award.
“I think it’s a huge credit to all the staff who were involved in the project, from outreach to the community, to the process of writing and securing the grant, to the actual building of the bike park,” said McBride. “It’s been a great team effort. We couldn’t be happier with the work that has been done.”
Since its creation 30 years ago, the Colorado Lottery has returned more than $2.5 billion in grant funds to the state — including $11.3 million to Summit County and $850,000 to Frisco alone, Robbins said.
“Even if you don’t play the lottery, you are being positively impacted by it,” he said.
The Colorado Lottery’s contribution of profits to parks and recreation-related projects throughout the state is unique, said Colorado Lottery media relations specialist Heather Black.
Colorado is one of three states in which lottery money is used for parks and recreation, and the only state that contributes 100 percent of the pool of funds to these activities, she said.
“That’s what makes Colorado unique and why people want to live here — our beautiful outdoors,” Black said.
Robbins said when he tells people about the lottery’s parks and rec-related grant funds, people automatically assume the organization helps build playgrounds — but the reach goes beyond that.
“The bike park is a great example of what you can do with lottery funds,” he said. “Vision is key and obviously the town of Frisco has that.”
The Colorado Lottery is a division of the Colorado Department of Revenue. Colorado Lottery proceeds are distributed to three primary beneficiaries: Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. These organizations then provide grants and direct funding for parks, recreation, open space acquisition, trails, wildlife and conservation education.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Breckenridge seeks sculpture artists for north-end roundabout

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

Breckenridge is looking for a sculpture in the round — the roundabout, that is.
The Breckenridge Public Art Commission (BPAC) and the town council are looking to commission a sculptor, or team of sculptors, to create a work of art for the roundabout at the northern entry to town.
Town planner Jennifer Cram said applications are open to any artists, local or national. Three finalists will be selected, and those finalists will be able to conduct research, develop final proposal materials — including a scale model — and present their proposals to BPAC and the community.
“We’re looking for a dynamic sculpture, something easily perceived from a car,” Cram said. “It needs to be such that it doesn’t distract, not so many details that people stop or slow down to look.”
According to BPAC the sculpture should be: a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, a timeless and iconic statement piece, simple and recognizable at a speed of 15 mph and sensitive to the space, In addition it should convey a sense of arrival to the town and meet Colorado Department of Transportation guidelines.
“The roundabout is really a focal point,” Cram said. “(The sculpture) can really help improve the look of the town.”
BPAC has budgeted up to $100,000 for the final sculpture, including design, engineering, transportation and installation.
Applications are due Nov. 20 and finalists will be selected in December. BPAC hopes to award the contract by February 2014, and Cram said the process of actually creating and installing the sculpture could take one year.
“We’re looking for a broad pool,” she said. “We’re keeping the look pretty open to sculptors’ interpretations.”
For more information or to complete an application, visit
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Summit County receives $17.5 million for Iron Springs shortcut

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

The Colorado Transportation Commission approved Thursday $1.5 billion in road projects across the state, including $17.5 million for Summit County’s Colorado Highway 9 project.
The award was announced by Gov. John Hickenlooper and Colorado Department of Transportation executive director Don Hunt as part of the Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships program. RAMP was created in December 2012 to develop new ways of budgeting and planning to streamline vital transportation projects.
“The innovative RAMP program will allow us to make the critical improvements to our state’s transportation system,” Hickenlooper said in a news release. “These transportation improvements will increase the safety and access of our roadways.”
Summit County’s Highway 9 project was one of 44 partnerships announced Thursday. The $17.5 million award provides full funding for the project, which would result in the construction of a shortcut between Summit High School and the Summit Medical Center via the Iron Springs conservation easement.
Thad Noll, assistant Summit County manager, said the project is still dependent upon environmental clearance in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The county should receive a NEPA decision within the next month.
Once the county clears the NEPA hurdle, the Colorado Department of Transportation can begin working on the design portion of the project, Noll said.
“County staff will be closely involved in the planning and design as we go,” Noll said. “Construction will likely begin during the summer of 2016, maybe fall of 2015.”
The Continental Divide Land Trust, which has managed the conservation easement at Iron Springs, is expected to trade that parcel for the land on which Colorado Highway 9 is currently located. The land trust plans to convert that current stretch of highway into bike paths and walking trails along the shore of the Lake Dillon, Noll said.
In addition to the 44 partner projects, the Colorado Transportation Commission also approved $66 million in operations projects throughout the state and $800 million in asset management projects to maintain the state’s system of roadways. RAMP also will provide a $300 million per year increase in road project funding over the course of the next five years, or a 50 percent increase, the release stated.
The increased funding is being touted as an economic driver, as every $1.5 million spent on transportation projects creates or sustains 10.5 jobs, according to the release.
“These projects will boost our economy through construction job growth and the improvements to our state’s transportation system,” Hickenlooper said in the release.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.