“‘Economical’ is the single word to best describe these film shorts,” said Christopher Willard, the artistic director of the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre. “With streamlined storytelling and super-focused narratives, they quickly transport you into their world.”
The Backstage Theatre and the Breckenridge Film Festival have partnered to present the Spring Fever Film Series. Up this week is Shorts Night, with six of the most interesting shorts submitted to the Film Festival showing Thursday, May 1, and Friday, May 2.
“The Assignment” tells a story of an introverted high school student failing his English class who comes of age through a unique classroom assignment.
In “Splendor,” weeks before the new season, circus aerialist Finn pairs with spirited newcomer Celeste to prepare the troupe’s featured aerial act for opening night. As Finn struggles to connect with Celeste, he must grapple with the death of his former aerial partner and wife, Lucie. And as the night of the performance nears, Finn must choose between the ghost of eternal love and a life of momentary splendors. A dramatic short set in the world of aerial performance and dance; “Splendor” is a story of love, loss, dreams and fears. But above everything, it is a celebration of hope, the hope to witness those sublime moments of splendor and still be surprised by it all.
“Yin & Yang” explores the inner thoughts of a young man named Devin as he tries to get a grip on his identity, his sexuality and his relationships. This piece is entirely spoken word. No dialogue. Just poetry.
In “Sell By Date,” after the initial fun of trying for a baby starts to wear off and their failure to conceive puts strain on the relationship, a woman is forced to question, “just what is so bloody brilliant about pregnancy and motherhood anyway?”
In “Brighton” a man’s journey to the south coast of England becomes complicated when a tourist’s dangerous promise changes both of their lives.
“Rose, Mary and Time” is a story of second chances in life. It looks at the concept of Kismet. Is our life plan already written? The acting is superb, and the plot twists and turns unpredictable. You fall in love with the characters in this multiple award-winning film.
There will be a short intermission after “Sell by Date.”
Up next for the Spring Fever Film Series on Thursday, May 7, and Friday, May 8, will be “Duet,” a short film which tells the story of an oboe player with stage fright, who is struck by the talent of a violinist who plays outside his city apartment window. The two find mentors and companions in each other. Many people know the songs of “AKA Doc Pomus” (“Save the Last Dance for Me,” “This Magic Moment,” “A Teenager in Love,” “Viva Las Vegas” and hundreds of other hits), but they don’t know the man behind the lyrics and that he suffered from polio from an early age. These movies will be followed by some of the most interesting films from fests past, scheduled every Thursday and Friday through early June.
All films start at 7 p.m. Concessions are available for all films, including fresh popcorn, beer, wine and mixed drinks, which can be taken into the theater with you. For more information about the Spring Fever Film Series or to purchase advance tickets, visit www.backstagetheatre.org or call the box office at (970) 453-0199.
The Colorado Department of Transportation will host a telephone town hall next week for the residents of Summit, Eagle, Garfield, Lake and Pitkin counties, providing an opportunity for residents to ask questions and provide input about their regional transportation priorities.
Beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1, west-central Coloradans will be called at random through an automated system and invited to take part in the forum. Residents may also dial in to participate by calling (877) 229-8493 and entering the PIN 112034.
Those who choose to join the call will have a chance to express their thoughts and ask questions about transportation. Participants also will be able to use their keypads to answer live polls.
“I’m looking forward to this conversation between CDOT and the residents of the intermountain areas of Colorado,” said Intermountain Regional Planning Commission chairman Thad Noll in a news release. “Reducing congestion, expanding transit services and improving cycling conditions are just a few of the issues that are important in this area of the state.
“Employing a telephone town hall is an excellent way to reach out to citizens and it provides a good way for their voices to be heard as part of the transportation planning process.”
CDOT is holding telephone town halls through early June for residents in all 64 counties. Coloradans are encouraged to join the conversation and express their thoughts on how CDOT should focus its limited funding, discuss the link between transportation and the economy and weigh in on regional priorities.
“I am most pleased by the incremental progress we have been able to make on key corridors in the area,” said Colorado Transportation commissioner Doug Aden in the release. “Highway 9 in Summit County is one such corridor (and) we’ve been making steady progress since 2004 widening the roadway from two to four lanes, which will increase safety and mobility of drivers, transit, pedestrians and bicyclists.”
An update on the Highway 9 project from Coyne Valley to Agape Church near Breckenridge and the realignment project through Iron Springs are anticipated discussion topics during the town hall Thursday. The Iron Springs project recently received funding, Aden said in the release. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016.
Brian Lorch, the county director of open space and trails, wanted to remind everyone to stay off backcountry trails, which likely will be snow-packed or muddy for a few more weeks.
“We hope that the early opening of the recpath will provide an alternative to avoid damaging trails during this period when they are most fragile.”
Officials also remind users to watch out for wet, icy and sandy spots, and to slow down and use caution when approaching maintenance vehicles. The recpath could be crowded, especially on weekends, so users should be prepared to slow down and pull off the pathway if stopping.
The Ten Mile Canyon section remains closed due to avalanche concerns.
Before its doors officially open Tuesday, Whole Foods Market is offering tours to the public, complete with free samples.
Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. anyone can walk into the store, learn about it from an employee (or team member, as Whole Foods calls them) and taste products from about a dozen Colorado vendors.
The country’s leading natural and organic grocer held a sneak-peek of the Frisco store for local government officials, ski resort representatives and friends of employees Thursday. The tour began with a blessing by Alex Stark, the company’s feng shui consultant.
Stark stood in front of the store and mixed together 99 drops of gin (to represent the heavens), rice (to represent people) and cinnabar (a red powder to represent the earth), explained associate team leader Anthony Morici. Stark also hung crystal balls in specific spots in the back rooms.
The company prides itself on being environmentally conscious and involved in the community.
Those fond of preventing food waste through Dumpster diving should know the Whole Foods receptacles are tall and difficult to get into. And they won’t have much food in them.
Part of every employee’s job is monitoring perishables for blemishes and preventing spoilage. For example, instead of throwing out wilting spinach, Gengel said, the store will use it in its pizzas. Other foods that don’t quite meet the store’s standards will be donated to the Family and Intercultural Resource Center or composted.
Items that make the Frisco store unique include hand-sized dessert pies named after the town and doughnuts stuffed every morning with custom fillings.
Breckenridge local Geoff Palmer, who Gengel said is a fifth-generation cabinetmaker, crafted tables for the store’s cafe with reclaimed wood from beetle kill and old barns.
Skis and snowboards act as signage, and the cafe features a retired gondola from Keystone Ski Resort outfitted with a table and Bluetooth-compatible speakers. Gengel said he expects some customers will use the gondola as their own private office.
Next to the cafe, the store has a cozy room for mothers who might want to nurse in private, called the zen room in other stores.
The store will also keep the same prices as those in its Denver stores, he said. No mountain pricing here.
Preparation for opening day has been hectic.
Thursday employees were busy stocking and preparing for a mommy bloggers visit and a fire department inspection, Kato said.
Morici said he went through about a dozen shots of espresso in one day learning how to properly use the machine.
“Ninety percent of the work gets done in 10 percent of the time, the last 10 percent,” he said, smiling.
The last few days before opening are a race not to the finish line but to the starting line, he said, as employees grow more excited.
Gengel said good relationships with vendors have eased the workload. They helped with things store employees usually do, like cutting and packaging portions of cheese.
The cheese has been quite the production. Eight people worked on the store’s cheese section for two weeks, Gengel said.
Employees tasted more than $1,000 worth of cheese over two days this week.
Morici described a pungent spread that included every kind of cheese, even fondue, laid out so every staff member could accurately describe the cheese flavors.
He added that in the spring during peak hours customers can look forward to mozzarella-making demonstrations.
Staff will continue tasting foods over the next few days. Gengel said that leaves finishing the outside construction and stocking the perimeter shelves.
The franchise is opening one store a week this year, said John Mammenga, the Frisco store’s hiring manager.
He said he has hired 158 employees, and 45 percent will work part time, a higher percentage than usual to fit with the resort-community lifestyle. Most of the employees are locals, with 48 people transferring from other stores around the country.
Gengel said he’s never heard of more interest from within the company. Whole Foods employees from Hawaii to Maine wanted to work at the Frisco store.
Mammenga said he still needs to hire about 20 people in the next month. Store coordinators from around the country, “the best of the best,” he said, will fly in to help in the first few weeks.
At the opening ceremony Tuesday, April 29, Frisco Mayor Larry Sawyers will speak, as well as several Whole Foods employees. The event will begin at 9:45 a.m. with introductions of the organizations receiving donations from the store, including Summit County Preschool, Swan Center Outreach, Team Summit, Summit Community Care Clinic and High Country Conservation Center.
Doors will open at 10 a.m. Store hours after opening day are 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
As part of closing weekend festivities, Breckenridge Ski Resort will host a number of its Epic Pro Team members — including four recent Sochi Olympians — for a special “big air” exhibition and autograph signing Saturday, April 26.
Officials said it’s a great opportunity for to see some big-name and up-and-coming athletes throw down some big tricks in the resort’s terrain park.
“It should be fun,” Breckenridge communicatons coordinator Alysa Hetze told the Daily. “We’re really excited to be able to showcase our talent on the Epic Pro Team.”
Saturday’s Epic Pro Team Big Air Showdown will take place on the large slopestyle jump at the bottom of the resort’s Freeway Terrain Park, located above the base area of Peak 8. The event will be immediately followed by an athlete meet-and-greet and autograph signing.
Breckenridge locals and multiple X Games medalists Bobby Brown and Keri Herman will headline the big-air jam session. Both were on the inaugural U.S. Olympic freeskiing team earlier this year and made the slopestyle finals at the Sochi Games. Fellow Breckenridge local and U.S. team snowboarder Eric Willett also is expected to attend. Willet recently recovered from a cracked vertebra in his back, which he suffered during the Olympic qualifier at Copper Mountain Resort earlier this winter. He is reportedly recovering from an unrelated surgery and not expected to compete, but will be on hand for the competition and autograph signing. Olympians Rebecca “Possum” Torr, of New Zealand, and American Faye Gulini are also scheduled to attend, along with a handful of other top athletes sponsored by the Vail Resorts. Torr competed in snowboard slopestyle at Sochi, and Gulini placed fourth for the U.S. in snowboard cross.
The event will be more of jam session exhibition showcasing the team’s big-air talent rather than a true competition.
“We’re trying to keep it very informal,” Hetze said.
The large kicker jump that will be used for the Big Air Showdown is on the same line that was used earlier in the season for the two U.S. Olympic team qualifiers that Breckenridge hosted — the Dew Tour and U.S. Grand Prix.
Vail Resort’s Epic Pro Team is a combination of athletes from each of the Vail-owned resorts across the globe. The team consists of 43 sponsored athletes in a variety of winter disciplines. In addition to Brown and Herman, the team also includes Olympians Mark McMorris, Torstein Horgmo and Americans David Wise and Mikaela Shiffrin. Each Vail-owned and -operated mountain previously had its own pro teams; they were combined into one earlier this year.
This will be the first event of its kind for Breckenridge. The showdown is scheduled to run from 2-3 p.m. with the autograph session immediately afterward. The resort will also host a closing-day Luau — complete with pig roast — from noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Copper Mountain also is closing this weekend and will have limited operations Friday through Sunday.
The town of Frisco’s “Step Up Main Street” construction project is moving forward this fall, albeit on a slightly modified schedule.
On Tuesday, April 22, the Frisco Town Council discussed the revitalization project during a regularly scheduled workshop. According to the original plans, construction on Main Street between Third and Seventh avenues was slated to begin in August.
However, public and business owner concerns about upsetting the summer tourism season forced the town council to find a creative way to get the long-talked-about and vitally necessary project on wheels without delaying its start into 2015.
As of Tuesday, the plan is to complete by this fall at least some infrastructure projects, such as rehabbing the drainage on Main Street, said Councilwoman Kim Cancelosi. The council also decided to delay the start of construction until after Labor Day weekend.
“The summer obviously is an important time for local business owners, as are certain weeks in the fall,” Cancelosi said Wednesday. “The public doesn’t want road or sidewalk closures at all in August and we’re trying not to have any impacts on local businesses.”
Although the directive to start infrastructure projects this fall would not result in any road or sidewalk closures in 2014, representatives from Columbine Hills Concrete Inc., in Silverthorne, said it would be impossible to meet the town’s fall 2016 deadline without doing at least some roadwork this fall.
“We set a goal of fall 2016 and the consensus of this group is not to go into 2017,” said mayor pro tem Larry Sawyer during Tuesday’s meeting. “If we need to spend a little more and work a little longer, then we have to do it.”
Councilman Tom Connolly was a little less enthusiastic about the change in plans, but agreed allowing construction to continue into 2017 was not an option. He backed initial discussions to allow contractors to conduct work on two intersections, including at Madison Avenue, which could result in a full closure of a section of Main Street.
“It’s showtime,” Connolly said during the meeting. “I want to see at least one block done (this fall) — I’d rather see two — but I’d like to see one rather than push this project back into 2017.”
The council gave Columbine Hills engineers a two-meeting window to come up with a plan to conduct roadwork at certain intersections, as long as it doesn’t have a major impact on pedestrian and motorist traffic.
Main Street was deeded in 1981 to the town of Frisco by the Colorado Department of Transportation. A year later, the town conducted a number of improvements, including sidewalks, on-street lighting, on-street parking and street furniture, which are now deemed outdated and public safety hazards.
In February, Frisco Public Works director Tim Mack said without improvements Main Street is destined to fail, which would result in costly impacts on the town, its businesses and the community.
The Step Up Main Street project, slated for Main Street between Madison and Seventh avenues, aims to improve infrastructure and create a more welcoming thoroughfare. Town council approved a $3.7 million budget for the entire project, which is coming out of the town’s capital projects fund.
Components of the project include adding additional street benches, updating street lighting, expanding the north side sidewalk by 2 feet and updating the paver design and increasing the amenity strip on each side of the sidewalk.
Parking along Main Street will remain in its current configuration, and will result in no net loss of parking for business patrons, according to plans. Summer seasonal placement of flower planter boxes and hanging flower baskets is planned to continue as in past years.
The snow may be melting fast, but those looking to bag more turns at local resorts still have a few options.
Breckenridge Ski Resort will close its season Sunday, April 27. Recent Olympians and members of the resort’s Epic Pro Team will showcase their talents in the mountain’s team Big Air Showcase exhibition Saturday, April 26, from 2 to 3 p.m.
Guests can watch from the Peak 8 base area or up on the hill as the pros launch off the slopestyle jump at the bottom of the resort’s Freeway Terrain Park.
Confirmed athletes include 2014 Sochi Olympians Bobby Brown, Keri Herman, Faye Gulini and Possum Torr, as well as pro team members Eric Willett, Zach Black and Brett Esser.
Willett recently returned to snow after cracking a vertebra during the Olympic qualifier at Copper Mountain Resort earlier this season. Athletes will be on hand afterward for photos and an autograph signing.
Festivities continue Sunday with a closing-day luau and pig roast at the base of Peak 8 from noon to 4:30 p.m.
Breckenridge will be open all week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but under limited operations. Peaks 9 and 10 closed April 20. Vail Resorts season passes are still valid, and the resort will offer discounted lift tickets for $66.
This season was one of the longest in Breckenridge’s 52-year history, according to resort spokeswoman Kristen Petitt Stewart. The resort extended its season by a few days last year and in 2012, which was the resort’s first season extension since it merged with Vail Resorts in 1996. This year might be the longest season in about 20 years, she said.
Copper Mountain closed Sunday, April 20, but will reopen for its last weekend Friday, April 25.
Friday through Sunday, Copper will operate the American Flyer, Sierra, Celebrity Ridge and Timberline lifts from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All skier services, including restaurants, rentals and shops, will be limited to Center Village.
Parking will be free, and all Copper Mountain season pass products and coupons will be valid. Skiers with season passes to other ski areas will receive discounted lift tickets for $59 each.
Keystone Resort, Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek closed Sunday, April 20.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area will close June 1, depending on conditions. Last year, the resort closed on June 2, then reopened June 7, 8 and 9. If the resort decides to extend its season this year, spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac said, that decision wouldn’t be announced until late May.
Loveland Ski Area’s closing day is set for Sunday, May 4.
It may not have been the nicest of spring days but the Keystone Resort faithful still came out Sunday for one last shot at hitting the slopes. A handful of the more daring among them also suited up for Keystone’s fourth annual Slush Cup pond skimming contest. With costumes ranging from an adult-size Easter peep to a bathing-suit-clad lifeguard, participants shot down the slope above the Mountain House base area to launch off a kicker and attempt to cross a roughly 20-yard-long man-made pond.
“This is always such a fun way to close out the season,” resort spokeswoman Laura Parquette said after the competition.
After a fair amount of unbalanced splash landings, it was a 360-throwing mustard bottle by the name of Oliver Umpleby that took top honors for the day.
“I had a bunch of friends that did it last year and it looked like it was a lot of fun,” a shivering Umpleby — still clad in a sopping wet mustard suit — said after winning. “I’m surprised. I didn’t think it was going to happen. I was just going to go out and have some fun with it.”
While both of Umpleby’s final run 360s ended with crash landings, the creativity was enough to earn the judges’ favor. For his shivers, Umpleby earned a season pass for the 2014-15 ski season. Passes were also awarded for best costume and best crash.
When asked about the wet landing, Umpleby said, “It was cold but your adrenaline’s pumping, so it wasn’t that bad.”
With the April 20 closure Keystone ended its longest season in over a decade. Breckenridge Ski Resort and Copper Mountain Resort will follow suit this coming Sunday, April 27.
Breckenridge going Big next weekend
Breckenridge will close its season with style next weekend as recent Olympians and members of the resort’s Epic Pro Team will showcase their talents in the mountain’s team Big Air Showcase exhibition Saturday, April 26.
Guests can watch from the base area of Peak 8 or up on the hill as the group of pros launch off the large slopestyle jump at the bottom of the resort’s Freeway Terrain Park. Confirmed athletes include 2014 Sochi Olympians Bobby Brown, Keri Herman, Faye Gulini and Possum Torr, as well as pro team members Eric Willett, Zach Black, Brett Esser and others. Willet only recently returned to snow after cracking a vertebra during the Olympic qualifier at Copper Mountain earlier this season.
Athletes will be on hand afterwards for photos and an autograph signing. Festivities will continue at the mountain on Sunday with a closing day luau. Breckenridge will be open all week leading up to the Sunday, April 27 closing, but under limited operations. Peaks 9 and 10 closed for the season April 20.
Copper Mountain will be closed during the week but will reopen for their final weekend starting Friday, April 25. They will also close for the season April 27.
If you live in a part of Summit County prone to floods, you might want to call your insurance company.
That’s advice from county assistant manager Thad Noll, who says the risk of flooding during runoff season this year will be higher than usual.
Most companies won’t cover damage unless clients have a policy 30 days before a flood. If you need flood insurance and your company won’t cover you, Noll said, you can always use FEMA’s national flood insurance program.
Flood risk is higher because the snowpack near Dillon Reservoir this year is about 35 percent above average, Denver Water spokeswoman Stacy Chesney said.
Comparing snowpack data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Noll said Friday’s numbers look just like they did on the same date in 2011, the year with the most snowpack on record.
The data also look similar to 1996, he said, a year when rapid snowmelt combined with a giant rainstorm to flood neighborhoods all over Summit County.
“That was a nasty runoff,” he said.
When Noll lived in Blue River that year, he said, he was shocked by the amount of water in streets, septic fields and basements. Parts of Silverthorne, Keystone and Summit Cove flooded, and Coyne Valley Road in Breckenridge washed out, he said.
“It was terrible,” he said. “It was a mess.”
To prepare, local water managers are meeting with Denver Water.
The utility, which provides West Slope water to the Denver metro area, regulates how much water comes out of Dillon Reservoir. The utility’s employees monitor Summit’s snowpack conditions, weather forecasts and the reservoir’s natural inflows and outflows.
This week, Denver Water increased the outflow to the Blue River. The increase, from 500 cubic feet per second to 600 cfs over Monday and Tuesday, was the fifth this season beginning in early March.
Though the utility isn’t legally required to do so, it lowers the reservoir’s level in years with high snowpack to lessen the risk of flooding north of Dillon Dam.
Denver Water can’t control flooding around the reservoir, but it can help Silverthorne, which faces the greatest risk.
The town will see problems if the reservoir outflow reaches 1,800 cfs, or triple what it is now, Noll said. That’s when the river will touch Silverthorne’s Sixth Street bridge.
Silverthorne’s public works director, Bill Linfield, said the bike trail under Bald Eagle Road is already closed because it’s under water.
Locally, water managers have one preventive technique they’re using now.
County and town employees, usually snowplow drivers, check and clear any clogged culverts, or underground water pipes. They shovel debris, pull sticks out by hand and use a steamer if ice is a problem.
Since 1996, government staff enlarged culverts and changed drainage patterns to prevent damage.
Denver Water’s primary goal is keeping the reservoir full for its water supply, which makes managers at the Dillon and Frisco marinas happy. A full reservoir means more boat rentals and slip sales.
In high runoff seasons, the utility lets water out of the reservoir until the end of June.
“Ideally the reservoir is full for the Fourth of July, and there’s no flooding,” Noll said. “Yay. Everybody’s happy.”
He said going forward residents can expect more public announcements and free sandbags.
To find out if your home is at risk, contact your local town government or Summit County officials or go to the FEMA Map Service Center.
For more information, visit https://www.floodsmart.gov.