Besides the lessening of traffic and visitors in town, one more delicious sign of the off-season is the sale of the Breckenridge Dining Passport. The Breckenridge Restaurant Association is selling these $10 booklets from now until Nov. 19, giving diners food and drink specials from a variety of participating restaurants, with proceeds from the sales benefitting a local nonprofit.
The Passport program was created in 2011 and is made available in the spring and fall. For fall 2015, proceeds from the program will go to Summit County Cares, which includes the Summit Community Care Clinic, Summit FIRC, Advocates for Victims of Assault and Summit County Social Services.
Beneficiaries of the program vary, but the Breckenridge Restaurant Association has chosen Summit County Cares for several years. The nonprofit is an emergency-assistance fund, which provides temporary financial aid for Summit County residents who are struggling with rent, utility or medical costs. The fall 2014 dining passport program raised $13,000 for the nonprofit.
Anita Overmyer, development director at FIRC, said money from the Passport program goes to the Summit County Cares annual holiday fundraiser.
“Every year, that fundraiser works to raise $50,000 total, and that is Summit County’s largest emergency assistance fund,” she said. “One-hundred percent of the money that is raised for Summit County Cares is used to help locals who are facing eviction or can’t keep their heat on or need some help paying for medical procedures; so, without that money, a lot of locals would not be able to get the help they need. Every year, the fund helps around 700 people. It’s a vital piece of how our nonprofits are able to come together and help locals.”
Overmyer said the rest of the money for its annual holiday fundraiser comes from individual donors, but the Passport helps them meet their goal.
“Without that chunk, we wouldn’t be able to help as many people,” she said.
Each spring, proceeds from the Passport program go toward Summit High student scholarships. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must be connected to the restaurant industry, either through their parents, their own work or career aspirations. Breckenridge Restaurant Association members go through the applications and choose the winners.
The program has grown since its inception in 2011, with around 15 restaurants participating the first year. Now, the number always tops 20, this year featuring 27 restaurants. The dining passport is a one-time purchase of $10 for the season and can be purchased and used at each of these restaurants through Nov. 19. The Passport includes discounts like three courses for $33 and 1/2 price on select bottles of wine at Modis or buy one entrée and receive a second entrée or sandwich of equal or lesser value for free at Park & Main. Check the Passport guide for restrictions and off-season closures.
“There are so many amazing restaurants in Breckenridge, and this is a great opportunity to take advantage of them during the slower times, when we all get to feel like locals again,” Overmyer said. “It just encourages people to go out and take advantage of the great options in Breckenridge and do it at a lower cost, and they also get to help the community by purchasing one.”