Sunday, March 31, 2013

Browns Canyon National Monument gets thumbs up from community

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Breckenridge, Colorado

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall has released a detailed legislative proposal to establish Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Area. The latest step in a yearlong public-engagement process, Udall's proposal reflects feedback from dozens of stakeholders, including business owners, sportsmen, elected officials and recreational groups.

“My business livelihood and quality of life both depend on the protection of Browns Canyon,” said Christian Campton, owner of KODI Rafting in Frisco. “I personally appreciate Sen. Udall's efforts to ensure the national monument will continue to allow rafting, fishing, hunting and other economic drivers while helping us attract new visitors to experience what makes this area so unique.”

Protection of places like Browns Canyon as a national monument positively affects the economic health of river outfitters, local businesses and the surrounding communities, said Ryan Bidwell of The Wilderness Society in a statement praising Udall's actions.

“Browns Canyon is a national treasure which deserves permanent protection to ensure the outdoor legacy, recreational opportunities and the local economic growth for the future,” Bidwell said. “We applaud Sen. Udall for responding to public comments and crafting a balanced proposal that will allow economically important recreation to continue, while ensuring the area is protected for future generations.”

Udall's proposal would protect approximately 22,000 acres along the iconic Arkansas River between Salida and Buena Vista. Browns Canyon is one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the nation. The regional whitewater sports industry, which includes rafting, kayaking and other activities, accounted for more than $20 million in direct expenditures for a total economic impact of more than $52 million in the Arkansas Valley in 2012.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Saturday, March 30, 2013

$20 million summer recreation upgrade planned for Breckenridge Ski Resort

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Breckenridge, Colorado

Vail Resorts announced that it has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Forest Service for its second Epic Discovery program in less than a year, this time with the goal of developing at Breckenridge Ski Resort.

The Ski Recreational Opportunities Enhancement Act, passed in October 2011, allows for yearlong recreational activities to take place on Forest Service ski areas. The first Epic Discovery proposal by Vail Resorts was launched in July 2012 for Vail Mountain. Breckenridge is next, pending approval by the Forest Service.

The concept, according to Blaise Carrig, president of Vail Resorts' Mountain Division, is to have “not just summer activities, but a full-blown summer program that goes a lot more beyond just having activities for people to do and hiking.”


Summer mountain adventure

The Epic Discovery program will feature a wide range of activities with varying levels of difficulty. An additional 14 miles of mountain-biking trails will be added to the existing network across Peaks 7 and 8, including a new biking headquarters at the base of Peak 7.

A lookout tower platform will allow hikers in the Horsehoe Bowl to enjoy panoramic views, while challenge courses will let visitors of all abilities climb through multiple levels of rope courses, bridges and zip lines. There will also be a climbing wall — molded after an iconic natural climbing area somewhere in Colorado — for various levels of experience.

Zip lines, or “thrill rides,” will offer guests the chance to ride solo or race against family members down the mountain at speeds reaching 45 mph. The most extreme of these will have its starting point on Peak 9. It will take thrill-seekers across Sawmill Gulch to land on the corner of Volunteer Run.

“We estimate that at its high point it's probably about 900 feet in the air,” said Pat Campbell, senior vice president and COO at Breckenridge Ski Resort. “So that is not for the faint of heart.”

For those who wish to take their time down the mountain, canopy tours will pair small groups with an eco guide, giving them a glimpse of the forest from above. Young children can also enjoy adventure parks with slides, bungee trampolines and other similar activities.

“We tried to really design it so there's an experience for everyone,” Campbell said.


Educational component

Epic Discovery is based on a “learn through play” concept, keeping environmental education as a focus throughout its design. To do this, Vail Resorts announced its partnership with The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that works on forest management projects.

Instead of the traditional single-location kiosk or information center, the planners of Epic Discovery decided that they wanted to spread educational information and opportunities all over the mountain, between the various activity stop-offs.

“Not only are the activities themselves going to be exciting for people and engaging to them, but going from activity to activity will be its own activity as they walk through this environment of educational material,” Carrig said.

“Our joint goal is to both help educate more people about the importance of our forests in Colorado and also raise funds to help their conservation efforts for our forests,” said Tim Sullivan, executive director of the Colorado chapter of The Nature Conservancy. “It will be much more interactive, it will be engaging people while they're being active rather than just going up and looking at something in a museum. That's the intent, you'll have people out and around the forest and doing things and ... learning at the same time.”

To further ensure continuation of environmental awareness and assistance, the Breckenridge Ski Resort has pledged 1 percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue to The Nature Conservancy, to be used for forest conservation projects.

The Epic Discovery program also plans to have a light environmental footprint, despite everything that is being added.

“All the activities are designed to blend in seamlessly to the natural environment,” Carrig said. This can be done because much of the infrastructure, such as the gondola, lifts and buildings, are already in place.

“That's a win-win in terms of the environment, that we don't need to create any further disturbance,” said Campbell.


Community benefits

According to Carrig, Vail Resorts has estimated that Epic Discovery could bring in around 150,000 new visitors, which is not quite double current summer visitation levels. The program hopes to draw in day visitors from Interstate 70, as well as to become a destination for visitors nationally and abroad.

“This program is designed to be more than you can do in a day,” Carrig said. “This is going to be a multi-day experience. So it's really going to be something that people are going to come to Breckenridge to do because it's an activity in and of itself for multiple days.”

Carrig also mentioned new jobs created during construction and a healthier year-round economy as further benefits.

Campbell added that the program would also give the town of Breckenridge the opportunity to pair up and inform visitors further about its history.

“We have a unique opportunity in Breckenridge to not only tell the environmental story, but integrate that with the cultural history and heritage of the town,” she said. “We think it's a natural thing to try to integrate some of that story into our interpretive story up on the mountain, not only because I think it's a great story and people will really be interested in it, but I think it's just another way to integrate the whole experience with the town, and not have the skier experience be over here and the town experience over here.”


Timeline

Approval of Epic Discovery program in Breckenridge from the Forest Service is pending. If it is approved, Campbell said, construction will start immediately. It is possible that one of the zip lines will be finished by the end of summer this year. Full approval for the rest of the activities will most likely take up to a year, with construction beginning in summer 2014. Carrig estimates that the construction will take about one year to complete, with the program becoming fully operational for summer 2015.

It will be best to do construction of everything all at once, rather than in phases, Carrig said. “We think it has to have a big bang.”
 
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Friday, March 29, 2013

Dillon Marina gears up for the big thaw — and more boaters

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Dillon, Colorado

The Dillon Marina is busily preparing for the 2013 boating season. There are a handful of changes that marina visitors can expect to see this summer.

Four new boats have been added to the marina fleet. The boats are 18 feet long, made by Larson and have 115 horsepower motors. They will join the other 22 boats that visitors can rent to take out on the lake this summer.

Construction to expand and pave the parking lot has been ongoing. Marina manager Bob Evans said that as soon as the snow can be cleared away and the ground softens, the construction can continue and be finished before the marina opens in May. The snow has caused delays in the parking lot work, but Evans said he didn't mind, as more snow means more water in the reservoir in the summer.

“I'll take the snow, because we need the water,” he said.

Despite talk of lower water levels this summer, the impact on visitors should be minimal, Evans said.

“I'm not as concerned as I was two weeks ago,” he said of the water level, explaining that continuing snowstorms recently have helped.

Another advantage is the marina's long ramp, which was lengthened in 2002 and is useful for smaller boats to about 50 feet down. It is one of the few ramps of its length in the area.

Last year, the marina counted about 55,000 visitors, a number that Evans said he believes can be topped this summer.

“I hope to get a lot more this year,” he said. “We get better and better with the stuff we do down here. We learn more and more. I think it's because we're trying to make the place not just a place to keep your boat, but a place to come and have fun and have activities for non-boat owners down here.”

Among other changes to the marina area are improvements to the Tiki Bar and a new location for the Yacht Club, which is looking at possible renovations and additions to the building, such as a deck.

“There's always something going on,” said Evans, of what draws visitors to the marina. “It's a cool place for people to come out and walk around and look at the boats. That's the main thing, to get people who are not boat owners down here and get them interested in boating.”

The more people he can draw into the world of boating the better, Evans said. Events like the J-24 Nationals boating race are a big draw. The marina also was named “Marina of the Year,” in the large category, by Marina Dock Age magazine, a nationally recognized trade publication.

“It's going to be an exciting year,” Evans said.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Public calls for potentially costly Hoosier recpath option

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Breckenridge, Colorado

Given a choice, Summit and Park county residents overwhelmingly preferred a Hoosier Pass recpath that runs separate from existing roads, a potentially costly and complicated option for the proposed trail from Breckenridge to Alma.

More than 80 percent of people who attended public meetings on the potential recpath said they would prefer to see a trail that runs apart from all roads, over other options, which included widened shoulders along Highway 9 or a path following neighborhood roads.

But the separated path is a tall order.

“It's the most technically challenging and also probably more expensive than the other two,” Breckenridge planner Scott Reid said. “But the benefits would be that it serves more people.”

A detached recpath provides a trail that is safe for regular users — officials have often thought of Blue River and Alma residents who commute to Breckenridge to work in planning the trail — as well as recreational users and families.

A consultant is currently in the process of doing a feasibility analysis of the recpath proposal and various options. The report will be released in the coming weeks.

The Hoosier Pass recpath would run roughly 17 miles from the existing trail in Breckenridge through Blue River to another path in Alma.

“It's basically filling in a gap between two recpaths that already exist,” Summit County open space and trails resource specialist Katie Kent said.

The challenge will likely be finding a route for the new trail in Blue River, where it would be difficult for the trail to avoid driveway accesses or crossing private property.

Blue River officials have asked that the path not be pushed too far out of town either, due to its potential to become an important route for commuters.

“I definitely see it as being used as a commuter route,” Blue River Town Trustee Rob Theobald stated in an email to the Daily. “The path could also be a great recreational amenity to the town, and could possibly provide for future economic growth.”

Very early estimates place the cost of the new recpath at roughly $1 million per mile. Kent said the county hopes to fund much of the planning, design and construction through various grants.

Summit officials are also working with Lake County and Climax Mine to extend the recpath system over Fremont Pass as well.

The Fremont Pass recpath may prove to be less challenging than Hoosier's, as the mine is the only impacted private-property owner. Climax has been supportive of trail-expansion projects in the past.

Together, the Hoosier and Fremont pass projects could add roughly 39 miles to the Summit County trail system.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Real Estate Acitivity is UP!

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net


#Breckenridge, Colorado


Breckenridge and The Summit of Colorado Weekly Market Update, 3/26/13!

Activity Up, Up, Up. Summit County has -9% fewer residential properties for sale and, yet, more residential properties are under contract than this time last year - 13.5% more!
Click the link below for the full report:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Copper, A-Basin launch 2013/14 season passes

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Breckenridge, Colorado

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, the renowned home of spring and summer skiing, is launching a new pass this season allowing customers to take advantage of the extended season.

The $169 Spring 2013 Pass, introduced Monday, provides unlimited access to the Legend from the purchase date through the end of the current season. Those who buy an A-Basin season pass for the upcoming winter and pay in full can also take advantage of the remainder of this season.

A-Basin is currently set to close June 2, but that date could be moved forward or back depending on snow conditions.

“Spring's been good to us so far,” A-Basin spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac said. “We'll just see how long we can make it last.”

The Spring Pass is a new product, inspired by the popularity of the Elevation 3 Pass, an only slightly less expensive three-day lift ticket available in the later part of the season in recent years.

“We saw spring skiing was picking up,” Isaac said. “We were getting a lot of snow and we wanted to give people an opportunity to ski unlimited through the end of the season.”

The Spring Pass is available through May 31.

Copper Mountain owner Powdr Corp is also launching a new product for the 2013/14 season for skiers and snowboarders age 17 and under. The youth-focused License 2 Ride offers younger customers who purchase a season pass at any of the company's six resorts to ride for free at the other five next winter. Participating mountains include Boreal Mountain Resort in California, Killington Mountain Resort in Vermont and Mt. Bachelor Resort in Oregon. Copper Mountain is the only Colorado resort included in the product.

“It's a little bit more of a nation-wide option,” Copper spokeswoman Austyn Williams said.

The License to Ride offer also provides a $200 discount on any of the Woodward at Copper summer camps in 2013.

Copper also added three transferrable secret passes, which allow holders to skip lift lines for a day, to sweeten the deal for early season-pass buyers. The bonus will be included with the purchase of the unrestricted 2013/14 Copper Season Pass when purchased before April 16.

Those who currently hold a Copper Mountain Four Pack and renew it for next season before prior to the mid-April deadline will also receive a bonus ski day and a secret pass as part of the deal.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Monday, March 25, 2013

Disposable bag fee to go before Breckenridge city council

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Breckenridge, Colorado

Shoppers in Breckenridge may soon see a 10-cent fee on plastic and paper bags, as the town considers a policy that would implement the charge on disposable totes at all retailers.

“The bags that exist at City Market today (would) continue to exist,” Breckenridge Councilwoman Wendy Wolfe said of the proposed law. “But if you use one of those bags you will then be charged 10 cents per bag.”

The measure, which would split the fee revenue 50/50 between retailers and the town, is set to go before the council for a first vote Tuesday.

If it passes, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the issue in April before the council takes a final vote on the policy.

It is still unclear when the fee would go into effect.

The proposed law represents a shift away from earlier discussions around a full ban of plastic bags at large grocery stores paired with a bag-reduction program for smaller retailers and a public education campaign on the issues, a plan put forward by a sustainability taskforce.

But council members said they wouldn't support a measure that regulated businesses differently based on size.

“I like the fact that we're treating everyone equally on this,” Wolfe said of the bag-fee ordinance, which includes paper bags as research indicates they may actually require more energy to produce than plastic bags do.

It also mandates the town's portion of bag-fee money be used for the implementation and administration of the fee program, education of residents and visitors and purchase and distribution of reusable bags, according to a Breckenridge staff memo.

The reusable bags have been a popular part of the conversation from the beginning. Many community and council members see an attractive reusable bag branded with the Breckenridge logo and provided to tourists free of cost as a potentially powerful tool to inform visitors about the disposable-bag policy and send them home with a meaningful souvenir.

Single-use fees have been adopted at the local level in Telluride, Aspen, Basalt, Boulder and internationally. Some cities where disposable bags are charged have seen a significant decline in use.

The ordinance does not address the use of disposable bags or containers in restaurants, although it's an issue Wolfe said she thinks the town will return to in the future.

Breckenridge residents have expressed mixed, though strong feelings on the bag fee. Some, including many local students interested in sustainability efforts, say the policy is a necessary step to protect the local environment, while others call it a “sin tax” that would inconvenience locals and visitors.

“It's a hard thing for me to swallow,” Breckenridge business owner Thos McDonald said at a public hearing on the issue. “I just don't feel like right now in this town, in this community, this is something we need to be focusing on.”

But others, including retailers and grocers in town, support the plan. Most of the staff at Food Kingdom Grocery and Liquor is in favor of the fee.

“The less plastic bags we see coming out of there the better,” assistant manager Kyle Rouze said.

City Market, the largest grocer in Breckenridge and currently the operator of the only plastic bag recycle center in town, has declined to comment on the issue.

More than 3 million plastic bags are used in Breckenridge each year.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Sunday, March 24, 2013

News from around the County

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Breckenridge, Colorado

Nominate an outstanding senior volunteer

The search is on for Colorado's outstanding senior volunteers. Sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care, the Salute to Senior Service program recognizes senior volunteers for the contributions they make in local communities. Friends, co-workers, family members and nonprofit organizations are encouraged to nominate deserving seniors for possible state and national honors. Nominations will be accepted through March 31. Each state's winners receive $500, and one national winner receives $5,000 to donate to the winner's charities of choice.


Volunteers needed for Frisco Easter egg hunt

The town of Frisco puts on a local Easter egg hunt every year. On March 31, the town will have 5,000 eggs that need to be strategically hidden between Madison and Second avenues at the Frisco Historic Park. The town is looking for about 15-20 volunteers who can help hide eggs, inform parents when to have their kids start, assist with crowd control and help with any cleanup at the end of the event. The egg hunt starts at noon, and the town would like volunteers to help from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact the Frisco Information Center to sign up as an Easter volunteer: 668-5547 or TOFinfo@townoffrisco.com. The town will provide bagels, donuts and coffee for your efforts.


Sign up for a garden plot

High Country Conservation Center has officially launched the new Summit Community Garden Network website. The SCGN benefits all community gardens by providing gardeners, visitors, teachers, youth and families with a one-stop shop for garden and local food resources. Thanks to the SCGN, one plot application now applies to all five of our gardens, including Silvana's, Nancy's, The Living Classroom, Breckenridge and Dillon Valley Elementary. We are now accepting applications from new and returning plot holders. All garden plots are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Completed applications are due by March 31. Find out more or download an online application for your garden plot at www.SummitGardenNetwork.org.


Snow extends Nordic season through March 31

Silverthorne's free Nordic Center, located at the Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks (2929 N. Golden Eagle Road), will offer an extended season this year due to the significant recent snowfall. The season will be extended through March 31. Two courses at the Raven offer a variety of trails for cross-country skiers and snowshoe users. The North Course has more challenging terrain with plenty of changes in elevation. Novices will be most comfortable on the South Course, which is flatter but still offers an abundance of twists and turns. Parking is located at the clubhouse, where course rules are posted. Please note that dogs are not allowed on the trails and that the groomed routes are intended for use by those with skis and snowshoes only, as regular foot traffic damages the grooming.


Hospital webinar marks brain injury month

St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Human Services is supporting for Brain Injury Awareness Month with a live webinar on March 25. The presentation topic is “What you need to know when returning to work after a brain injury!” The webinar is at the Medical Office Building in the Ten Mile Room, which is on the second floor. The address is 360 Peak One Dr., Frisco. Please note that the regularly scheduled Brain Injury Support Group will not meet this month due to this event.


FIRC Bag Shop open Saturdays in March

The FIRC Bag Shop in La Riva Mall in Dillon will be open for shopping from 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays in March. Volunteers use donated material to make shopping and wine bags, aprons, iPad holders and more. Money raised is donated to the Family & Intercultural Resource Center's food bank program. New volunteers are welcome. For more information visit SummitFIRC.org


Volunteers as a mentor

Summit County Mountain Mentors is a community-based mentoring program that matches caring adult volunteers with youth ages 8-16. Their mission is “to positively influence the youth of Summit County to lead healthy lifestyles through a consistent one-on-one relationship with an adult.” The group is looking for volunteers to spend eight hours each month with one of the 48 youth waiting for a mentor. Call 668-9184 or visit www.summitcares.org.


Advocates fundraiser in April

Advocates for Victims of Assault is hosting a Black Tie Bingo event from 6-10 p.m on Saturday, April 6 at the Elks Lodge in Silverthorne. Tickets are $50, or you can buy a table of eight for $350.


Dillon Theater show to benefit good cause

On Tuesday, you can help bring some sunshine into the life of a family challenged with cancer and see a comedy at the same time. On that evening, Lake Dillon Theatre's production of Neil Simon's “The Sunshine Boys” will benefit Domus Pacis Family Respite. Domus Pacis brings Colorado cancer patients and their families to the beautiful mountains of Summit County to enjoy being together in peaceful surroundings. To find out more, visit: www.domuspacis.org and to purchase tickets go to lakedillontheatre.org.


Volunteer at the Backstage

The opportunity to support and participate in live community theater here in Breckenridge awaits. The Backstage welcomes charming box office folk to welcome theater patrons, creative craftsmen to assist with set creation, cheerful individuals to distribute performance information throughout the county and anyone who embraces the performing arts. Interested? Contact nanageralyn@gmail.com.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Grant program offsets homeowner cost of wildfire fuel reduction

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Breckenridge, Colorado

The Summit County WIldfire Council announced its 2013 Hazardous Fuel Reduction Grant Program. The program is available to Summit County landowners and homeowner groups for the purpose of offsetting the cost of wildfire fuel reduction efforts, such as tree removal projects. Homeowners who participate in the program will be eligible to have up to half the cost of their defensible space project reimbursed.

Defensible space is an area around a structure where fuels and vegetation are treated, cleared or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire toward the structure. Defensible space also reduces the chance of a structure fire moving from the building to the surrounding forest and creates a safe zone for firefighters to carry out their work. Defensible space creation around homes and communities is one step people can take to reduce the impact of wildland fire.

In order to prevent the spread of noxious weeds, all Wildfire Council grant applicants must develop a weed-management plan with the assistance of the Summit County Weed Control Manager.

The 2013 Hazardous Fuels Reduction Grant Program application period will run until April 26. Interested community members can download a grant application from Summit County's Colorado State University Extension webpage at www.co.summit.co.us/extension.

For more information, contact Dan Schroder at (970) 668-4140

Courtesy of the Summit Daily Newstesy..

CourCourtesy begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE end_of_

Friday, March 22, 2013

Defending homes against fire

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Breckenridge, Colorado

“Fire lives on the landscape. It's part of the natural ecology,” Dan Schroeder told a crowd of more than 40 community members in Frisco Wednesday night.

The Forest Health Task Force meeting, the second in a homeowners series about wildfire preparation, focused on the topic of defensible space around homes and property.

Mr. Schroder, Summit County's Colorado State University natural resources extension agent and director, and Paul Cada, of the Colorado State Forest Service, took turns discussing the dangers of wildfire, particularly for this upcoming summer in Summit County and what homeowners can do to keep their property, homes and lives safe.

Schroeder explained that fire plays a natural role in wilderness areas, acting as a restoring and rejuvenating element. With human interference, however, fires don't burn through as often as they would naturally, which can affect the landscape and how easily a fire might catch.

“We think we can control a lot of things, … but a wildfire is like a tornado, it's really an uncontrollable (force), and we need to get out of the way,” he said.

So far, Summit County has been lucky, Schroder said, but there's no certainty that the same will be the case this summer.

Last year, 50 fires were started in Summit County and while fortunately none became a serious hazard, they could have been.

“At any given moment, given the right conditions, … it could become extreme,” Schroder said. “Are we ready to combat that?”

Risks, issues and education

Summit County presents specific risks when it comes to wildfires, Schroder said. One of these is the close proximity of people to the forest. The county is in the middle of what is called a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), a zone where human development intermingles with undeveloped lands or vegetative fuels.

“We all moved to Summit County to be in the forest,” he said. Now, homeowners must take special precaution to protect their property from wildfires.

Another issue that Summit County faces with wildfire preparation is the fact that 60 percent of residences are unoccupied for much of the year. These vacation homes also need to be prepped for wildfire season, and if they are not, they could endanger their neighbors' homes and property nearby.

To solve this potential problem, Schroder and Cada emphasized the importance of community education. Summit County's rotating population requires continual and consistent education and information. They encouraged those attending the meetings to contact their friends, neighbors and Homeowners Associations to share information.

Defensible space

The main topic of the meeting focused on the importance of defensible space. Defensible space is the area around a home or building that has been modified to reduce the risk of burning due to wildfire.

“Creating defensible space is basically your way of making your house as safe as possible,” Cada said. “Defensible space, though, is not a guarantee. But it's the best thing out there to help your house survive.”

While firefighters will do their best to protect homes in danger of burning, they are limited in both time and manpower, and will most likely only be able to take quick measures as they move from house to house. Homeowners that have prepared their property ahead of time increase the chances of the survival of their home.

Cada explained that defensible space is set up into three basic zones. The first zone starts right around the house and extends outward for at least 15 and up to 30 feet. This area requires the most modification because of its proximity to the structure needing protection.

While it's not recommended to have a large tree in the first zone or near the house, Schroder said that if there is a large tree near the home that the homeowner is attached to, the first defensible zone should be counted 15 to 30 feet beyond that tree.

Grass in the first zone should be kept no longer than 6 inches. Shrubs, particularly quick hot burning plants like sage, are not recommended in that area.

Fire moves quickly, Schroder said, and fire among grass or shrubs can move up to 60 feet in just one minute.

“This isn't a matter of nuking the landscape around the house,” Schroder said, for those who worry maintaining a defensible space will affect the attractive value of the property. “It's a matter of making good decisions.”

The second zone extends 100 feet from the house, or about 70 feet from the edge of the first zone. This should maintain “a park-like environment,” with well-spaced trees. The point in this zone, as with all three, is to reduce the amount of flammable fuel available. Zone two is supposed to reduce the speed of a fire as it approaches the home. Thinning and pruning of trees and shrubs is important here.

Zone three extends from the edge of zone two throughout the rest of the property.

The key here, Schroder said, is to keep the trees as healthy as possible.

In areas where houses are closer together, neighbors' zone twos may overlap each other, which is referred to as linked defensible space. This is why, Schroder said, the education emphasis is so important, as proper defense requires people working together.

“If you guys put together a community, we'll do your best to help you out,” he said.


Informative

Marce Schweri, of Silverthorne, and Emily Tracy, of Breckenridge, said they felt the meeting was informative and gave them some information that they had not had before.

“I thought we were pretty up to snuff on things, but it made me realize maybe we're not as up to snuff as we thought we were,” Schweri said. She praised the efforts of the firefighters last year, adding that the fact that Summit County “dodged a bullet” last year has made some of its residents complacent.

“I feel like maybe people here get too comfortable,” she said. “I wish the whole county would have been here tonight, to get the urgency level ratcheted up a little bit more.”

The next Forest Health Task Force meeting will take place April 24 to discuss wildfire behavior in-depth. For more information, visit www.foresthealthtaskforce.org or contact Howard Hallman at (719) 491-1807 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting or future1946@yahoo.com.
 
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Forecasters overshoot snow estimates today for Summit County

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Breckenridge, Colorado

Summit County likely will not see the nearly 2 feet of snow expected to accumulate from a storm that started Wednesday night and is on track to continue today.

A last minute readjustment of the models killed forecasts initially calling for 5-10 inches overnight and an additional 4-8 inches today. Weather watchers now expect hardly more than a dusting above 11,000 feet and generally even less than that at lower elevations.

“The afternoon forecast was adjusted down a little bit because the storm's not looking as exciting as it had before,” Spencer Logan, forecaster for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said Wednesday. “The Vail side could still do pretty well.”

Vail was on track to see 3-6 inches on the peaks Wednesday night and up to 7 inches today, but very little of the moisture from that storm is expected to make it over the pass.

Snow remains in the forecast for the remainder of the week, but projected accumulations are small and temperatures are fairly cold.

The National Weather Service is calling for less than 2 inches of snow today and less than an inch on Friday, with high temperatures only in the 20s and lows falling into the single digits by Saturday night.

Snow had begun to accumulate in Frisco by 6 p.m. Wednesday night after two days of sunshine as temperatures dipped into the 20s.

Forecasters say the models differ heading into next week, with some projections calling for a return to drier weather and others suggesting the possibility of more snow.

Wednesday marked the first day of spring.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Colorado artist stops in Summit County on trip to paint beer bottles in Colorado breweries

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

#Breckenridge, Colorado

Nearly everyone who's ever taken a car trip, knows that song, the one about how many bottles of beer are still on the wall. Most of us just hum or belt out a few rounds and leave it at that. Not Ceil Horowitz, however. She has taken it one step forward, using it as inspiration for her latest artistic project, entitled 100 Bottles of Colorado Beer.

Horowitz, an artist hailing from Colorado Springs, embarked on her ambitious project in November of 2012. Her plan is to visit every brewery in Colorado that bottles its own beer — she claims 80 in total — and paint at least one picture of the bottle, brewery and people at each one. At the end, she intends to have a collection of 100 such paintings. So far, she has completed 47, with just over half to go.

While it might sound very simple to paint a picture of a beer bottle, Horowitz's paintings and process are not. While each painting features a beer bottle at its center, the background is a complex spread of varied and specific details. Not content with simply painting the product, Horowitz works to infuse the atmosphere and personality of each brewery into her artwork. She spends up to 10 hours a day at one site, looking at the equipment, watching the people nearby, both brewers and customers. At one brewery, for instance, she painted the portrait of a family that had stopped by for the afternoon, kindly waiting around for three hours while she sketched and painted them.

After 10 or so hours in one place, “The mood of the brewery just starts to come out,” Horowitz said.

She's also interested in preserving a particular moment in each brewery, how everything looked and how everyone acted during the moment that she was there.

“I want it to be a little bit of history,” she explained.

For each brewery, Horowitz selects interesting or unique aspects about architecture, equipment, people or even the host town, to supplement the painting's background. At the Dillon Dam Brewery, for instance, she plans to focus on the brewery's label maker, an elaborate-looking machine from 1914. At the Breckenridge Brewery and Backcountry Brewery, Horowitz chose to paint each buildings' architecture and individual atmosphere.

Horowitz isn't visiting Pub Ryan's Steakhouse and Brewery this trip, because they use cans instead of bottles. However, she plans to be back once this project is over, to give the breweries that prefer cans over bottles their due.

Each painting only uses up to seven different colors. Horowitz paints them onto watercolor paper, using acrylic paints. Her style is colorful and abstract. She likes to use color to show depth, she said, rather than light and shadow. To demonstrate, she picks one painting and covers a swath of color with her finger. Like an optical illusion, the piece changes and seems to adjust before the eyes.

Beer has not often been an artistic subject for Horowitz, however. She has spent much of her time painting people, particularly musicians found in the subways of New York City. The beer idea came when she returned to Colorado Springs from a visit to New York. Wanting to start a new project but not particularly thrilled about spending hours in the studio alone, Horowitz, who has many brewer friends, hit upon the idea of beer. The decision to make 100 paintings was to create a challenge.

Though she said she doesn't drink a lot of beer, she does enjoy it from time to time. She's also a large proponent of supporting local food and crafts.

“I really believe you should buy local and support local,” she said.

During her travels among breweries in the past few months, Horowitz said she has been impressed with the sense of friendship and community between brewers in Colorado.

“There's a lot of camaraderie between different breweries,” she said. “It's a family, it's not a lot of different companies competing.”

Horowitz said she hasn't quite decided how she's going to display her project after it's done. She may consider prints, or even publishing all the paintings into a book. She's also interested in potentially working with the Denver Art Museum and the Dillon Dam Brewery's special Van Gogh beer, or perhaps displaying the installation at the next Great American Beer Festival in Denver. But all that is for the future. Right now, Horowitz is just focusing on her art.

“The process is more important than the product,” she said. “I just put myself in a situation and let it happen.”

Not having everything figured out doesn't faze her at all. In fact, she seems to thrive on it.

“It's just an unknown,” she said. “And that's what's fun with it.”

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Ski Pass in Summit County

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

Vail Resorts announced the launch of a new season pass this winter, providing skiers and snowboarders to Summit County's two east-side resorts, Keystone Resort and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

The new “Keystone A-Basin” pass, introduced at $279 for adults with escalating pricing as the year goes on, is restricted during the peak Thanksgiving, Christmas, Martin Luther King and Presidents Day holiday timeframes.

“It's an incredible value especially for families and folks on the Front Range,” Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kathleen Lessman said.

The new pass follows the introduction of a new program at Keystone allowing children under the age of 12 to ski for free at the resort when families book two or more nights with resort-owned lodging.

Both Keystone and A-Basin are situated along Highway 6 on the eastern side of Summit County.

The Keystone A-Basin pass is the second Summit-centered offering in the Vail Resorts arsenal, alongside the Summit Value pass, which provides restricted access to Breckenridge Ski Resort as well as A-Basin and Keystone.

The Broomfield-based company also recently announced the addition of Eldora Mountain Resort, near Boulder, to its premium Epic Pass in the coming winter season.

The pass now includes unlimited access to nine resorts in Colorado, Nevada and California.

“We are thrilled to offer Eldora Mountain Resort as part of next season's Epic Pass for Colorado skiers and snowboarders,” stated Kristen Lynch, chief marketing officer for Vail Resorts, in a recent release. “Now our guests have several options to ski close to home, at six iconic resorts in Colorado as well as enjoy a trip further west into our three additional world-class resorts in Lake Tahoe.”

Eldora, like A-Basin, will not be listed on EpicMix, Vail Resort's web-based skier data program, which allows pass holders to track where, when and how many feet and days they've skied at certain resorts owned by the company.

Keystone A-Basin pass holders will be able to track their activities at Keystone only through EpicMix.

Vail Resorts is also providing a discounted rate to college students on the Epic Local pass this year.

Pricing on all Vail Resorts passes is tiered, with the cost increasing as the next ski season approaches. Current prices on the Epic, Epic Local, Summit Value and Keystone A-Basin passes will increase after April 14.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Summit County Protects Access to Continental Divide Trail

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

In a move intended to protect recreational access to a local portion of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Summit County officials have used open space funds to buy 33.5 acres of privately held mining land along the trail.

The purchases will also preserve habitat for mountain goats, big-horn sheep, pika, marmots and high alpine vegetation in the area, according to a statement from the county announcing the land purchases.

The local segment of the trail runs from Georgia Pass above Breckenridge to Greys and Torreys peaks, a pair of 14,000-foot mountains located above Montezuma.

The newly purchased land may eventually be turned over to the U.S. Forest Service, according to the statement.

The Continental Divide trail runs 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada.

A property tax approved by voters in 2008 funds the Summit County Open Space program, providing $1.2 million annually dedicated to land acquisition.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick's Day in Summit County

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

Breckenridge

> Mountain dining establishments at Breckenridge resort will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a costume contest and food and drink specials. Wear your best green and participate in the St. Patrick's Day Costume Competition from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Sevens at the base of Peak 7. Sevens will also have drink specials all day and is adding shepherd's pie and fish and chips to the menu for the occasion. T Bar will feature corned beef and hash ($16.95, includes a beer) or Irish stout-battered broccoli with spicy remoulade, and The Maggie traditionally pours green beer for the day. Visit www.breckenridge.com for more information.

> Burke & Riley's Irish Pub opens at 8 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day. Snag a nice big breakfast or even some traditional corned beef and cabbage, which is only available over the holiday. The restaurant will have live bagpipe music, Irish step dancers, traditional food and beer, and the staff will be decked out in St. Patrick's Day finery. For more information, visit www.burkeandrileyspub.com.

> Napper Tandy's Irish Pub will be serving up drink specials all day and live music for all ages from singer, songwriter and guitarist Dru Carter at 2 p.m. Visit http://nappertandysbreck.com for more information.

> The Breckenridge Recreation Center makes fitness fun with its Snowpitch Softball Tournament on Saturday. The second-annual tournament will be held on the fields at the Breckenridge Recreation Center and will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Team registration for the event has already closed, but spectators and costumes are encouraged. For more information, visit www.townofbreckenridge.com.

> High-altitude rock 'n' roll band Peak 11 will invade The Gold Pan on Main Street in Breck on St. Patrick's Day. The show starts at 6 p.m. Visit www.peak11.com or www.thegoldpansaloon.com.


Copper Mountain

> St. Patrick's Day comes a day early at Copper Mountain, with the Eenie Weenie “Green” Bikini Contest on Saturday, brought back in celebration of Copper Mountain's 40th anniversary season. This on-snow bikini contest debuted at Copper Mountain in 1986 and was featured in Rolling Stone magazine and on “Good Morning America.” Contestants will ski or snowboard from the base of the 22-foot Main Vain Superpipe into Burning Stones Plaza at Copper's Center Village in bikinis of all shapes and types. Jack's Slopeside Grill & Bar will have St. Patrick's Day specials, green beer and music.

> Free, family-friendly “O'Fuego” festivities at Copper include DJ Leprechaun Landry, a Celtic Cosmic Fire performance, fire pits, green beer and green fireworks over West Lake. “O'Fuego” also marks Copper's last Woodward Rail Session of the season under the lights from 5 to 6 p.m. and green fireworks over West Lake at 7 p.m. Visit www.coppercolorado.com for more information.


Frisco

> The Commoners will play The Barkley Ballroom this year for St. Patrick's Day. This Irish jam rock band has been playing all over Colorado since 2003. The Commoners play a blend of original tunes, traditional Irish songs and classic rock-jam band covers performed with three-part harmonies and exude a fun-loving, happy and familial energy on stage. The show starts at 9 p.m. Visit www.barkleyballroom.com for more information.

> Prost, at 313 Main St. in Frisco, will be turning its beer hall into O'Prosty's pub on Sunday. There will be a special tapping of McChouffe bier, Irish tunes and prizes and giveaways all day long.


Keystone

> The Goat Tavern is throwing a St. Patrick's Day party with the Dirty Bourbon River Show at 9 p.m. Sunday. The band describes its music as “New Orleans gypsy brass circus rock.” Tickets are $5. For more information, visit www.thegoattavern.com.


Silverthorne

> Murphy's Irish Pub will be continuing a tradition started in 1998 for St. Patrick's Day, serving a limited menu of strictly Irish fare, including corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, Ruebens, Irish stew, shepherd's pie and bangers and mash. The pub will open at 10 a.m. and serve food all day until 10 p.m. There will be prizes and giveaways in the evening and live music at 4 p.m. from Carey Robinson and 8 p.m. from Mike LaPlacka, of the Luv Brothers. For more information, visit www.murphysfoodandspirits.com.


Summit Cove

> The Cala Inn will be hosting its 12th annual St. Paddy's Celebration. On Saturday night, the Cala will feature live Irish pub tunes by Matt “Flanders” Meehan at 9 p.m. and an Irish car bomb special, prizes and giveaways. The Cala opens at 8 a.m. Sunday for a full Irish breakfast, Irish tunes all day, prizes and giveaways in Summit County's only authentic Celtic pub.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Summer of Road Construction

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

Along with summer visitors, the spring snowmelt will bring an influx of construction crews to the High Country this year as several major projects get under way.

Highway 9 south of Farmer's Korner, Park Avenue in Breckenridge, Interstate 70 east of Idaho Springs and U.S. 285 through Park County are all up for extensive improvement projects during the upcoming construction season, most of them involving expansion to increase traffic capacity.

“It's fantastic to get all that stuff done,” Summit County assistant manager Thad Noll said. “That's the upside. The downside is that all that stuff is getting done and that means a lot of traffic impacts.”

The biggest project, a $106 million widening of I-70 at the Twin Tunnels east of Idaho Springs will close the eastbound highway lanes from April through November. A 35 mph detour around the closure will be in place and will likely be the fastest option for commuters from the mountains to the Front Range, as the alternative route — from Breckenridge through Alma and down U.S. 285 to Denver — will also be thick with orange cones and lane closures.

On Highway 9 between Summit High School and Breckenridge, crews will be widening the road to two lanes in each direction, implementing one of the last steps toward fulfilling a long-cherished dream of a four-lane highway between Frisco and Breck.

The project will include a roundabout installation at the intersection of Fairview Boulevard and Highway 9 as well as an expansion between Agape Outpost Church and Tiger Road. The roundabout will be constructed in 2014.

Within the town of Breckenridge, work will begin on an additional roundabout at Park Avenue and Four O'clock Road that officials say will provide a safer and better-looking intersection. Relocation of utilities will begin this summer with actual construction set to begin in the summer of 2014.

Local officials say measures are being taken to reduce the inconvenience for drivers.

“When we first started looking at all these projects, it was staggering,” Noll said. “However, with phasing of the work and good traffic control plans we believe the impacts will be a lot less.”

Transportation officials have promised one lane will be open in both directions at all times on Highway 9 and work will stop on Friday afternoons and be discontinued through the weekends. Traffic will not be stopped on I-70 on Sunday, a busy day on the corridor, and two lanes will always be open to traffic during peak travel times.

Transportation officials are also pushing constant information on multiple platforms, including a phone hotline, website, smartphone application, social media and regional radio stations, to ensure drivers have advance warning of the construction work and can plan to avoid the worst delays.

On U.S. 285, where crews will be repaving and adding passing lanes, work will not be done at night or on the weekends.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Breckenridge to Bring Bigger Talent to Riverwalk Center

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

  Set on bringing bigger and better bands and artists to the Riverwalk this summer, the Breckenridge Town Council approved a $50,000 partnership with the Breckenridge Music Festival to entice big talent to a small town.

The BMF, host of the popular-music Blue River Series, asked the town to provide a financial backstop to help negotiate more lucrative contracts with headline acts this summer.

Seeing music as a potential economic driver, the council unanimously agreed, promising to put up $30,000-$50,000 this summer to help attract big-name talent to Breckenridge.

“What we're trying to do is enhance the Blue River Series so we see bigger numbers, more people coming to town and perhaps going out to dinner, perhaps spending the night,” Mayor John Warner said.

The Blue River Series is a summer-long succession of concerts and shows, which in the past has featured performers ranging from fiddler Natalie MacMaster to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Los Lonely Boys.

The BMF, an independent orchestra and anchor tenant of the Riverwalk Center, puts on the series every year to round out their own classical offerings at the facility.

Currently, the BMF books musicians with the lowest possible cost and ends up turning over to them the better part of any profits generated by the concert. Financial backing from the town will mean, this summer, booking higher-cost talent and keeping more of the return in Breckenridge.

“There's more risk, but there's also more reward,” BMF board member Dick Sosville said.

The nonprofit BMF currently has a $10,000 price tag limit on bands. The town will provide additional cash to cover the risk of financial loss in the event the show doesn't generate sufficient revenue. Profits from concerts will be shared between the town and the BMF.

Talent in the $15,000 - $25,000 range includes One Republic, Railroad Earth, Leanne Rimes, Indigo Girls, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Alison Krauss. With $25,000 - $35,000 to spend on the Show, BMF representatives indicated it would be possible to book The B-52s, Charlie Daniels Band, Colbie Caillat or Kenny G to play the Riverwalk Center.

Town Council members said they were ready to back the partnership in 2013 as a trial with the goal of booking three big shows.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Breckenridge to Purchase Abby Hall

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

 Breckenridge will soon add another historic building to its growing arts district with the pending purchase of Abby Hall, currently home to the Great Divide Calvary Church.

The town is in the process of acquiring the 121-year-old structure from long-time locals John and Wendy Cooney. It will likely be used as a dance studio within the arts district, according to a statement on the purchase.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the town to preserve an iconic building,” Breckenridge Mayor John Warner stated in the release. “It provides a strong link from the arts district to the Riverwalk Center. We are grateful that John and Wendy have a similar vision of historic preservation and that it was made available to us.”

Abby Hall, constructed around 1892 on the north corner of Main Street and Washington Avenue in Breckenridge's historic downtown core, was originally owned by Dr. B.A. “Braz” Arbogast and was used as a grocery store and a doctor's office. A local Masonic Lodge purchased the building in 1905 for $800. A century later, the Cooneys bought it and it has since become a church.

It is still unclear how much Breckenridge will pay for the structure, as the deal is not yet final.

“The town has signed an ‘intent to purchase' agreement, so no monies have been exchanged until closing,” Breckenridge spokeswoman Kim Dykstra-DiLallo told the Summit Daily in an email.

The town is slated to close on the building April 1.

It will become part of an evolving arts district campus in the center of town, which now includes several historic buildings housing everything from antiques to museums to public art studios where Breckenridge residents and visitors can take classes or watch visiting artists work.

Town officials are currently redesigning the arts district to create the sense of a cohesive campus among the buildings and, ultimately, tie them in with the Riverwalk Center, located on the opposite side of Main Street across the Blue River Plaza from the remainder of the district.

Abby Hall, located on Main Street, is intended to provide a natural connection between the Riverwalk Center and the other structures — most of which are situated between Main and Ridge streets along Washington Avenue — and provide a venue for a needed dance studio in the district.

The Arts District, commissioned in a 2004 master plan to ensure the adaptive reuse of a number of historic buildings, was set to be completed in 2025, but town leaders decided last year to accelerate the development. It is now set to be completed by 2015.

“I love the vision of this functioning as a fully realized arts district,” Councilman Ben Brewer said of the plan in 2012. “I think it could become an economic engine for our town.”

More than $2 million is budgeted for arts district improvements this year. It is unclear whether the cost of Abby Hall will come out of that money.


Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Sunday, March 10, 2013

How's the Market in Breckenridge and Summit County, Colorado?

How's the Market in Breckenridge and Summit County, Colorado?

The local market is moving along at about the same pace as it was last year at this time. The number of properties that have sold are down as is the average sold price - not much, but down. The number of active listings remains lower this year by about 10%.

For more info, http://allmarketstats.com/

Interested in more property information?  Check out my website at www.realestate-breckenridge.net

Vail Resorts recovers from dry early season

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

Vail Resorts recovered from a dry early season and reported significant gains across key areas of its business March 6 during its second quarter earnings report, but the company did not raise its fiscal 2013 guidance back to what it originally issued last fall.

Chief executive officer Rob Katz said the strong second quarter performance was especially notable because of the early season dynamics: A warm and dry start to the season in Colorado that limited terrain, followed by more normal weather conditions around the holiday season that led to “significant consumer spending in our ancillary businesses producing a record holiday season.”

The momentum continued throughout January, the final month in the three-month quarter.

Everything from lift revenue to lodging revenue to real estate revenue was up over the second quarter last year. The company's total net revenue for the second quarter was $422.5 million, a 13.2 percent increase over the second quarter last year.

Wall Street analysts expected Vail Resorts to report revenue of $414.13 million on earnings of $1.70 per share. While revenue was higher than expectations, the earnings per share was slightly lower at $1.65.

Last fall, Vail Resorts issued a fiscal 2013 guidance of $260 million to $270 million, but in mid-January reduced the range to $244 million to $254 million, still a 19 percent to 24 percent increase over fiscal 2012. Net income is expected to be in the $39 million range, more than double fiscal 2012, but down from last fall's original guidance of $50 to $60 million.

The company reported much of its second quarter revenue excluding its acquisitions over the last year — Kirkwood in California, Afton Alps near Minneapolis, Minn., and Mount Brighton near Detroit.


Lift revenue rises

Excluding those new resorts, the company's lift revenue, excluding season pass revenue, was up 11.9 percent compared to the same period last year, while dining revenue was up 11.7 percent, retail/rental was up 10.7 percent and ski school revenue was up 9.5 percent. The result was mountain reported EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was up $16.6 million for the quarter.

“The growth in season-to-date visitation and ancillary revenue reflects the continued strong performance of our business despite managing through a challenging start to the season. We are seeing continued success from our efforts as the trends in visitation, lift ticket revenue and guest spending have all accelerated since we last reported metrics in mid-January,” Katz said. “This season further underscores the strength of our business model, which is to continually reinvest in our world-class resorts and provide exceptional guest service and a comprehensive vacation experience, driving continued guest loyalty, including through our industry-leading season pass programs.”

Katz announced what that reinvestment will look like in 2013. The company plans to spend $130 million to $140 million this year alone, including $10 million toward upgrades at its newly acquired Midwest resorts, $25 million on the first phase of Epic Discovery, the company's summer recreation expansion announced last summer, and undisclosed amounts for the Peak 6 terrain expansion at Breckenridge, a new Beaver Creek restaurant at Red Tail Camp, the replacement of Chair 4 at Vail with a high-speed, six-person chairlift, and Epic Mix Academy, the fourth generation of the company's Epic Mix program.


‘Unprecedented' capital plan

Katz called the level of capital investment in 2013 unprecedented in size. Financial analysts on the earnings call were particularly interested in that investment not only for 2013, but beyond.

Felixia Hendrix, with Barclays Capital, asked Katz what else is on his wish list.

“As we look ahead, I think the capital plan certainly for our existing resorts and for the winter business, I think becomes a little bit more limited in scope after these projects are done,” Katz said. “I think there's probably some additional capacity enhancements in lifts potentially at Beaver Creek as we see that resort continue to grow, and probably a restaurant or two, at best, as we look out over the next 3-5 years.”

Shaun Kelley, of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, took the opportunity during March 6's call to ask Katz about the company's decision to buy Afton Alps and Mount Brighton — two small, relatively unknown ski resorts.

The answer is simple: Those are the best markets in terms of skiers and snowboarders who take trips out west. There are 450,000 skiers and snowboarders between the two markets, Katz said.

Part of getting skiers from those markets out west is to first give them good experiences at home. By making the $10 million in upgrades at the resorts and creating better experiences there, Katz said it will help garner more market share and attract those skiers and riders to the company's western resorts.

“It's not a strategy that we want to own 50 ski resorts in North America,” Katz said, adding that the company could potentially buy more resorts in a few markets that make sense. “It's that we want to better support the iconic, large destination resorts that we already own.”

Monday, March 04, 2013

California developer to construct new Breckenridge resort

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

     A company out of California has announced plans for a new 126-unit time-share resort on the north end of Breckenridge.

     Construction on the luxury lodging development is tentatively set to begin this year on a 6.5-acre parcel of land just north of the McCain property, near Tiger Road on Highway 9.

     It will be the newest addition to a group of vacation properties owned by Welk Resorts, a family-owned real estate and hospitality company based in San Marcos, Calif.

     “The opportunity to open in the beautiful alpine town of Breckenridge will not only provide additional value to our owners and guests who enjoy the Welk family of resorts, but also provide a unique experience for world-class skiing in the winter and unparalleled beauty and activity in the summer months for Welk's new resort property,” the company's president of sales and marketing, Michael Gehrig, stated in a recent news release.

     The resort will include one-bedroom suites and one- and two-bedroom villas and will feature a number of amenities including a fitness center, game room, movie room, indoor-outdoor pool, hot tub and barbecue areas, according to the Welk statement.

     A meetings center, lobby, housekeeping and maintenance facility, half a dozen employee-housing units and more than 100 parking spaces are also part of the approved development plan.

     Welk Resorts representatives could not immediately confirm how many jobs the new resort would create or whether the positions would be hired locally.

     Town officials say the parcel of land where the resort will be constructed has been zoned for development for several years.

     “There was an area that was approved years ago,” Breckenridge spokeswoman Kim Dykstra-DiLallo said. “Part of it got built, and then the whole financial crisis came about.”

     The two-to-three-story Welk Resorts development cleared planning last year and the company closed escrow on the property in January.

     In a 2012 letter to the Breckenridge Planning Commission, developers described a resort that would respect the history of the town, “celebrate the present setting and emerging development” and deliver sustainable planning and design.

     “It's all about creating an experience for the future owners and their guests while at the same time being a good neighbor to the present and future residents of the area,” the letter states.

     The approved design calls for a landscaping buffer around parts of the building, although planning commission documents address a 72-unit building, not the 126-unit structure described in Welk's recent announcement.

     The resort is set to be constructed less than a mile from the northern McCain property, a 125-acre parcel of town-owned land that many community residents have called for preserving as open space, creating a scenic gateway into Breckenridge on the Highway 9 corridor.

     The Welk Resorts portfolio currently includes six vacation properties in San Diego, Maui, the Palm Desert area in California, Branson, Mo., and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.

     The company's average owner is 47 years old and has an income of $90,000 a year, according to Welk executives.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Summit County Libraries have Magazines, Lots and Lots of Magazines

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net


    The three branches of your Summit County Library carry an amazing variety of magazines for your information, knowledge and entertainment. Some of them are available at all three branches, but each branch has titles unique to itself.

     If you are looking to learn something about personal finance and investing, several titles are available. Barrons with its financial investment and stock investing news is at the main branch in Frisco, and all three branches carry the Wall Street Journal for business news. Additionally, the main branch carries Bloomberg Business Week, The Economist, Forbes, Fortune and Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Main branch and south branch in Breckenridge feature Value Line Investment, which is considered by some to be the most trusted name in investing research. Morningstar Mutual Funds is available for everyone through the library's website www.summitcountylibraries.org


     On the main page, just click on Research Options and then scroll down; the button to access it is on the lower left.



     Those of you interested in the outdoor lifestyle whether it be skiing, kayaking, gardening or whatever else sparks your fire can find Backcountry, Backpacker (main and south), Canoe & Kayak, Climbing, Cross Country Skier, Dirt Bike, Field & Stream (north branch in Silverthorne), Fine Gardening, Fly Fisherman, Freeskier, Mountain Bike Action (south and north), Organic Gardening, Outdoor Life, Rock and Ice (main and south), Sail, Ski, Snow Boarder (south), Snowest, Transworld Skateboarding and Transworld Snowboarding (main and north), Triathlete and Western Horseman (main).



     Several magazines are devoted to Colorado: Colorado Biz, Colorado Gardener (main and south), Colorado Heritage, Colorado History News, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles and Colorado Outdoors (main, south, north). If you're concerned about your health or a healthy lifestyle, try looking at Cooking Light (main and north), Health, Men's Health, Natural Health (south and north), Shape (north) and Yoga Journal (south and north).



     If you are interested in general information, news and fashion, your library has a plethora of magazines for your browsing time: Alaska, Time (main and south), Better Homes and Gardens (main and north), Car & Driver (north), Consumer Reports (main, south, north), Custom Home, Fine Woodworking, Family Handyman, Glamour, Good Housekeeping (main and north), Vogue, National Wildlife, National Geographic (main, south, north), PC World (main and north), People (main, south, north), Psychology Today (main and north) and Utne Reader (main and north).



     Lastly, don't forget the kids, for the library's magazine collections cover all ages from pre-school to teens: BabyBug, Ranger Rick (main and north), Kids Discover, Zoobooks, National Geographic for Kids, Sports Illustrated for Kids (main and south), American Girl and Seventeen (main, south, north).



     The library staff is constantly reading reviews of books to help decide what books to order and have available for the patrons of the library. Currently available at all three branches is a book review source specifically for you — our patrons. BookPage is a monthly book review publication serving as a broad-based selection guide to the best new books published every month. It tries to recommend the best books for readers of all types, whether those books are literary fiction, romance, history, science fiction, cookbooks, or children's books. Pick up a copy today and maybe you'll find something we've missed and looks great; then tell us about it.


 


Courtesy of the Summit Daily News







Saturday, March 02, 2013

What's that trick called?

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

      Did the announcer just say “frontside 1080 double cork?” Huh? What does that even mean?

     If you find yourself asking these questions during the men's and women's halfpipe finals today, hopefully you've read this, because we're going to break down these sometimes ridiculous sounding snowboarding terms into layman's terms. Don't be afraid to ask one of the competitors what all this stuff means, too — they're usually pretty happy to explain it to those outside of their professional snowboarding world.

     “We pretty much have our own language here in snowboarding,” said Kelly Clark, an Olympic gold medalist and the most winningest woman in halfpipe history. “There's slang and different things just relative to our culture and our sport.”

     For example, frontside spinning depends on whether a rider's stance is regular or goofy. Goofy means the rider stands on their board with their right foot forward, while a regular stance means the left foot is forward. The stance determines which direction the rider faces, which in turn determines which side would be the so-called frontside or backside.

     Clark has a regular stance, so when riding halfpipe, her frontside is the right wall — the wall that she's facing when she's pointed straight downhill.

     So, spins that Clark makes on that right wall are going to be frontside spins.

     Here's how the USA Snowboard Association explains the two sides: “There are two directions of rotation: Frontside and backside. On a frontside rotation you are spinning off of your toes and on a backside rotation you are spinning off of your heels. Both these rotations can happen on both walls of the halfpipe. Since the walls of the halfpipe are called backside and frontside there can be some name confusion, but where the riders spins (on what wall) is not the main point. It is how the rider spins that is important.

     Example: A rider that does a 720 on their frontside wall and then a cab 720 on their backside wall is doing frontside spins on both walls since going in cab (switch) on to the backside wall makes it a frontside rotation.

     The numbers in a trick represent the number of spins, or rotations, a rider makes. A 180 is a half-rotation, a 360 is a full rotation, a 540 is a rotation and a half, a 720 is two full rotations, a 900 is two-and-a-half rotations and a 1080 is three full rotations. Some riders go beyond that, too, and hit 1260's.

Confused yet? There's more. Here's a list of some of the more common terms you'll hear during the halfpipe competitions today and Saturday:

• Alley-oop: A rotation of 180 degrees or more going uphill.

• Air to fakie: To approach the wall riding forward, go airborne without rotation and land with the back leg in front.

• Backside: To lead with the heel-side edge.

• Frontside: The toe side of the board, and the direction the rider faces.

• Indy air: To take off leading with the heel side, with the rear hand grabbing between the bindings on the toe edge while the rear leg is straight.

• Japan air: To take off with the front hand grabbing the toe edge, the front knee tucked and the back arched while pulling the board level with the head.

• McTwist: Approach the wall riding forward, go airborne, rotate 540 degrees leading with the heel edge while doing a front flip and land riding forward.

• Method air: With knees bent, grab the heel edge with the leading hand while pulling the board level with the head.

• Mute grab: To grasp the toe edge of the board between the bindings with the leading hand.

• Rodeos: Rotations with a backwards flip. Can be done frontside or backside.

• Switch: The reverse of natural stance. Performing a switch trick has a higher level of difficulty than a regular stance trick.

• Tail: The rear tip of the snowboard.

• 360: One full rotation in the air.

• 540: One and one-half full airborne rotations.

• 720: Two full airborne rotations.

• 1080: Three full airborne rotations.

Source: The United States of America Snowboard Association judging criteria.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Friday, March 01, 2013

March concert series kicks off in Keystone Saturday

Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
nyearout@colorado.net
http://www.realestate-breckenridge.net

     Warren Station Center for the Arts in Keystone kicks off its March concert series Saturday night with a performance by the progressive bluegrass act, Mountain Standard Time (MST).

     While bluegrass forms the foundation of the group's sound, MST prefers the term “freegrass,” band member Nick Dunbar (guitar, mandolin, vocals) told the Summit Daily this past fall. “Some tunes are focused toward an Americana/folk sound, where others lend themselves to progressive rock and fusion. It definitely changes from song to song,” he said.

     MST leads with acoustic guitar, mandolin and banjo, but adds saxophone, electric bass, drums and electric effects for a big-band style all its own. In 2012, the group welcomed new members Ryan Ebarb (formerly of Yamn) on keyboards and Otis Lande on bass. MST recently released its new EP, “Sunny,” from which four tracks are available for free download on the band's website www.mstband.comfor a limited time.

     “All of our songs can be broken down and played on acoustic instruments in a traditional bluegrass fashion, but in the live setting we bring much more diversity to the tunes,” Dunbar said. Even so, he admitted a fondness for sitting around, picking old tried-and-true bluegrass tunes. “Even after playing a three-hour show you might be able to find us picking early into the morning at some cheap Motel 6 or in a friend's basement,” he said.

     Saturday's show is $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9.

     A week later on March 9, Warren Station invites spring breakers to dance the night away '80s style to the Six Million Dollar Band, whose high-energy retro New Wave shows include five keyboards plus guitar and rhythm and bass. Revelers are invited to don their '80s best, with prizes to be awarded for the best outfit.

     The series then takes a week off, returning March 23 with Na├»ve Melodies, also a treat for ‘80s fans, though specifically those who like the Talking Heads. The three-piece cover band weaves older and newer Talking Heads songs into its sets, from early art-rock to radio hits. The West Coast group formed in Arcata, Calif., in 2011. It uses a blend of three-part harmonies, heavy grooves and synthesizers to achieve a sound that closely approximates the real thing.

     Closing out the series on March 30 is Elephant Revival, a genre-defying quintet from Nederland that incorporates elements of rock, gypsy, alt-Country, Celtic and folk into its sound using an impressive array of instruments. Members include Bridget Law (fiddle, octave fiddle); Sage Cook (banjo, mandolin, guitar, tenor banjo, fiddle and bass); Bonnie Paine (washboard, djembe, stompbox, musical saw); Daniel Rodriguez (banjo, guitar, bass); and Dango Rose (double-bass, banjo, mandolin). All contribute their voices and songwriting to the equation.

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News