Thursday, March 31, 2016

Slopeside Breckenridge townhomes top February real estate sales

#Breckenridge Colorado.

Summit Daily News Link

February was a choice month to sell, as continued low real estate inventory throughout Summit County coupled with strong buyer interest throughout the month.
“That continues to be a story. Inventory’s still pretty low,” Realtor Kevin Crane, of Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties, said. “We would expect, traditionally, inventory would increase as we get back into summer.”
Matching the high-demand, low-inventory trend, Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate reported a 3-percent increase in price per square foot from last February’s three-month average, coming in at about $368 per foot.
Another point of interest is the fact that homes are selling at 97 percent of their list price, which Slifer, Smith and Frampton notes is the highest ratio seen in the past eight years.
Despite the trend, inventory should increase in future months, as Summit County assessor Beverly Breakstone noted. “We’re starting to see a lot of deeds.”
The existing properties on the market are selling like hotcakes, with an average of 193 days on the market, down 40 percent according to a three-month moving average.
“You’re seeing some stuff that’s been on the market for a long time, and it’s starting to go,” said Cody Thomas, a broker associate with Paffrath and Thomas Real Estate who brought in 2016’s largest residential sale of $5.675 million in March. “You’re starting to see some people who bought in 2008 put their homes back on the market. …The big sales have been trickling.”
Two of February’s top sales were located at Shock Hill Landing in Breckenridge, known for its ideal location near the base of Peak 8, and jaw-dropping prices to match. Two newly-constructed duplexes sold for $2.19 million and $2.15 million each, a steep $925 per square foot for the former.
“It’s a new project, and they sold pretty quickly,” said Jill Begley, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Rounds and Porter. She sold the $2,195,000 duplex on Feb. 11.
Breakstone noted the price was a reflection of the properties’ “location, location, location.”
“I think you can fall out of your door, essentially, and end up on the gondola,” she said. “Shock Hill’s kind of gone over the top. There’s just no question, when we see these, we go ‘Wow!’ These have sold between $1.6 and $1.8 million.”
The duplexes, standing at 2,734 square feet, include four bedrooms, two living areas and a two-car garage, as well as an on-site caretaker.
Another top sale for the month came in at $1.75 million, for a 4,788 square-foot home located at the Highlands at Breckenridge. The brand-new home was finished in September of last year, just in time for the parade of homes.
“We wanted a mountain modern look, with some rustic elements,” Crane said.
The home, located at the end of a cul-de-sac with access to the nearby golf course and hiking trails, features historic barnwood and metalwork by local builder Bill Snead of WTS Construction.
“It was a unique opportunity for him to do the hands-on metalwork by himself,” Crane added.
1. $2,195,000 — Breckenridge, Shock Hill Landing Lot 10 (duplex)
2. $2,150,000 — Breckenridge, Shock Hill Landing Lot 9 (duplex)
3. $1,751,000 — Breckenridge, Highlands at Breckenridge (residential home)
4. $1,525,000 — Keystone, Old Keystone Golf Course Subdivision (residential home)
5. $1,379,000 — Breckenridge, Highland Meadows PUD (residential home)
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Met Opera HD presents 'Madama Butterly' in Breckenridge

#Breckenridge, Colorado.
Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera

Summit Daily News Link

The Metropolitan Opera High Definition broadcast of Giacomo Puccini’s opera, “Madama Butterfly” will be held at the Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge on Saturday, April 2, beginning at 11 a.m. The Metropolitan Opera series is brought to Summit County by the National Repertory Orchestra and the Colorado Mountain College. This classic opera, familiar to many opera goers, portrays in music the melodramatic story of a Japanese child bride to an American Naval officer. Happy overtones are experienced through two acts, only to end in heartbreaking tragedy at the end of Act III for a heroine who had experienced “misguided love.”
The story of the opera is set in Nagasaki, Japan, in the early years of the 20th century. Following a lyric opening overture, Act 1 opens with U.S. Navy Lieutenant, Pinkerton, sung by tenor Roberto Alagna, accompanied by Goro, a marriage broker, entering a Japanese home that Pinkerton will inherit after his arranged marriage with bride to be, Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly), sung by Krystine Opolasis. Soon entering the scene are Suzuki, the bride’s chambermaid, sung by Maria Zifchak, and the local U.S. Counsel, Sharpless, sung by Dwayne Croft. Pinkerton makes it known that he has signed a 999-year marriage contract, that can be cancelled any time that he likes.
Entering next is the approaching bridal party, led in by Madama Butterfly. The ensuing choral ensemble is one of the musical highlights of the opera. Those involved in the bridal party are dressed in hauntingly colorful Oriental bunraku puppetry costumes, amid background splendid lighting, and choreographic effects of scrims and overhead mirrors. We are to learn from Butterfly that she had been a poor Giesha girl, and was now looking forward to a loving and permanent marriage. After signing their marriage contract, Pinkerton and Butterfly, now in her bridal nightgown, embrace in a melodic duet before entering the bridal chamber.
Act II is set three years later. Pinkerton, his Navy obligation having been met, returned to America leaving Butterfly behind. Butterfly has been waiting patiently for her husband’s return, enacting in several musical interludes with Sezuki. Butterfly had borne a son, named Dolore (“Trouble”), considered by some locals to be an illegitimate child. At the sound of a canon in the distance, Butterfly is filled with joy at Pinkerton’s return. With help from Suziki, Butterfly gathers flowers that are strewn around the room in celebration for his return. The act ends with the three of them, including her son, peering through a window awaiting Pinkerton’s return.
Act III opens as Butterfly has returned for sleep in her bed after a long night of waiting. When Pinkerton does arrive, he implores Sezuki not to awaken Butterfly. Also seen is Pinkerton’s “American Wife,” who has come to be entrusted with “his” child. Pinkerton leaves the scene. Butterfly, upon awakening, soon realizes upon being introduced that the new lady is Pinkerton’s wife. Upon his wife’s request, Butterfly agrees to relinquish the child and returns to her room. With the same dagger that her father had used to commit “hara-kari” on orders of the emperor, had professed dying with honor when “one cannot live with honor.” Butterfly, no longer able to live with honor, inflicts herself with a fatal wound. Dragging herself out for one last embrace with her son, the curtain comes down with her dying, with the voice of a distraught Pinkerton heard in the background.
This staging of “Madama Butterfly,” as first created by Anthony Manghella at the English National Opera, was first staged at the Met in 2006 as an outstanding contribution by Peter Gelb, then the newly-appointed executive director. Snacks and beverages will be served at the intermission.
The Met Opera is a partnership between Colorado Mountain College and the National Repertory Orchestra. Elmer Koneman is a volunteer and opera enthusiast; Cecile Forsberg is the artistic and operations director with the NRO.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Avalanches don't descriminate — know before you go with tips from the CAIC

#Breckenridge Colorado.
Special to the Daily

Summit Daily News Link

Avalanches do not discriminate. And, they don’t just happen to extreme backcountry enthusiasts. Avalanches can happen to those skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, hiking, driving, hunting and bike riding, as well as anyone who can get onto or underneath a steep snow-covered slope.
Since 1950, avalanches have killed more people in Colorado than any other natural hazard, and the state accounts for one-third of all avalanche deaths in the United States each year. The danger signs are often fairly obvious for those that know what to look for.
Just as Hawaiians learn about the dangers of rip tides and shore breaks at an early age, those living, working and recreating in the Colorado High Country need to educate themselves about avalanches. The key source for obtaining this all important up-to-date weather and snowpack information is the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the oldest avalanche forecasting service in the United States.
The seed that would eventually grow to become the Colorado Avalanche Information Center was sown in 1967, when the U.S. Forest Service Avalanche Project in Fort Collins created the Westwide Avalanche Network. Avalanche researcher Art Judson launched Westwide as a data gathering program in an effort to understand climate and snow conditions for hazard assessment and forecasting, along with helping to establish effective and efficient control programs.
Avalanche forecasters assess the potential risk along a particular mountain slope, based on past, current and forecasted conditions. Important factors used to determine the avalanche hazard include new snow or rain, temperature, wind speed and directions and existing snow conditions. This information is combined with a mountain weather forecast to predict the chance that an avalanche will occur in a particular area.
In 1973, Judson and Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame member Knox Williams founded the Colorado Avalanche Warning Program. Under the direction of the Forest Service and with Judson as lead forecaster, this program was a direct outgrowth of many years of research, making use of the field data reported from approximately 35 sites across the state.
The first avalanche forecast center in the U.S., the Colorado Avalanche Warning Program employed the concept of central forecasting, with one main office serving the larger area by receiving data gathered by a network of observers in the field. This central office then analyzed the data and issued daily messages and warning bulletins as warranted.
The program was moved under the umbrella of Colorado state government in 1983, becoming part of the Department of Natural Resources before joining the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Program in 1993. The organization’s nonprofit arm, Friends of the CAIC, was created in 2007 to promote avalanche safety in Colorado and support the recreation programs of the avalanche center.
Williams would go on to develop an avalanche safety program that was unparalleled, while also helping to build the Colorado Avalanche Information Center into one of the most respected organizations in the world. He developed a methodology for archiving weather and avalanche data that has allowed for more accurate mountain weather and avalanche forecasting in Colorado, while also managing to preserve the avalanche center through numerous government budget cuts. He retired from the organization in 2005.
The avalanche center’s Know Before You Go program was created in 2004 to teach people what they need to know to have fun and stay safe in avalanche terrain. Initially developed for middle and high school audiences, the Know Before You Go program has become popular with all age groups.
Designed as a free presentation, Know Before You Go has been approved as a middle school P.E. credit and can be presented in a classroom; school assembly; ski, snowboard or snowmobile shop; community center or anywhere people can gather to watch the powerful one-hour video and slide presentation.
Know Before You Go stresses five steps of preparedness in order to help ensure the safest possible backcountry experience in uncontrolled areas. The five critical “gets” include: Get the gear, get the training, get the forecast, get the picture and get out of harm’s way.
In addition to participating in a Colorado Avalanche Information Center Know Before You Go program, take an avalanche class and learn how to provide first aid to an injured member of your party. Knowing the different kinds of avalanches, how terrain choices and changing weather impact safety and how to travel in avalanche terrain will minimize your risk in the backcountry.
What you don’t know about avalanches can kill you. Before you head out into the winter backcountry, make sure you Know Before You Go.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Saloons played an important role in Breckenridge history

#Breckenridge Colorado.

Summit Daily News Link

When the town of Breckenridge was in its infancy, it wasn’t just those searching for gold in the ground that populated the streets. Others who flocked to the area were hoping to get rich by mining the miners, and there were three professions that were almost guaranteed to line the pockets: saloon keepers, lawyers and prostitutes.
In the 1880s, there were a solid 18 saloons along Main Street, a testament to the integral role the establishments played in the town’s history.
The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance (BHA) offers a Behind Swinging Doors Saloon Tour every Friday, offering a glimpse into a whiskey-fueled past.
BHA tour guide Rick Galgas is an East Coast transplant that moved to the mountains with his wife almost four years ago to be closer to their daughter. Dressed in a jean jacket, vest and leather hat, he plays up to his role as he takes some time at the beginning of the tour to get to know his group and their interests. His New Jersey accent gives away his roots, but his enthusiasm for Western history is evident with each story he tells.
By day Galgas works on the hill, but sought out a position with the BHA due to his passion for the past, and he has been a tour guide in Breckenridge for the last three years. The man is no stranger to taking guests on a journey through time, however, as he was a tour guide in Ellis Island, New York, for four years before moving to higher grounds.
As the group steps into the early March sunshine, Galgas’ hands work on overtime as he starts with the early history of hooch.
The first Old West saloon to grace the area was at Brown’s Hole in 1822. It was a trapper’s meeting place on the border of Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, where hundreds of trappers, traders, Indians, lone missionaries and famous pathfinders like Kit Carson, Jedediah Smith and Jim Beckwourth assembled yearly to trade goods, gamble, catch up on news, and most importantly — drink, Galgas said. Beaver pelts and sometimes Indian “squaws” were traded for “Taos Lightning,” “rotgut,” “coffin varnish” or “fire water,” as the poor quality 100-proof liquor was called. The same type of rendezvous occurred at Labonte’s Hole near the present-day Dillon Dam in the 1830s.
It was the 1850s when saloons as we know them really started gracing towns.
“Before that it was mostly just tents set up, it could be a wagon, with saloon or whiskey misspelled on it, with two empty barrels and … the saloon keeper would dip into the barrel and sell you a cup of whiskey,” Galgas said.
As the first gold rush swelled the town to around 8,000 hopefuls looking to get rich, whiskey became a common way to drown the sorrows of those who didn’t score the mother load, which was mostly everyone. By the late 1860s, Breckenridge dwindled to a few hundred individuals and it wasn’t until the late 1870s that the second mining boom brought the crowds back to town. This boom was made possible by the railroad being routed through Breckenridge in 1882.
The railroad made delivering goods to the mountains significantly easier, and the town took off, and with it, drinking establishments. The saloon keeper became a highly respected profession. It was common back then, as it is today, for saloons to offer specials to draw the miners in, and some would travel from bar to bar for free beer.
Hurdy gurdy girls would grace the saloons, and these women would dance with lonely miners for the price of a drink, with the girl pocketing half the dollar. Hurdy gurdy girls are not to be confused with prostitutes, as many of them only danced with the men. These women could make a significantly better living than the miners, with some women dancing with 50 to 100 men a day, earning $25 to $40, when it was common for the miners to be earning $2.50 a day.
In 1891, church officials were able to influence law where saloons had to close on Sundays, and close by midnight during the week. It lasted about four or five months before the church bell tower mysteriously blew up.
“About a week later the town fathers just started looking the other way and that was it, and the saloons were open again in Breckenridge,” Galgas said.
It wasn’t until towns were established when beers started becoming common. Because it took weeks to travel with goods, liquor was more common because it was more bang for the buck.
One of the first breweries in Colorado was located in what was once known as Parkville, a competing mining town in the Blue River Valley, where the end of Tiger Road is now. It was owned by Henry Weiss, and began operation — brewing German Style lager beer — in 1861. The brewery only lasted about a year.
By 1880, Anheuser-Busch was expanding nationally and rolled into Breckenridge about the same time. This expansion was made possible by its new pasteurization process and artificially refrigerated rail cars and ice houses. This new beer, called Budweiser, was the first cold beer served in Breckenridge saloons. Before that beer was served at just below room temperature at 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Colorado enacted prohibition in 1916 — three years before it became federal law. It was repealed in 1933 nationwide. It was almost impossible to enforce, and bootleg liquor, stills, speakeasies and back room bars were everywhere — including Breckenridge.
The saloons were a man’s domain, and honest women did not enter them, so when more women started showing up in town, the saloons began losing business. Saloon keepers found other ways to bring whole families in, such as building bowling alleys.
“Now they could have families come in, and the husband or father could drink at the bar while the wife was bowling with the kids in the other room,” Galgas said. “That was a lure to bring women here, because the women wanted their men to stay home, and the saloon business started to go downhill.”
Saloons became more than just a watering hole, and served as concert halls, funeral homes, churches, post offices, liveries, barber shops and even a place to vote.
Stopping off for a quick beer at the Gold Pan, the third oldest saloon site in Colorado, Galgas wrapped up the tour.
“It has been said … that with the exception of Little Bighorn, all Western history was made in saloons, and if you think about it, states were named in saloons, capitals were decided in saloons, elections were held in saloons — Western history was made in saloons.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Restoring the Swan River

#Breckenridge Colorado

Summit Daily News Link
Courtesy of the Blue River Planning Commission

The Upper Blue Planning Commission approved a five-year conditional use permit Thursday evening to allow rock-milling activities as part of the Swan River Restoration Project. With piles of loose rock burying the stream underneath, the goal is to reconnect the North, Middle and South forks of the Swan River and restore a riparian habitat conducive to plant and animal life.
“In general terms, the dredge boats went through and left piles of rock which have little riparian life to them. This project will bring the river back to the surface so it has an aquatic habitat for fish and other species,” Breckenridge Open Space and Trails planner Scott Reid said. “The rock crushing and sorting operation will allow us to reach the grades we need, and the elevations we need to allow the river corridor to function as a river.”
Currently, Summit County Open Space and Trails estimates 85 to 90 percent of the project area is barren cobble.
The joint project is spearheaded by the county, with Breckenridge providing significant contributions as the river crosses into the town’s land as well. Other supporters include the U.S. Forest Service, Friends of the Dillon Ranger District and the Colorado Water Conservation Board, who granted the county just under $1 million for the project last March.
The next phase of the project is set to start in May, with excavation and crushing continuing through September.
While the restoration of the river is unanimously supported, a few Breckenridge residents shared concerns over the breadth of the milling work, with plans to process 100,000 cubic yards of rock, the equivalent of about 30.5 Olympic swimming pools.
Members of the Summit Estates Homeowners Association, a neighborhood located near Tiger Road, raised concerns about the amount of gravel that would be hauled and its use.
“Tiger Road is an important and heavily utilized recreational corridor for both mountain and road biking,” a letter submitted to the Open Space and Trails Department read. “The section of Tiger Road beyond the town limits is already in disrepair, and without substantial improvements including dedicated bike lanes, any increase in traffic, especially heavy trucks, would be unwise and unsafe.”
“Our goal is not to interrupt the restoration project. All of us think that’s a good thing,” Summit Estates HOA member Peter Podore added. “At the very least, we would like to have some focus on safety issues, the volume of truck traffic, some limitations on what that truck traffic might be, and some assurance that there would be funds set aside to repair or repave the road once this project is completed.”
The request submitted to the Upper Blue Planning Commission estimated Tiger Road would see about 50 truckloads of gravel per day, and no more than 100 per day. Summit County open space and trails director Brian Lorch said whether or not the gravel was milled, the rocks would need to be hauled to clear space for the river.
“There’s way too much material up there to restore the stream. It has to go somewhere,” Lorch said.
The crusher would function not only to allow the county to sell gravel to help fund the project, but would also be used to grind the rocks down to a fine material resembling a natural stream channel.
“Gravel has such high permeability that you have to put something on the bottom. If we don’t do that, we could have stream that flows under the gravel,” Lorch explained. “If we can crush this material and use it on site, we don’t have to remove as much and don’t need to bring in as much soil.”
Another concern raised by the HOA was the potential sale of the milled gravel to help fund the project. With CDOT’s Highway 9 Iron Springs realignment planned for this summer, requiring about 50,000 cubic yards of gravel, there was some discussion of incorporating the excess material into that project.
“…this was in reality a request by Summit County to itself to allow processing and sale of gravel on a scale that would have a significant impact on those residents of Summit County who use Tiger Road, as well as putting the County in direct competition with local businesses who sell gravel,” Podore wrote in a submitted letter.
However, Lorch added the sale of gravel to fund the restoration was not a new process and was permitted under the county’s mining permit. The county and the town of Breckenridge jointly purchased the 136-acre Williams Placer mining claim for open space purposes, including the restoration of the Swan River. A mining permit owned by the county permits the removal and processing of dredge gravels.
“Our first project was entirely paid for by selling the gravel, and using the money to match state and federal funds. That is an option,” Lorch said.
He added that selling the leftover gravel to CDOT would be a more efficient use of the material than driving it over the passes to another project, or creating a new gravel pit.
“We’re not opening a gravel pit that anyone can go to with pickup trucks,” Lorch said. “In the last 40 years, most everything that has been built, some portion of it is dredge gravel. There is nothing new here in terms of people moving dredge gravel out of the Swan or other drainages.”
Specific plans for the sale and transportation of the gravel are not yet set in stone, but working hours for construction and crushing operations this summer will be approximately 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., decreasing with the length of available daylight. All excavation and crushing are anticipated to end by Sept. 30.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Stretch of Blue River loses Gold Medal fishing designation

#Summit County Colorado.

Summit Daily News Link
Michael Yearout Photography

Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced this week changes to the Gold Medal designations for sections of two rivers in the state, one being Summit County’s own Blue River. In Colorado, Gold Medal status is reserved for state waters that produce a minimum of 60 pounds of trout per acre and 12 trout measuring 14 inches or longer per acre.
The agency tasked with managing the state’s fishing, hunting, boating, camping and outdoor education, assigned the status to a 24-mile stretch of the Colorado River. Specifically, that’s from the confluence with Canyon Creek, at the mouth of Gore Canyon, downstream of Rock Creek, near the town of McCoy.
CPW also delisted the status for a 19-mile stretch of the Blue River, from Hamilton Creek Road Bridge crossing at the northern edge of Silverthorne to Green Mountain Reservoir. Local anglers also agreed that this stretch of the Blue River should have this status removed.
“The overall goal is to maintain the integrity of the Gold Medal designation,” Jon Ewert, CPW aquatic biologist, said in a release. “As necessary, we will make recommendations to delist or upgrade waters, keeping in mind the intent of the designation, identifying waters where anglers can catch large, trophy-quality trout.”
The quality of the downgraded section the Blue River declined due to the cumulative effects of a variety of impacts, including unnatural streamflows, sparse aquatic invertebrate populations, low nutrition content and degraded habitat.
Colorado presently has three Gold Medal-assigned lakes: North Delaney Butte, Spinney Mountain Reservoir and Steamboat Lake, totaling 3,206 surface acres. There are also 329 stream miles granted the status out of 9,000 total miles within the state’s borders.
For detailed maps of the areas and other fishing destinations, including the Gold Medal waters across Colorado, check out the Colorado Fishing Atlas:
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Breckenridge passes lift ticket tax requiring Vail Resorts to pay $3.5M annually

#Breckenridge Colorado.

Courtesy of the Breckenridge Ski Resort

Summit Daily News Link

Breckenridge Town Council passed the second reading of an ordinance Tuesday evening to create a lift-ticket tax and establish a parking and transportation fund. As established by a ballot measure passed in November, the excise tax would levy 4.5 percent of the price of Breckenridge Ski Resort single- and multi-day lift tickets, with Vail Resorts remitting a minimum of $3.5 million to the town for each winter season.
The ordinance would go into effect July 1, 2016, and Breckenridge would collect the tax from Nov. 1 to April 30 yearly. It would not apply to season passes or multi-resort tickets.
“This is important. We want it to work for our sake, and we want it to work for the resort’s sake as well,” Breckenridge Mayor John Warner said.
During a work session earlier that evening, councilmembers raised questions related to a piece of the ordinance detailing that town staff may enter into agreements with the ski area operator related to the collection of the tax. Town of Breckenridge financial services manager Brian Waldes explained the administrative agreement would not modify the ballot language or the amount of tax collected, but would allow town staff and the ski resort to discuss how the tax would be administrated and remitted to the town.
“The lift tax is not a normal sales tax. It’s only on one particular product, a Breckenridge-only lift ticket, and only during a certain time of the year,” Waldes explained. “You have to sit down and think ahead and anticipate all of the different products and different scenarios that could arise. That is why we have an agreement with Vail, so we both understand how it’s going to be administered before we start the first annual use period.”
He added that the town had entered into administrative agreements with other entities in the past, so this treatment will not be unique to Breckenridge Ski Resort.
“We’re here to help people to remit the tax. That’s what that effort was about,” he said.
Councilman Ben Brewer also raised some concerns about the ordinance in terms of future sales tax collections. He noted in the future, the $3.5 million minimum might not be sufficient to cover growing transportation needs if consumers favored a product aside from daily or multi-day lift tickets.
“You have the ability to create or remove products regardless of whether they are taxable or not,” he said. “In other words, the ski area has the ability to manipulate ski area ticket sales, to the point where once the minimum generate revenue is reached, they can stop selling that product, and that’s all the town gets. The problem with that is that all of those more people who come to Breckenridge are essentially creating stress on our infrastructure, and we don’t have revenue coming in that reflects it.”
Patricia Campbell, president of Vail Resorts’ Mountain Division, stood to address Brewer’s concerns.
“When you think about the magnitude of our business, the size and the success, we would be foolish to spend a lot of time designing products to manipulate tax collection,” she said. “No matter what shifts in our business — whether it’s a different product customers migrate to that wouldn’t be taxable, maybe there’s an issue with the economy, maybe we have a bad snow year — the town has a guarantee.”
Councilwoman Wendy Wolfe added that as a publicly traded business, Vail Resorts has a right to design their product according to marketing needs.
“I don’t want to meddle in that. I believe we need to create an ordinance, give the (town) finance department their usual amount of scrutiny and rely on them to report what they can to council and run any issues up the flagpole as they always do,” she added.
While the town is guaranteed $3.5 million regardless of lift-ticket sales, there was some conjecture as to how much additional revenue it would bring into the town.
When asked her estimate, Campbell quipped, “Can you tell me how much it’s going to snow next year? I don’t know.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Pets available for adoption at the Summit County Animal Shelter

#Summit County Colorado.

Michael Yearout Photography / Special to the Daily

Summit Daily News Link

Pets available for adoption at the Summit County Animal Shelter in Frisco, Colorado.  The shelter can be can be reached at 970-668-3230.  Click here to go to their website
POOKIE, 11 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, tortie, spayed female
SEVEN, 8 years, Domestic Mediumhair mix, white and black, spayed female
LUKA, 6 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, gray and white, spayed female
MITTENS, 1 year 8 months, Domestic Shorthair mix, black and white, spayed female
PEDRO, 5 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, orange and white, neutered male
PURRFECT, 2 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, brown tabby, spayed female
SOX, 6 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, black and white, neutered male
STORMY, 5 years, Domestic Longhair mix, black and white, spayed female
PACINO, 10 months, Domestic Shorthair mix, orange and white, neutered male
GERTI, 10 months, Domestic Shorthair mix, black, spayed female
SHADOW, 12 years, Domestic Longhair mix, black and white, neutered male
FRITZ, 14 years, Domestic Longhair mix, black, neutered male
RICKY MARTIN, 10 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, brown tabby, neutered male
SINATRA, 3 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, gray tab, neutered male
BAILEY, 10 years, Domestic Shorthair, brown tabby and white, neutered male
NIKITA, 6 years, Domestic Shorthair mix, black, spayed female
TONYA, 3 years, American Bulldog mix, tab calico, spayed female
WAYNELLE, 5 years, Black and Tan Coonound mix, black and tan, spayed female
NIEVE, 1 year, Alaskan Husky mix, black and white, spayed female
SAMMY, 8 months, Labrador Retriever mix, tan and brindle, neutered male
SARAH, 8 months, Labrador Retriever mix, tan and brindle, spayed female
SAM, 4 years, Pit Bull Terrier mix, black and white, neutered male
LUCY, 1 year 3 months, Pit Bull Terrier mix, brindle, spayed female
MAX, 5 years, Yorkshire Terrier mix, gray, neutered male
KEENO, 1 year 6 months, Pit Bull Terrier mix, tan and white, neutered male
MEEKA, 1 year 6 months, German Shepherd Dog mix, tan and black, spayed female
MIA, 2 months, German Shepherd Dog mix, brown and black, unaltered female
MILO, 2 months, German Shepherd Dog mix, tan and black, unaltered male
MAX, 2 months, German Shepherd Dog mix, brown and black, unaltered male
MARK, 2 months, German Shepherd Dog mix, tan and black, unaltered male
MASON, 2 months, German Shepherd Dog mix, brown and white, unaltered male
MIKE, 2 months, German Shepherd Dog mix, tan and black, unaltered male
MOSES, 2 months, German Shepherd Dog mix, brown and black, unaltered male
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I-70 toll lane helping ease traffic, says CDOT


Summit Daily News Link

The 13-mile tolled express lane on eastbound Interstate 70 from Empire to Idaho Springs has been open for a little more than three months, and it’s helping ease traffic during peak travel periods, according to Colorado Department of Transportation officials.
“Overall, the mountain express lane is working very well,” said Megan Castle, communications manager at the transportation department. “Operationally, it’s bringing great improvements to the corridor.”
The tolled express lane is a converted shoulder that opens 73 days per year during times of high volume traffic — mostly weekends and holidays. It’s part of a larger project that includes widening the tunnels at Idaho Springs and encouraging people to travel at different times.
So far, the only day it has closed due to inclement weather was its first day, Dec. 12. Since then, it has helped visitors to the mountains get back to Denver and the Front Range faster, with more consistent speeds and overall reduced travel times.
“CDOT puts an emphasis on safety first,” Castle said. “We have to plow the roads, and we’re not going to open in a snowstorm.”
“I’ve never used it. I’m always one to plan around; I’m either going to run down late at night or early in the morning.”Aaron BerkmanEagle-Vail resident
On Jan. 2, the I-70 corridor saw record-setting traffic. It was the second highest volume ever in the corridor, and there were also a few accidents. Even with the high-traffic count and accidents, traffic remained “free-flowing,” according to her.
“We were able to use the third lane and flush out that back up,” she said. “We got traffic moving very quickly, as opposed to had it not been there, it might have been backed up for hours.”
With only 73 days to work with in a year, transportation department officials are observing historic travel patterns as well as snow forecasts to close the express lane on weekends with “moderate or light” traffic, she said, and keeping it open on busy days.
“I have a love-hate relationship with the toll lane,” said Seth Levy, of Gypsum.
He’s a private driver, and sometimes makes multiple trips to Denver in one day for work. He said he comes from locations in Miami and Washington, D.C., with similar express lanes, but the one in Colorado is missing some pieces, he said.
He wishes the express lane could be open more days out of the year, as he’s sat in bumper to bumper traffic right next to the toll lane with no one in it, he said. He also said other states have physical barriers separating express lanes, which cuts back on people “cheating” the lane, he said. He’s also concerned about the payment since snow can cover license plates, and some newly registered cars don’t have plates for three months.
“I love the idea of a tolled express lane,” he said. “When it’s open, it’s worthwhile.”
Aaron Berkman spends time at his Eagle-Vail home when he’s not in California. He said he drives to Denver with his family to spend time at the zoo, go to games and other events.
“I’ve never used it,” he said. “I’m always one to plan around; I’m either going to run down late at night or early in the morning.”
“This has been working well,” Castle said, “but to keep it in perspective, it’s only been three and a half months, so we want to see how it operates during the summer time.”
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.

Monday, March 21, 2016

More Summit County Election News

#Summit County Colorado.

Summit Daily News Link

Mail-in ballots have already been distributed throughout Summit County, with elections quickly approaching on April 5. The towns of Breckenridge, Silverthorne and Frisco have several candidates this year, each with four open seats, including mayoral seats for Breckenridge and Frisco. Here is a guide for everything you need to know about this year’s municipal elections:
Candidate biographies: Breckenridge town council candidates
Election details:
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News.