Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stick around Breckenridge, Summit County for one of these Labor Day weekend events

#Summit County, Colorado.
 Still trying to decide how to spend your Labor Day weekend? Here’s a rundown of what’s going on around Summit County, so you can make the most of the last official days of summer.


Author speaks at French Kiss in Breck

James “Mac” McCarty, author of “The Vatican Conspiracies,” will speak about his book Saturday at French Kiss in Breckenridge.

“The Vatican Conspiracies” revolves around crisis and controversy at the very top of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican city state. In a story that could have been ripped from recent headlines, the novel weaves mystery, political intrigue, Catholic Church history, power struggles, Church teachings, Vatican art treasures, espionage, legal tangles, extortion, international relations and a little romance into a fun and surprising plot. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s recent resignation and replacement by Pope Francis make this book especially timely, as the novel also addresses papal incapacitation and succession (as well as such subjects as the ordination of women and the important role of gay priests).

Learn more about this timely novel and its author and discuss some of the contemporary issues facing today’s Roman Catholic Church — the world’s oldest institution. McCarty will present remarks about his book, take questions and sign books.

The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and books will be available for purchase. French Kiss is located at 226 S. Main St. in Breckenridge. Visit for more information.


Copper Country brings amateurs to spotlight

Aspiring country music stars will share the stage with some of the genre’s biggest names this weekend during Copper Country at Copper Mountain.

The 31st annual Texaco Country Showdown is designed to find the most promising country music talent in America and to give these performers a chance to launch their professional music careers. Copper Mountain will host the state finals of the Showdown on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Troy Harris and Brandon Lee Gardner, a two-man band from Eagle County, are hoping this will be their year to move on to regionals and ultimately find their way to the national finals.
“This is my third time making it to state,” Harris said. “I met Brandon last year, and we decided to team up this year and play together.”

Harris and Gardner qualified for the state finals by winning the KSKE Ski Country local contest at the Eagle County Fair & Rodeo in July. The two will take the stage mere hours before country legend Kenny Rogers occupies the same space.

“It’s a big audience, a big-time stage; it’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s a rare opportunity to get to play on a big stage that other big names have played on.”

Harris said he thinks this will be the duo’s year to win it.

“We play four times a week at bars in Vail and private gigs and stuff, so we’re always practicing,” he said. “We started playing with each other four months ago, and we kind of just click.”
The two share vocal responsibilities, with Gardner on rhythm guitar and Harris on lead.
“We’ve definitely got it as far as the best vocals,” Harris said. “There are some girls out there who can sing, but our stage presence is key for us, the audience really gets into it, so I think it could be our year.”
The Country Showdown begins each spring with more than 450 local talent contests sponsored by country music radio stations throughout the U.S. Winners advance to their respective state competitions and compete for a $1,000 prize, the state title and the opportunity to advance to one of five regional finals. It’s the last step before the prestigious national final held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. The audience cheers on the regional winners, as they compete for the grand prize of $100,000 and the national title.

For more information on the Texaco Country Showdown, visit For more information on Copper Country, visit


Lake Dillon Theatre presents ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’

The Lake Dillon Theatre Company continues its 2013 theater season with “The Owl and the Pussycat,” a witty yet moving interpretation of the age-old tale of attraction between opposites by Bill Manhoff.

Out of the window from his San Francisco loft, aspiring author Felix spies his neighbor, Doris, an actress, model and sometimes prostitute, accepting money after an evening rendezvous. Felix complains to the building’s landlord, who then evicts Doris, leaving her out on the street. Furious, she demands an explanation from Felix, and ultimately, the two find themselves on a hilarious, bumpy and touching journey of self-discovery and love.

“‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ is a funny and smart look at a romance between two opposites in the 1960s,” said Josh Blanchard, Lake Dillon Theatre Company executive director, who also serves as director for “The Owl and the Pussycat.” “It’s a gem that we are very excited to share with our community.”

Debuting on Broadway in November 1964, “The Owl and the Pussycat” originally starred Alan Alda and Diana Sands. Denver-based actor Scott McLean makes his Lake Dillon Theatre Company debut as Felix, and Selah Grace, who starred in last season’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” plays Doris. The play has scenic design by Jared Grohs, lighting design by Nick Kargel, costume design by Nikki Harrison, sound design by Lake Dillon Theatre Company production manager Ben Whitmore and properties design and stage management by Hannah-Elise Johnson.

Performances begin today and run through Sept. 22. Tickets are $27 to $31 for adults and $23 for students and may be purchased by visiting the Lake Dillon Theatre Company website,, or by calling (970) 513-9386. For a full schedule of performances, visit


Oktoberfest comes early to Frisco

Oktoberfest Frisco comes to Frisco Adventure Park/Peninsula Recreation Area this weekend, today through Sunday. The event features live music from Those Austrian Guys and the Polkanauts, as well as traditional stein-holding and leg-wrestling contests.

Grub on bratwurst, schnitzel and knodel, and wash it all down with a beer from one of Germany’s finest breweries, Paulaner.

Andy Grogger, of Andy’s Kitchen, and the Summit Community Orchestra, the event’s beneficiary, will be hosting Frisco’s Oktoberfest celebration. Grogger was born and raised in Austria before moving to Munich, Germany, to learn the craft of ice sculpting.

“For several years, I worked at the Munich Oktoberfest and managed one of the beer tents,” he writes on the event’s website. “Since coming to America, I have enjoyed sharing my heritage with my friends. I bring my love of the music, food and culture to host the most authentic Oktoberfest west of Munich.”

Grogger invites local residents and visitors to join him in Frisco to “dance a polka, drink a stein and eat a brat, all in the traditional Oktoberfest style.”

For more information, visit


DooWop Denny’s season finale

The Silverthorne Pavilion will host local favorite DooWop Denny and his last rockin’ oldies dance of the season today.

Lifelong entertainer DooWop Denny promises “music to bring out the rock ’n’ roll kid in you,” with songs from the ’50s and ’60s, island tunes and slow dancing. “Wear your dancin’ sneakers!” Denny said, as he encourages folks of all ages to feel the foot-stompin’ beat at Silverthorne’s elegant ballroom.

As a Motown kid in the 1950s, Denny grew up to the pulse of rockabilly and R&B and still can’t seem to get it out of his system. For the past 14 years, he has spent summers in Summit County bringing his unique show from his home in Sarasota, Fla., to a variety of events in and around Colorado.

The town of Silverthorne hosts tonight’s dance party. Doors and cash bar open at 6 p.m., and dancing begins at 7. Bring your own snacks and munchies. Tickets are $12 in advance or $14 at the door, available at the Silverthorne Recreation Center or by calling (970) 262-7370. All major credit cards are accepted. Because the show usually sells out, it is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance. For more information on the DooWop Denny Rockin’ Oldies Show, visit

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Taste of Keystone: Out of the ordinary dishes

#Keystone, Colorado.

This weekend, nearly 100,000 people will flock to Denver for A Taste of Colorado to sample local dishes from some of Denver’s top chefs. But if the idea of braving traffic through the Twin Tunnels to stand in line in the hot sun for a few meager bites doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time, consider staying closer to home and indulging in some of the best treats the Colorado High Country has to offer.
The Taste of Keystone takes place Sunday in Lakeside Village, where you’ll find inventive tastings from a range of Keystone’s high-caliber chefs.
“It’s to showcase the culinary part of Keystone Resort in small plates,” said Dave Scott, executive chef of mountain dining at Keystone. “We see a lot of local guests here, as well as guests from the Front Range. It gives people the opportunity to try some food that’s indicative of the restaurants without going to the restaurants.”

Mountain morsels
The setting is casual, but the food is over the top, starting with Scott’s seafood ragout.
“It’s a mixture of a bunch of different fresh seafood — rock shrimp, scallops, oysters, salmon, sea bass — and that’s going to be with shitake mushrooms and leeks, glazed with brandy, on top of the smoked cheddar mashed potatoes,” he said.
Each Keystone restaurant throws its own dish into the ring, meaning there are lots of plates for browsers to choose from, so Scott tried to do something a little different from what everyone else was doing.
“The availability of seafood that we can get nowadays is great,” he said. “I’ve worked here for 12 years, and I have a great relationship with our vendors, so it’s figuring out what I can get to make it work for 1,000 people.”
Scott also works with the Colorado Mountain College culinary apprentice program at the Alpenglow Stube restaurant. Those students will be helping him with his dish.
“The students that are in the Stube will be helping me with it, so it gives them a chance to do something new that’s not on our menu,” he said. “So we mix it up a little bit for those guys so they can stay inspired, as well.”

Savory dessert
Executive pastry chef Ned Archibald’s offering for the Taste of Keystone is a repeat favorite, but one that was years in the making. Almost 30 years ago, Archibald was dining at a restaurant in Denver where he was served white chocolate ravioli for dessert. He said the flavors were excellent but the presentation lacked something.
“Why didn’t he take it further and do strawberry sauce for the marinara?” Archibald wondered. “Maybe he didn’t want it to look silly. I didn’t want to steal his idea, but it got me thinking about how to take the basic idea of ravioli with meatballs and spaghetti sauce and take it a few steps further.”
Fast forward a few years, and Archibald was working as pastry chef in a restaurant in San Jose, Calif., where he created a dessert called the Grand Illusion. The dish was white-chocolate “spaghetti” with strawberry “marinara” sauce, and the deceptive look of a savory dish of spaghetti and meatballs was so convincing that people often tried to return it to the kitchen, saying it wasn’t what they ordered.
“I did it on a whim, and it became so popular, the restaurant was getting packed,” he said. “I came out to Colorado 20 years ago and I kept it in my back pocket for quite a number of years; it didn’t feel right for any of our establishments here.”
Archibald first broke out the recipe at a general manager’s summit to rave reviews before making it his go-to Taste of Keystone dish in 2009.
“Every year I think about switching it up — let’s do something different, lots of people come to this event year after year — but each year, I know I’ll have like a following,” he said. “It’s almost eerie, weird creepy: ‘Oh thank god you’re here and we brought 10 people here from Denver and we’re so hoping you’d still have this here.’”
The pastry chef gets some good-natured ribbing from his colleagues about keeping the same quirky, whimsical plate year after year, but the dish is too popular to pull the plug.
“The whole event is meant to get some buzz and get people to have some exposure to Keystone,” Archibald said. “We have great chefs and great restaurants and I just try to be a part of that.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gathering at the Great Divide Art Festival returns to Breckenridge for the 38th year

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

This weekend, more than 100 artists will call Breckenridge home for the 38th annual Gathering at the Great Divide Art Festival.
The show is nationally ranked in the top 200 of fine art shows in the United States and will feature more than 100 artists with a wide range of mediums, including photography, wood, glass, jewelry and pottery.
Painting on glass
Lindsay Sutton-Stephens, of Salida, is one of the artists who will be showing her work at the festival.
“I do mainly reverse painted glass, and I also do glazed woods to look like glass,” she said. “I’ve been doing the glass for about 15 years now. I got into it in college and I kept coming across these beautiful portraits in glass. I started from there, and the windows came about organically, as well. I was visiting my parents in Mississippi and their neighbors were throwing out some of their windows and I took them.”
Sutton-Stephens has been showing her art all over the state this summer, including three events in Keystone.
“This year, this summer alone, we’ve done eight, and then this fall, we’ll do seven,” she said. “We’re on the road all of the time and all over the state, as well.”
The painter describes her work as bright, colorful, easy to approach and friendly.
“It’s not anything that is meant to evoke any dark, dark thought or deep thought,” she said. “It’s just happy art. And I used a lot of Colorado-inspired stuff; from mountains to bikes to the flag itself, Colorado is a part of my art in every way, and Summit County encompasses what everyone loves about Colorado.”
Gathering at the Great Divide representatives contacted Sutton-Stephens to be a part of the festival this year.
“I had been looking for a while to do something in Breckenridge, I lived in Summit Cove and worked in Breckenridge at the pottery studio. And it’s a great time of year; Labor Day is a fantastic weekend for a big art festival. I do a lot of events that encompass a lot of things, and this one is art only, which is cool. … I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait to do an event in Breck and see what the crowd is like.”

Colorado art festivals
For more than 19 years, Mark Beling and Judith Pollock, directors of the Mountain Art Festivals, have produced outdoor Colorado art events, which are consistently ranked among the top art festivals in the country. Beling and Pollock have lived in Breckenridge since 1990 and have owned their retail jewelry business, J & M Jewelry, since 1991.
“I love bringing art to the Summit County community and exposing our patrons to the wide variety of artists that are so uniquely talented,” Beling says on the festival’s website. “I am very committed to providing the highest quality of juried art shows possible to create a wonderful experience for both the artists and the patrons of our festivals.”
Gathering at the Great Divide is the third of three festivals the organization puts on each year in Breckenridge. Over the past 15 years, Mountain Art Festivals have donated more than $135,000 in cash and more than $150,000 in in-kind donations to area nonprofits, including the Town of Breckenridge Arts District. Additionally, Mountain Art Festivals has provided high school scholarships to Summit High School seniors who have had an interest in pursuing a career in the arts in post-secondary education.
“The mountain setting of all our festivals is such an advantage, you can hike in the morning, visit the art festival in the afternoon and watch the sunset over Lake Dillon in the evening — what a great way to spend a day,” Beling said.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Breckenridge’s GoBreck outsources vacation planning, reservation services to Salt Lake-based company

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

GoBreck announced last week a partnership with Salt Lake City-based VacationRoost to outsource vacation planning and reservation services for Breckenridge Central Reservations.
The new partnership provides guests with one-stop vacation planning services, according to a GoBreck news release, including the ability to book the widest selection of Breckenridge hotels, vacation rentals, condos and other lodging in the area, as well as ski lift tickets, equipment rentals, ground transfers, rental cars, optional activities and airfare.
“This partnership allows GoBreck to better focus on its core strength of promoting and marketing Breckenridge as a world-class destination resort,” said John McMahon, president and CEO of GoBreck, in the release. “Because of VacationRoost’s exceptional customer service, sales training, operations and technical expertise, it will be even easier for our guests to plan their dream vacations to Breckenridge.”
VacationRoost has a long history operating sales and reservation service programs in ski and mountain destinations, the release stated. The partnership utilizes VacationRoost’s partner services platform, which allows partners to capitalize on both world class online travel planning capabilities and VacationRoost’s industry leading call center services with local destination experts available seven days per week, all of which will be provided under the brand.
“We are very excited about partnering with GoBreck to operate the Breckenridge Central Reservations for the town,” said Julian Castelli, CEO of VacationRoost, in the release. “Breckenridge Central Reservations has been one of the most successful central reservations groups in the ski industry, and has provided the Breckenridge lodging community with a valuable distribution channel for over 20 years.
“We are honored that GoBreck has chosen VacationRoost to continue this strong tradition of service, and we look forward to growing this channel for many years to come.”
The GoBreck board of directors reached a unanimous decision to outsource Breckenridge Central Reservations to Vacation Roost, as recommended by a special Central Reservations Ad Hoc Committee. The Breckenridge Marketing Advisory Committee also supported the action, the release stated.
“Ultimately, we feel that our organization will be able to reduce expenses while member properties will receive even more business through GoBreck as a result of this partnership,” said Andru Zeiset, chairman of GoBreck, in the release.
The partnership is expected to take effect mid-October and the transition is anticipated to be seamless for guests, the release stated. A town hall meeting is tentatively scheduled for the week of Sept. 9 for local business partners.
Breckenridge Central Reservations is owned and operated by GoBreck, the official destination marketing organization for the town of Breckenridge.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pieces of marketing picture emerge

#Vail, Colorado.

Vail Resorts doesn’t reveal much about its business outside quarterly earnings calls, but Vail Mountain’s marketing manager Aug. 20 gave the Vail Town Council a peak at some of what the company is working on for both winter and summer business.

Davy Ratchford’s presentation to the council included a look at the company’s proposed Epic Discovery summer programs. Ratchford said the program — which still requires approval from the U.S. Forest Service — should be fully operational by the summer of 2015, with mountain activities ranging from a “forest flyer” ride to more and better hiking and biking trails, as well as a new focus on summer business at The 10th, the on-mountain restaurant at Mid Vail.
The winter plan is a little more simple — sort of.
“The challenge is to achieve lots of skier visits,” Ratchford said.
To make that happen, Ratchford said the company will work to build its pre-Christmas business. Last season was almost two seasons, Ratchford said, with the split coming about Dec. 20.

International flights
In addition to early-season business, Ratchford said Vail Resorts will continue to work on bringing guests from Mexico and Brazil. But, Ratchford said, a weekly flight from Toronto this coming season could be a “game changer.” That flight, announced a few weeks ago, will allow passengers in Canada to clear U.S. customs before crossing the border. That means guests catching a connecting flight from Europe or other parts of Canada through Toronto will be able to get off the plane and head straight for the mountain.
Since the flight to Eagle County arrives before noon, Ratchford said people can ski the same day they fly. With a flight later in the day back to Toronto, people can get in a few runs, or a meal or some shopping, before heading home.
Ratchford said Vail Resorts is also looking at “solidifying” service out of Texas, adding that there’s an opportunity for more business out of the Los Angeles market.
The company will presumably try to sell more Epic Passes in Los Angeles since it’s going to operate the Canyons Mountain Resort in Utah, a market popular with Southern California skiers.
Other marketing targets include “re-capturing” guests who may not have come in some time, as well as working to build weekday business, Ratchford said.
Ultimately, Ratchford said, “The opportunity is where the gaps are now.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

USA Pro Challenge: Breckenridge businesses see increase during cycling event

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

With the USA Pro Challenge bringing thousands of cycling fans to Breckenridge, it wouldn’t take a rocket surgeon to assume local businesses would see an increase in sales.
In the past, lodges, restaurants and retailers have seen the biggest increases in business, according to a 2011 town of Breckenridge survey. Although the trend is expected to hold true again this year, this was the first time Breckenridge hosted both a stage finish and a stage start in the three-year history of the Pro Challenge. And with visitors expected to extend their stays an extra day, expectations were higher than in the past.
On Wednesday, the consensus among local business owners and managers was hosting the Pro Challenge for two days was certainly a benefit for the town, but there was a clear difference in crowd traffic on Tuesday compared to Wednesday.
Justin and Teryn Guadagnoli, owners of Modis in Breckenridge, opened early Wednesday expecting a crowd to file in before the start of Stage 3.
“It was steady, but the night of the finish was definitely better than the start,” Teryn said. “Having the (Pro Challenge) here really does benefit the whole town. I loved the races they had for the kids. That was great.”
Down the street at Breck Sports, manager Toril Ashton had similar things to say about the amount of business her store received Tuesday and Wednesday. Not known as a biker’s haven, Ashton said they sold their fair share of jerseys. The big sellers, however, were skis and jackets.
“We’re not really a bike shop,” Ashton said. “The temperatures have been dropping a little at night, so a lot of people came in looking for soft shells and lighter insulated jackets.”
Local realtors also experienced from the increase in tourist traffic.
Rick Bunchman, realtor at Coldwell Banker in Breckenridge, said a lot of people came in asking about the local real estate market and may have mined a few leads from those inquiries.
Coincidentally, his strongest leads all came from Texas families who came to Breckenridge to escape the heat.
“But at the end of the day I think it comes down to how great this event was for the town,”
Bunchman said. “My son lives in Aspen and he said there was not as much (race) traffic as he as expecting. It sounds like we had much bigger crowds here.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Breckenridge Ski Resort’s slope expansion on Peak 6 quickly take shape

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

The trails on Peak 6 are taking shape.
Breckenridge Ski Resort’s expansion project will increase the amount of skiable terrain at the resort by almost a quarter. About 80 percent of the new terrain has been cleared, and the foundations for the lift towers are being installed.
“It’s all coming together,” said Kristen Petitt Stewart, senior communications manager at the resort.
The Peak 6 project will include 400 acres of lift-served terrain and 143 acres of hike-to terrain. The resort also plans to add a high-speed, six-person chairlift and a fixed-grip chairlift to access the Peak 6 area.
Stewart visited the Peak 6 construction site with Gary Shimanowitz, director of mountain operations at Breckenridge Ski Resort, and U.S. Forest Service ranger Shelly Grail on Friday morning.
Grail has been heavily involved in the Peak 6 construction process this summer. She said she’s been overseeing the work and making sure the design criteria laid out by the Forest Service is being followed properly.
Peak 6, located in the Breckenridge’s special-use permit boundary, is the first ski terrain expansion on U.S. Forest Service land in Colorado since 2008 and the first at Breckenridge since the Peak 7 expansion in 2002.
Although the removal of about 70 acres of trees has obvious impacts on the landscape, project representatives said they are incorporating best practices to avoid undo harm to the environment.
“We aren’t denying that there is an impact to the landscape, but we are just trying to keep it as minimal as we can during the construction process,” Stewart said.
Project managers are working to avoid erosion by leaving the stumps of trees in the ground as the trails are being cleared. Erosion-control logs have been set in place to prevent sediment from entering into waterways, and hand crews are working in sensitive wetland areas. Topsoil removed from excavation sites is being protected for re-vegetation projects, Grail said.
Trucks are not allowed at the top of the summit. Instead, construction workers are using a spider hoe, also known as a walking excavator, to complete the work.
“The spider hoe is a really light impact piece of machinery that we can take to the top, and dig the top terminal foundation and the base for lift towers above timberline,” Shimanowitz said.
The design of the machinery allows it to move through the landscape with a lighter footprint than most heavy equipment.
“I was looking for the path it took when I was up on Wednesday, and I couldn’t figure out where it had gone up,” Grail said.
Trees that have been removed from the mountainside are being sold as timber, or made into woodchips and sent to the biomass plants in Gypsum or Climax mine for their remediation projects, Shimanowitz said.
Because there are no roads to the top of the mountain, crews are being transported in by helicopter. They are in the process of delineating boundaries by installing fences and signs, and will also be setting up avalanche control equipment. Project organizers hope to get the bulk of the work at the top of Peak 6 finished before the winter weather rolls in.
“At some point we’ll have to switch from trucks to snowmobiles and snowcats,” Shimanowitz said.
The names for the chairlifts and the additional runs haven’t been determined, but Stewart encouraged the public to stay tuned.
“There may be some room to contribute,” she said.
If all goes well, Peak 6 will open to the public in December, project organizers said.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Friday, August 23, 2013

USA Pro Challenge: Acevedo first to Beaver Creek finish; Van Garderen takes overall lead

#Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Colombian Janier Acevedo took the win in Stage 4 of the USA Pro Challenge on Thursday, crossing the finish line during a downpour in Beaver Creek Village just in front of American Tejay van Garderen.

Van Garderen, of the BMC Racing Team, now has the yellow jersey as the leader of the general classification.
Acevedo, of team Jamis-Hagens Berman, and van Garderen broke ahead of the lead pack on the ascent to the top of Bachelor Gulch and stayed in front down on the slick descent to the bottom of the hill. They rode together back up to the finish line on Village Road near the Covered Bridge.
Tom Danielson and Mathias Frank were among the lead group as it attacked the steep slopes of Bachelor Gulch, but they were dropped on the unforgiving course.
The day started in Steamboat Springs for the 103-mile Queen Stage.
Next, the racers will tackle the Vail Time Trial Friday, starting in Vail Village and finishing on Vail Pass.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

USA Pro Challenge: Breckenridge fans among the most enthusiastic, riders say

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

The USA Pro Challenge is a noisy event. While the competitors are huffing and puffing as their lungs contend with the altitude, the wheels of their bicycles hum and buzz on the road, the sound increasing as the team vehicles follow close behind at a rapid pace. Then there’s the crowd — yelling, whistling, pounding on the barrier and clanging their enthusiastic cowbells as the riders whip past.
While riders are focused on their race, they can’t help but notice the energy and excitement of the watching crowd, especially as roars rise into the air as they have along the course in Breckenridge these past two days.
“It’s like a big party,” said Shawn Hunter, co-chairman and CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “I describe the whole race as, it’s like a playoff for another sport seven days in a row — the atmosphere, the buzz, and it just gets dialed up. I think the fact that the race was so dramatic made it even more exciting (Tuesday) but you can feel it just walking around town, the energy and the passion, and that’s why we’re here.”
Spectators began filling seats in the bleachers along the side of the starting line several hours before the Stage 3 start, making sure to get a good place to view the athletes before the race. Others lined up along the barrier between the stage and the starting line, clutching t-shirts, posters and Sharpie pens, hoping for a chance at nabbing an autograph.
“It’s been awesome. Breckenridge once again has exceeded our expectations,” Hunter said. “I think the crowds yesterday were bigger than they were here in 2011 and that was a Saturday, so for us to come in here Tuesday (and see) huge crowds, the riders acknowledge it and it looked fantastic on television.”
Boulder-based rider Lucas Euser, who’s riding for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, said that he definitely noticed the crowds during Tuesday’s Stage 2 finish.
“Everybody’s been so supportive. The finish (Tuesday) was incredible,” he said. “Moonstone Road was just packed full of awesome fans, and that’s driving for us because (if) you go to a finish line and you see five people, that’s not as motivating as it is to see hundreds and hundreds of people.”
Fellow Coloradan Timmy Duggan, with Team Saxo-Tinkoff, said that despite his acclimatization to the altitude, Tuesday’s climb on the Moonstone section was difficult, and would have been more so had it not been for all the encouragement from the sidelines.
“It’s a hard one, even though it’s short it’s pretty hard, but I was definitely psyched to see the crazy crowd on the side of the road,” he said with a grin. “The crowd here in Breck is always one of the best of the week and everyone who lives here and plays here is a cycling fan, I think, and it really shows on the roadside during the race.”
Even those who were not already familiar with Breckenridge and didn’t know what to expect found that the crowd’s enthusiasm was to their liking.
When asked what he thought of the Breckenridge atmosphere, Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Christopher Juul Jensen, exclaimed, “Ah, amazing! It’s my first time racing in America.” Originally from Ireland, Jensen has declared for Denmark professionally, and said that his lungs are doing “relatively well, considering we’re halfway to the moon, so high up here.” Still, he’s enjoyed the spectators in Breckenridge.
“The atmosphere here is fantastic, the crowds are incredible, even if you’re (exhausted) like I was yesterday, they’re still so enthusiastic and encouraging, so it’s a really cool experience.”
Current race leader Lachlan Morton, with Team Garmin-Sharp, expressed his love of Breckenridge. “I’ve spent a lot of time here over the years. I did my training for this race here.”
Morton added that he was pleased to see Americans really embracing and understanding the sport, and showing their support on the sidelines. Although he enjoyed coming into town, he wasn’t able to hang out in Breckenridge the way he’d like to. But “I’d love to get back in, have some carrot cake at Clint’s. That’d be great,” he said with a laugh.
Hunter, who has owned a condo in Summit County for the past 20 years, agreed that the stages in Breckenridge have come together well, adding that it’s all due to the people behind the scenes.
“The leadership in Summit County has been awesome, … for three years in a row,” he said. “There’s a reason why we’ve been here three years in a row and it’s because we love the town of Breckenridge, we love all of Summit County and I’m pretty sure you’re going to see us in the future.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

USA Pro Challenge heads to Steamboat today in Stage 3

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

The 2013 USA Pro Challenge picks up today with a 12:10 p.m. start to Stage 3 in Breckenridge, and a stage finish in Steamboat Springs. Riders will start the 106.1 mile stage heading out of town to a short, steep climb on Swan Mountain Road. The ascent could break up the pack as they ride around the east side of Dillon Reservoir.
Rabbit Ears Pass (9,426 feet) will present the biggest challenge toward the end of the stage. But it may be a welcome break from the climbing the riders faced in Stage 2, over both Independence Pass (12,000 feet), outside of Aspen, and Hoosier Pass, near Breckenridge.
With a third day at altitude some of the racers may be better adjusted. But staying at altitude also makes recovery between stages a challenge.
“Doing strenuous exercise that high is not exactly suggested in the medical world,” Boulder resident Rory Sutherland of Team Saxo-Tinkoff said prior to the race. “Once you overstep that barrier, you don’t come back that quickly.”
Cannondale rider Peter Sagan’s early arrival to Colorado may continue to benefit the No. 2 ranked rider, as he’s been strong through two stages. He started training in Colorado two weeks before the start of the race.
Boulder-based team Garmin Sharp, whose rider Lachlan Moore will be wearing the yellow leader jersey today, will likely continue to have a strong showing. Their riders have all spoken to their strong team ethic, and a desire to be on the podium again at the end. Christian Vande Velde earned the team a first place finish in last year’s race.
After topping Rabbit Ears Pass, riders will face a steep decent as they make their way to what could be another thrilling finish in Steamboat Springs.
With a largely descending course from Silverthorne to Kremmling, it could present an opportunity for sprint racers to take a lead. Racers will attack sprints in both Silverthorne and Kremmling, and compete for the day’s King of the Mountain points on the climb over the pass.
It will be interesting to see how the climbers hold onto the sprinters early on, and if they can make a move at Rabbit Ears Pass.
Stage 4 continues on Thursday with a course between Steamboat and Beaver Creek.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

USA Pro Challenge: Breckenridge sees Stage 2 today

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

Tuesday’s Stage 2 of the USA Pro Challenge could be the biggest test for riders. With only a day of racing at altitude behind them, they the will be thrown right at the race’s biggest climb over Independence Pass.
Making a motion like a prize fighter in the ring, 2012 Pro Challenge winner Christian Vande Velde said,“It’s going to be like a kidney punch.”
Riders will climb over 3,500 feet from Aspen to the top of Independence Pass in the first 20 miles of the 126.1-mile stage. At 12,000 feet, the pass is considered the highest point in professional cycling.
“The Breck stage looks like one of the key stages overall,” Vande Velde’s Garmin Sharp teammate Tom Danielson said. “It’s definitely a stage we have marked in our calendars.”
“It won’t make or break, but it will be nasty,” Vande Velde said.
The climb over the pass will also be one of the two timed King of the Mountain (KOM) climbs on the day. The second is over Hoosier Pass. The rider who has the fastest time during the climbs will earn the red KOM jersey for the stages. American Matt Cooke earned the coveted jersey for Stage 1.
From the top of Independence Pass riders will head to Buena Vista. Then the climbing starts again as the peloton makes its way through Fairplay and up and over Hoosier Pass. The two sprint sections of the day will be in Buena Vista and Fairplay. Along with the general classification (G.C.) lead after Stage 1, Slovakian Cannondale rider Peter Sagan will look to hold on to his green sprinter jersey.
Before the racers cross the finish line in Breckenridge, they will take on a new course wrinkle. The pack will race into town and then attack a challenging climb up a 15 percent grade on Moonstone Road.
“We’ve never come in this direction. There’s a lot unknown with the finish,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff rider and Boulder resident Rory Sutherland (Aus.).
“Stage 2 will be the most decisive day. I don’t think it will be won there, but it will be lost there by some people,” said Neal Rogers, editor for Velo Magazine and longtime pro cycling journalist.
The stage has it all and should make for an exciting day.
“The finishing climbs, the hard side of Independence Pass, it should be the best guys in the race coming across the finish line,” Danielson said.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

One hundred twenty-eight of the world’s best cyclists from 31 countries are less than a day away from attacking the Colorado landscape to see who’ll survive the altitude and be crowned the 2013 USA Pro Challenge overall winner.
Since his announcement that he would be joining the field, 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome jumped to the head of the pack. If his performance at the Tour is any indication, he could be tough to beat. But how will he handle the altitude? This is the first Pro Challenge for Froome and his No. 1 ranked Sky Procycling Team.
In an interview with the Summit Daily, 12-year professional cycling journalist and editor of Velo Magazine Neal Rodgers posed another question regarding Froome: “Has he been celebrating, or has he been training?”
He followed that by saying, “If he is in any kind of shape, he’s going to be the guy to beat.”
Rodgers also questioned the Sky team’s strategy. Froome could work to help his Australian teammate Richie Porte earn the win and return the favor for Porte’s efforts in the Tour. “He (Porte) was Chris Froome’s right-hand man in the Tour,” Rodgers said.
Another top contender is Colorado’s own Tom Danielson, who was injurd in the Tour de France this year but is fresh off a win in the Tour of Utah. The Boulder native showed he’s recovered from his Tour injury and is ready to race at altitude with his performance just over a week ago in Utah.
“I’d like to be up there on the podium in the end,” he told the Summit Daily in an interview earlier this month.
Danielson finished eighth overall in the 2011 Tour de France. He was voted most aggressive rider and won Stage 3 of last year’s Pro Challenge. Fellow Garmin Sharp Teammate and defending Pro Challenge champion Christian Vande Velde should be in the mix with the top finishers. Vande Velde is expected to retire at the end of this season. This could be a fitting swan song for the accomplished rider.
After a disappointing Tour de France, BMC Racing Team rider Tejay van Garderen, also from Boulder, could be out to show he’s a contender, Rodgers said. He finished fifth in the 2012 Tour de France and was awarded Best Young Rider.
“Which Tejay are we going to see?” Rodgers said.
While some have listed Australian native and Boulder resident Rory Sutherland as a top contender, Rodgers doesn’t think so. “It’s too hilly for him. He could win a stage, he could finish top 10, but he’s not going to win it.”
Sutherland won the Boulder Stage last year and has been training heavily in the area prior to the race.
Rodgers does, however, see Sutherland’s Saxo-Tinkoff teammate Michael Rodgers as a contender.
Easily the entire field’s biggest competition will be the altitude. Danielson said all the top Tour riders are going to come into the Pro Challenge in great shape. But how will they handle the altitude?
“We know how hard they can ride at 6,000 feet; what can they do at 12,000 feet?” Rodgers said.
Most stage starts and finishes are already above the highest points of the Tour de France, and the courses rise from there.
“Your arobic system is a lot more taxed,” Danielson said of racing at altitude. “The next day you wake up super sore and achy.”
Independence pass hits 12,000 feet in Stage 2 as riders make their way to Breckenridge.
“You don’t race at that altitude, pretty much anywhere else in the world,” Sutherland said.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

U.S. Forest Service removes Wild West barbed wire to open more range for wildlife

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

U.S. Forest Service officials drove along the twisted mountainside road above a scenic valley to the top of Ute Pass where the White River and Arapaho-Roosevelt national forests meet.
The group of 17 forest workers from the Dillon and the Sulphur ranger districts tromped through the landscape, yanking, twisting and bending rusted barbed-wire fence from the ground. They removed almost a mile of corroded wire and dozens of metal stakes. At times, the work resembled a wrestling match with the sharp rusted metal material.
“It’s a tough job, but it comes off the landscape fairly quickly, and you instantly have better habitat,” said Dillon Ranger District wildlife biologist Ashley Nettles.
With every mile of fencing removed, about 160 acres of wildlife habitat is opened, she said.
Earlier this summer, Sam McCalip, a student conservation association intern with the Dillon Ranger District, went on a mission to survey the miles of abandoned, dilapidated cattle fencing on Forest Service land, and found the skulls and bones of elk and deer who died after becoming ensnared in the material.
Forest Service workers said every year, local wildlife suffer needlessly from unnecessary fencing, either by becoming entangled in the material, or through injuries that make them more vulnerable to disease and predators. Deteriorated fencing is especially dangerous for wildlife, officials said.
“As the fences get older the wires pop, corrode and become brittle, and trees can knock down some of the posts. Everything becomes bent and loose, and it’s easier for wildlife to become entangled when they jump and try to get over the fence,” said Doreen Sumerlin, wildlife biologist with the Sulphur Ranger District.
Employees from the Sulphur Ranger District teamed up with their Dillon counterparts on the fence removal project earlier this week.
“The wildlife that live here don’t know about the boundaries of our ranger districts in national forests, so when we have projects that benefit wildlife in both units it’s great to work together,” Sumerlin said.
Dillon Ranger District biologist Nettles said it’s time residents start viewing fencing in a different light.
“It’s not the Wild West anymore. We can delineate our property lines in more wildlife-friendly ways than this, by just having property markers. Or if you have to have fencing, there are more wildlife friendly options without barbed wires,” she said.
The Dillon Ranger District has a brochure that outlines fencing options. Spacing is important because some animals, such as antelope, prefer to go under a fence rather than over, biologists said. Visibility is also important, especially for fencing located near roads.
“Sometimes animals are panicky because they are trying to get off the road and they hit fences in a dangerous fashion,” Sumerlin said.
Although biologists were able to remove most of the dilapidated cattle fencing at the top of Ute Pass, about a half mile of the fencing on the north side of the road remains to be pulled, Nettles said. She is working with other wildlife biologists to create a database of areas where fencing needs to be pulled, and is planning additional removal projects for next season.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Breck Bike Week Schedule

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

Friday, Aug. 16

Trails 101 Maintenance Day: 9 a.m. to noon

Raise your shovel and your trail awareness with the Friends of Breckenridge Trails crew. This educational outing will include topics like trail design, sustainable trail concepts and proper use of tools all while doing maintenance on a stretch of local singletrack. Meet at Expo.

Yeti Beti Women’s MTB Skills Clinic presented by Nutcase Helmets: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mountain bike skills workshop designed by women, for women. Riders of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Day 2 skills lessons to be posted — stay tuned. Contact Cat Ambrose ( to sign up. Meet in Expo.

Ride with the Mayor: 10 a.m.

Enjoy a scenic, informative tour of the town historic sites with Breckenridge’s mayor, John Warner, and the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. This will be a combination of both on and off road riding, suitable for all riders including beginners that are comfortable pedaling on dirt roads. Option for singletrack add-ons. Meet at Expo.

Meta Yoga’s Yoga for Bikers: 4:15-5:30 p.m.

Increase your riding efficiency and bike handling skills through mindful yoga geared towards cyclists. Come to concierge desk in Expo to pick up your discount coupon. For more details: or (970) 547- 9642 (YOGA)

Kids Races Hosted by Breckenridge Resort: 2-3:15 p.m.

Bring the kids up to the base of Peak 8 for a Children’s Strider Race (age 0-4) and Kids’ Mountain Bike Races (ages 5-7, 8-10 and 11-14). They’ll have a chance to win prizes like Nutcase helmets and other gear. Bike haul on the gondola is free for kids who are racing. Exit gondola and follow markings to race-site sign-up desk. All riders must bring their own bike and helmet (no training wheels).

Saturday, Aug. 17

Carvers Poker Ride: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hit the dirt for an all-for-fun ride on a marked course highlighting the best singletrack in town. Riders will have a chance to win a Niner EMD frame and be entered to win a Cannondale Trigger 29er. Collect playing cards at designated aid stations and assemble your best poker hand. A $20 donation includes ride, prize, party, a free beer and chance to win prizes. Pre-register and donate online at or at Carvers Sports (cash or check). Day of registration/donations accepted at Expo/Blue River Plaza. ($25 day of, cash or check only please).

Peak-A-Boo Toys Go Fish Ride: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Affectionately named, this is the kids’ version of the Poker Ride on kid-friendly singletrack. At the end kids will play a round of Go Fish with another rider and everybody wins a prize. Free for kids under 10.

Poker Ride/Go Fish Ride after-party: 1–3 p.m.

Kenosha Steakhouse will host riders/gamblers of the Poker Ride. Participants will receive their fifth playing card and present poker hand for one free Breckenridge Brewery beer. There will be free appetizers and happy-hour specials two free raffle tickets. Must be present to win.

Maverick Sports Super D: 4 p.m.

Race or watch as racers take two runs on this short, downhill cross-country course on town trails and cross the finish in Carter Park. More course information and registration online at Awards at 6 p.m. and racers get special $5 off of entry to the IMBA Benefit Movie/Concert.

Bike-In Movie Night and Concert: 6:30–10 p.m.

Live music, a movie and food — the first beer is free. Breck will celebrate mountain biking and advocacy in Carter Park. The Lookout Mountain Boys start the evening with their Americana music, followed by a showing of the latest from Anthill Films, “Not Bad.” From the makers of “The Collection,” “Seasons” and “Strength in Numbers,” “Not Bad” documents 30 days of bicycle tomfoolery in New Zealand. Proceeds from the event benefit IMBA’s efforts in Colorado. Suggested donation of $20 for adults, $30 for families and $15 for Mav Sports Super D racers. Doors open, food is served and band begins at 6:30 p.m. Movie begins at 8:30. Cash and credit card donations also accepted at the door. Bring your own blankets and chairs.

Sunday, Aug. 18

Summit Fat Tire Society Mtn Ride: 10 a.m.

SFTS will lead a 25-35 mile off road mountain bike ride with plenty of climbing. Good fitness and bike handling skill required. Meet at Expo. First 50 riders to arrive for the Sunday morning mountain and road rides will get a Pro Challenge goodie bag.

Summit Velo Road Ride: 10 a.m.

Meet other roadies for a scenic, go-at-your-own-pace, scenic ride throughout the area. Departs from Expo. First 50 riders to arrive for the Sunday morning mountain and road rides will get a Pro Challenge goodie bag.

Breakfast Ride by Breck Bike Guides: 10 a.m.

Burn some calories riding some local singletrack and refuel with tasty breakfast burritos. Today’s Tour de Town Trails will hosted by Sydney Fox of Breck Bike Guides and presented by Lucha. Departs from Expo.

RipStoke Trials Show: 11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.

Professional riders use technical skills to finesse their bicycles over boulders and obstacles on the Blue River next to the Expo. Two fantastic shows sure to wow spectators.

Prime, Paint and Pimp your Helmet: 12:30 -2 p.m.

Join the Breckenridge Arts District for some cycling art therapy. You provide the helmet and they’ll provide the painting supplies and art consultation with a professional painter. Adults and kids welcome. Meet in Expo.

Meta Yoga’s Yoga in the Lawn: 2–3 p.m.

Bring your mat and sunscreen and a positive state of mind to the lawn of the Riverwalk Center. Meta Yoga offering a free class for Breck Bike Week participants (in case of inclement weather, class will be moved to the studio). For more details: or (970) 547- 9642 (YOGA).

Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Interstate 70 traffic and travel website gets makeover

#Breckenridge, Colorado

For most people, the choice between a $2 taco and an afternoon in traffic is a no-brainer. Which is exactly what the masterminds behind are counting on.
The now completely redesigned highway travel website provides drivers with that easy decision and others like it, offering a number of local deals available during the Sunday afternoon rush on Interstate 70 in an effort to both enhance customer’s experience in Summit County and cut into that weekly traffic jam by drawing drivers off the road.
“I-70 is in high demand only at certain times,” I-70 Mountain Corridor Coalition program manager Margaret Bowes stated in a release on the website upgrade. “ offers a travel forecast, travel trips, real-time information resources and more to help visitors plan a delay-free trip to the mountains.”
The website, launched in 2009, now features suggestions for how to avoid traffic jams as well as predicted traffic patterns for any given day or weekend, in addition to the Peak Time Deals, which provide travelers with coupons and specials at local businesses when they stay a little longer in Summit and wait out the congestion.
Twist, for example, offers $2 tacos and drink specials (for passengers only) on Sunday afternoons from 4-6 p.m. Hotel Chateau Chamonix provides a free bottle of wine to guests who stay Sunday nights and mention the advertisement.
The website also promotes carpooling and taking shuttles or vans to the mountains to reduce the volume on the roads.
The site is part of an ongoing and widespread effort to address the significant congestion that builds up on westbound I-70 between Golden and Silverthorne on Friday nights in the peak winter and summer tourism months, and begins to back up as early as 11 a.m. on Sundays in the eastbound direction when mountain visitors all head back toward the Front Range.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is currently working to widen the highway through a four-mile stretch at the Twin Tunnels east of Idaho Springs in the hope of reducing the weekend traffic, but experts agree it is only the first of many steps that need to be taken to address the problem.
A private company, Parsons Corp., has also proposed a rapid transit bus system between Denver and the mountain resort communities and a third tolled express lane, which could cost a driver up to $26 on peak days, to provide the option of a delay-free drive.
CDOT officials are also exploring the possibility of a high-speed rail through the mountain corridor.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Breckenridge weekend traffic may be impacted by Highway 9 work

#Breckenridge, Colorado.

Drivers may see additional traffic impacts on Fridays and Saturdays at a widening project on Highway 9 between Frisco and Breckenridge, as crews work to make up lost time and complete the expansion of the road to four lanes by their Nov. 1 deadline.
The project will continue next summer, but local officials wanted to see two lanes in each direction completed by the time work stopped for the winter season.
But late snow this spring and other delays put the first phase of the project behind schedule. Colorado Department of Transportation engineers said their contractor is looking to work into the weekends to ensure the expansion is completed on time, which previously was prohibited due to increased traffic on Friday afternoons and Saturdays.
But Breckenridge officials opted for increasing work hours over having fewer lanes through the busier ski season.
“I think it’s more important to have four lanes open for the winter than to worry about a little bit of traffic inconvenience for the last of the summer,” Breckenridge manager Tim Gagen said at a joint meeting between CDOT and local officials Tuesday morning.
The work is causing regular traffic delays on Highway 9.
The widening project, underway on the three-mile stretch between Tiger Road and Agape Outpost Church, is part of an ongoing long-range plan to widen Hwy. 9 to two lanes in each direction between Breckenridge and Frisco.
The $8.4 million project will also include new bridge construction over the Blue River — where an aging culvert has been an object of concern for transportation officials — and a new roundabout at Fairview Boulevard, access improvements, new storm drainage, improved embankment and erosion control, according to a CDOT statement on the project.
“In addition to helping improve traffic flow through Summit County, widening the highway will provide safety benefits for the traveling public,” CDOT resident engineer Grant Anderson stated in the release. “When it’s completed traffic congestion and travel time will be reduced and there’ll be improved access to and from Hwy. 9.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Keystone man swaps ghost town for property near River Run gondola, with plans for development

#Keystone, Colorado.

Skiers and snowboarders at Keystone Resort will soon see single-family homes going up near the River Run gondola as local Gary Miller brings a land-trade deal 13 years in the making to fruition.
Miller, a longtime Keystone area resident, obtained the prime property for the new development from the U.S. Forest Service in exchange for the soon-to-be abandoned town of Chihuahua in an agreement he says will serve to both protect the area of the former town from new development and to bring more full-time residents to the Keystone area.
The town of Chihuahua was established in the late 1800s. Most of it burned down a few years later and no one has resided there in decades, but development rights for as many as 500 units still existed at the old site. The area has since overgrown and is now a valued natural asset for many in the county.
“Today, hikers, mountain bikers, jeepers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers enjoy Chihuahua’s fabled serenity and appreciate its natural beauty,” local historian Mary Ellen Gilliland wrote in a history of the old town. “... journalist Samuel Bowles, admired the valley from Grays Peak in 1868 and called it ‘God’s country.’ ”
Miller’s wife and many of his friends were particularly interested in the preservation of the parcel, which is located in Peru Creek near Argentine Pass, and in the late 1990s through a partnership called Chihuahua LLC, Miller purchased the entire deserted town from a previous owner who was in talks to have it developed as a campground.
“Five hundred units in Peru Creek, it would have been a huge impact,” he said. “We do this for a living too, so we’re not that good of guys, but we did want to eliminate the idea of building 500 units there.”
Instead, they will be building 24 single-family units on 21 acres in a new residential community alongside the gondola at Keystone. Construction is set to begin on the first houses in the next 30 to 60 days. Miller said the properties will be built slowly, at a rate of three or four per year over the next five years depending on demand and the housing market. One of the houses has already sold.
The homes will be free market, but architecturally controlled.
“The spectacular architecture of these homes will be unique to Keystone,” Crestwood Homes vice president of sales and marketing Bob Jeske stated in a press release on the development. “These homes will be carefully placed within the forest to take advantage of the topography, to be organic and to meet the goal of creating a destination community unequaled in Summit County.”
Like the ghost town for which it was traded, the Keystone site is historically significant, as it sits on the corridor once used by Max and Edna Dercum, the couple frequently credited with first envisioning Keystone Resort, to return to their home, now the Ski Tip Lodge restaurant, after a day on the slopes. In their honor, the new neighborhood is to be called Dercum’s Dash.
The land exchange deal is in line with ongoing efforts across the county to contain development to existing urban areas through trades and density exchanges. County officials say they are taking action to officially extinguish the very old density that remained at Chihuahua and the site has been turned over to the U.S. Forest Service. State proceedings are currently underway to officially abandon the municipality that once existed there.
“It’s clearly consistent with all of our open space program goals and objectives,” Summit County manager Gary Martinez said. “This turns out to be, I think, a good deal for all. The public avoids any sort of development on that property. ... That is an unbelievably cool area all the way up that drainage.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Keystone Science School leads after school initiative

#Keystone, Colorado

Last week the Keystone Science School announced it opened registration for an after-school program geared toward teaching children healthy eating habits as well as providing 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
The program, which incorporates two main elements including Coordinated Approach to Child Health, or CATCH, and a Single Point of Contact for Kids, or SPOCK, will be available this year to all elementary school children across the Summit School District.
The CATCH after-school program is designed to promote healthy physical activity and eating behaviors in children, according to a Keystone Science School news release. It aims to equip children with the knowledge and skills to make healthy decisions, all while having fun.
Each day students will receive a lesson in nutrition along with participation in at least 60 minutes of physical activity. The SPOCK coordinator will communicate all after-school activities offered across the county, ensuring parents are aware of their options, the release stated.
“We just wanted to be able to provide enriching after-school activities to children, instead of having them go home to watch TV,” said Dave Miller, school programs director for the Keystone Science School. “We wanted to provide enriching afterschool programs to teach kids life long skills, healthy eating habits and give them the opportunity to participate in physical games.”
With the assistance of the Family Intercultural Resource Center, Summit County government, Summit School District and the town of Breckenridge, the Keystone Science School applied for a Special Initiatives grant through the Summit Foundation on behalf of every elementary school in Summit County. It was recently awarded the grant of $50,000 a year for three years to support the program.
The CATCH program is facilitated by Keystone Science School at Summit Cove, Dillon Valley, Silverthorne and Frisco elementary schools, the release stated. The town of Breckenridge is contracted to facilitate the CATCH program at the Breckenridge Recreation Center to serve the students from Upper Blue and Breckenridge elementary schools.
“The biggest benefit of the program is a true collaborative effort between the schools and the community to work toward meeting the need of a greater base of students,” Miller said. “The Breckenridge Recreation Center’s participation is an example of a strong partner in the program.”
The CATCH program aims to reach those families with the highest need, namely those for whom paying for after-school care is prohibitive. Keystone Science School and the town of Breckenridge Recreation Center will work closely with school administrators and teachers to identify families in need to ensure these youth can participate, the release stated.
The program is free to students who qualify for and participate in the district’s free and reduced lunch program, $4 per day for students on CHP Plus reduced lunch program and $10 per day for all other students.
“The goal was to address a need in the community and make the program as accessible as possible,” Miller said. “That’s why we have a sliding scale fee system — to provide the program to as many kids in the community as possible.”
Because the program is funded by various entities, certain grant requirements must be met, Miller said. Youth participating in the CATCH program must attend at least three days a week. Although those days can vary, the curriculum builds on itself and missing multiple days results in a lack of cohesive understanding of the content.
Youth enrolled in the program must also participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each session. This is incorporated into the lesson plan along with ideas for healthy snacks and nutritional information.
The program runs from the end of the school day until 5:30 p.m. in all schools. Programs at the Breckenridge Recreation Center were extended to 6:00 p.m. due to transportation considerations. Students from Upper Blue and Breckenridge elementary schools will be bussed to the recreation center.
Registration for the after-school programs opened Aug. 8. Parents may register their children online at or at the town of Breckenridge Recreation Center’s website, Families who require translation services should call the organizations directly.
Families who do not qualify for the CATCH program or who are unable to register due to space limitations can continue to take advantage of the town of Breckenridge’s drop-in after-school care program, the release stated.
This is the second community education grant awarded through the Summit Foundation, Miller said. A similar grant of $50,000 per year for three years was awarded to jumpstart the pre-collegiate program at Summit High School.
As with the pre-collegiate program, Miller said the goal is to acquire more diversified funding to keep the CATCH program rolling in Summit County into the future.
Additonal information will be available from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday during the Summit School District’s ice cream social, which will be hosted by each elementary school.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Breckenridge: Breck Epic six-stage bike race starts today

#Breckenridge, Colorado

In it’s fifth year, the Breck Epic six-stage mountain bike race gets underway today with Stage 1 around Pennsylvania Creek in Breckenridge. This year’s event also includes an enduro race within the Epic. The 36-mile first stage starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Breckenridge Ice Arena and finishes in Carter Park.
The six-day event covers 240 miles of singletrack surrounding Breckenridge, culminating with a celebration during Breck Bike week on Friday.
“These are the rides you would do with your friends,” said Mike McCormack, race organizer and event founder. “Our courses are all backcountry singletrack.”
The race is expected to bring in some of the best professional riders in the country and from around the world. Among them is Todd Wells, of Durango, who just completed the Leadville 100 MTB Saturday, finishing third.
“I’m not sure how it’s gonna go,” he said shortly after finishing the famous Leadville race. “For the first few days I’m going to be suffering like a dog.”
Wells hopes he can take it a little easier for the first few stages and still be in the running in the end. He knows racers like fellow Durango resident Ben Sonntag are going to come at it fresher than him. But he is also using the Epic as training for the mountain biking world championships two weeks later.
McCormack said the race will include competitors from 35 U.S. states and 25 countries. The event is capped at 300 pro and amateur competitors and was full in Februrary, he said.
Each stage is between 35 and 45 miles.
Recently featured by Bike Magazine, the event has already garnered a lot of attention in its relatively short history.
“We’re mentioned in the same breath as the Trans Alp (in Switzerland),” said McCormack.
New this year, the race will include an enduro. “Why not add a little wrinkle,” the race founder said.
The enduro portion will essentially be a race within a race. Enduro-class racing is popular in Europe and has grown recently in the U.S.
Within the stages of the Breck Epic, there will be 20 timed sections, on primarily downhill, that will make up the enduro. The idea is similar to a timed sprint within a road bike race, but it is a separate race from the Epic. Enduro competitors will have to ride the full Epic stage courses to access the timed enduro sections.
Earlier this year Keystone Resort hosted its first enduro, using its lift-accessible bike park.
“The trend has a lot of weight behind it,” McCormack said. “Enduro embraces that competitive
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Riding high in the Leadville 100 MTB

#Leadville, Colorado.

The idea of spending over eight straight hours perched on the saddle of a mountain bike is one that does not appeal to most of us, but for Drs. Erik Dorf and Greg Poulter, both of Breckenridge, and Poulter’s physician’s assistant, Cameron Youngblood, all of whom work together at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics, it’s a fun way to spend a Saturday.
The three men got an early start this morning to join close to 2,000 others in the 20th annual Leadville 100 MTB race.
The famous 100-mile race kicked off at 6:30 a.m., at an elevation of 10,152 feet. The course climbs as high as 12,423 feet. All three hope to cross the finish line within eight or nine hours. Of the three, only Poulter, 40, a spinal surgeon, has raced the event before.
“Last year it was a big unknown,” he said. “My big concern was wether or not I’d finish. It’s a little more relaxed (this year) because I know what to expect.”
Youngblood echoed Poulter’s sentiments from last year. “My first goal is to finish,” he said.
For Poulter and Youngblood, cycling has been life changing.
“I didn’t own my first road bike until three years ago,” Poulter said. And in that time he’s credited cycling with helping him to lose close to 55 pounds. “Now cycling is more a way of life.”
Youngblood, 41, tells a similar story, with even more dramatic results. “I was way out of shape and super overweight.” Through cycling he said he went from weighing 220 pounds, a few years ago, to his current 140. Poulter was part of his inspiration to take part in the Leadville 100. “Working with Greg, you hear so much about it.”
All three men used road biking as their primary means of training for the big mountain bike race. They all qualified for the Leadville 100 by competing in the Silver Rush 50 earlier in the year.
Dorf, 43, a surgeon who specializes in arm and shoulder injuries, and whom Youngblood described as by far the fittest of the three, has had his sights set on the event for a number of years.
“I’ve been waiting 20 years to do this race,” he said.
He first got in to cycling after tearing his ACL in college. Cycling became part of his rehab and then, as a pre-med student, he raced for the University of Colorado. He heard about the race in its early years. “I was thinking, ‘That’s impossible.’ It seemed completely out of this world,” he said.
Intrigued by the endurance aspect he decided to finally give it a try this year.
And he feels ready. Earlier in the year Dorf finished first in the Grand Fondo open division of the Mount Evans Hill Climb road race.
That racing is potentially hazardous to the men’s ability to work as surgeons appears to be less of concern for Poulter and Dorf.
“I probably should have more (concern) than I do, but you have to live your life,” Poulter said.
“I don’t ride on the downhills as aggressively as I could,” Dorf said. “Going downhill is fun but the ground is unforgiving.”
The Leadville 100 MTB has become so popular that participants can enter only by finishing a qualifying race or through a lottery system.
All three men believe it’s their dedication to training that will get them across the finish line on Saturday.
Poulter said it best: “There’s no amount of attitude that will get you across the finish line, if you haven’t put in the time and training.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News

Friday, August 09, 2013

Weekly festivals provide free entertainment for kids at Keystone

#Keystone, Colorado
For four Saturdays each summer, the River Run Village in Keystone is a buzzing hive of activity as the local merchants host Kidtopia Kidzfest, featuring entertainment for families. Children have the opportunity to experience a village train ride, WOW Human bubbles, Zorbing Balls, caricatures, face painters, balloon artists, a photo booth, crafts, mascots, spin art, bounce houses, a DJ and street entertainers — all free of charge.
“We’ve been doing this event for 11 years, and the best part is, everything is free,” said Donna Nolz, commercial property manager for River Run Village.
Free entertainment
Kidtopia Kidzfest has two more dates remaining, and each week has a different costume theme. The Saturday festival will bring out the inner cowboy in each child and the Aug. 17 event has a safari motif.
“There’s a Creation Station that we’ve set up, where you get some costume supplies,” Nolz said. “For Western week, you get Western hats — you decorate it with stickers — and bandannas. For safari (Saturday, Aug. 17), we’re doing visors and safari necklaces.”
The crafts at the Creation Station allow kids to explore the week’s theme, and at 2:30 p.m. each Saturday, there is a costume presentation where any child who dresses up gets a prize, Nolz said.
Nolz said the free activities at Kidzfest are a major benefit, especially for families with more than one child for whom multiple activities mean multiplied costs.
“It’s so nice because the Wild Bubbles at the Frisco BBQ are $15 per kid, so if you have two kids, you can blow through some money pretty quickly,” Nolz said. “Caricatures are $25 at Elitch Gardens; at Keystone, they’re free.”
Focusing on families
Nolz said it’s important to have things for kids to do, as most of the village festivals cater to adults and can be boring for the younger set.
“The programing is important because we want to be known as a family-friendly place to bring your kids,” Nolz said. “The family formula works at Keystone. As a parent, especially if you have more than one kid, you don’t have to pay $5 for three minutes in a bounce house. It’s nice not to get nickel and dimed to death.”
The family activities draw visitors and local residents who are appreciative of an inexpensive way to spend and afternoon. Some are repeat customers who have been coming to the Keystone events for years.
“We get parents who thank us all the time, all day long,” Nolz said.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.