Frisco's Fabulous Fourth of July: Main Street will be the center of Frisco's Fourth of July festivities from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Start the day with a pancake breakfast at the old community center (110 Third Ave.). There will be two free live music performances at the historic park gazebo, one at 11 a.m. and another at 1:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. concert at the Frisco Bay Marina. The parade down Main Street will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will feature 10-piece adult marching band, Gora Gora Orkestar. There will also be an interactive drum circle before the fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Visit TownOfFrisco.com or call 800-424-1554 for more information.
Breckenridge's Fourth of July Parade: The official parade will begin at 10 a.m. with the Red, White and Blue Color Guard. The Firecracker 50 Mountain Bike Race will take place before the parade at 9:30 a.m. and it will take over 800 riders a half hour to get down Main Street in waves. Reading of the Declaration of Independence by George Washington (C.J. Mueller) will follow the parade in the Blue River Plaza. Visit GoBreck.com for more information.
Kid's Bike Parade: From 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Keystone's River Run Plaza there will be a children's bike parade. One bag of decorations will be provided to each kid to add some Independence Day flair to each bike in the parade. Parents are invited to join. The parade starts at 11 a.m. Visit WarrenStation.com or call 970-423-8992 for more information.
Family Nature Hike and Crafts: Keystone is hosting a free guided hike at 10:30 a.m. in which kids and parents can explore the area while learning about the natural environment and history of the surrounding landscapes. During the hike, kids can collect small pieces of nature to create craft projects. No advance registration is needed and the hike is intended for kids ages 4-8. For more information, visit KeystoneResort.com.
Copper Mountain Independence Day Celebration: At Copper Mountain Resort there will be a Fourth of July parade starting at 12:30 p.m. At dusk there will be a fireworks extravaganza. For more information, visit CopperColorado.com.
Kids' Water Activities: Kids can join the Red, White and Blue Fire Department in an old time water fight on Breckenridge's Main Street from 1-3 p.m. for free. Visit GoBreck.com for more information.
Pony Rides: From 1-3 p.m. in front of Blue River Plaza on Main Street there will be free pony rides for children compliments of Farview horse rescue. Visit GoBreck.com.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
BreckCreate's Street Arts Festival: A three-day celebration of street, pavement and graffiti arts that begins this Sunday at noon. Breckenridge's Creative Arts District will be filled with outdoor murals, chalk installations, performances, workshops, pop-up art features and chalk art contests all weekend long. The festival is open to the public and is free of charge. Along with art performances, there will also be dance showcases featuring hip-hop, freestyle breakdancing and DJs. Numerous well-known graffiti artists and chalk artists will be in attendance all three days. For more information, visit BreckCreate.org.
Fourth of July Garden Party: Starting at 9 a.m. is the annual Breckenridge Heritage Alliance Garden Party at the Barney Ford House Museum. Enjoy coffee, mimosas and a breakfast spread. For pricing or more information, call 970-453-9767.
Independence Day Concerts: Ring in the holiday with free outdoor concerts at the Dillon Marina starting at 7 p.m. The evening will feature performances by The John Phillip Sousa Band of Colorado and Paradise Theater Styx Tribute Band. After the second show, don't miss the fireworks show over the lake.
Funkiphino Fourth of July Celebration: Funkiphino has the energy and talent to bring any party to life. This 13 piece funk band has an explosive, high-energy sound with horn lines, old-school organ sounds and plenty of bass lines. This concert is free. After this performance, NRO will follow with its patriotic salute.
Patriotic Salute Concert: Before the fireworks showcase, catch an energetic selection of patriotic favorites on the Riverwalk Center lawn at 8 p.m. Wave your flags, don your best red, white and blue and sing along to the best Fourth of July tunes. $20. Visit BreckCreate.org or call 970-547-3100 for more information.
Rainbow Park Fourth of July Celebration: In conjunction with the Lake Dillon Theatre Company and the town of Silverthorne, the NRO is presenting their annual Independence Day celebration at Silverthorne's Rainbow Park. The concert starts at 10 a.m. and features Lake Dillon Theatre Company's summer musical company. There will be a special tribute to the armed forces including a patriotic sing-a-long.
34th annual July Art Festival: The annual Breckenridge July Art Festival from July 1-3 is ranked as one of the top art shows in the nation. Located at Main Street Station at the corner of Main Street and South Park Avenue. Over 100 artists will be in attendance, showcasing ceramics, mixed media, fiber, jewelry, painting, wood, glass and sculpture. For more information, visit MountainArtFestivals.com. Admission is free.
Citrus Take Over: Broken Compass Brewing is hosting a Citrus Takeover for the Fourth of July. Starting at 11 a.m. five limited release beers will be tapped. The specialty beers being released are: The grapefruit IPA, mandarin double IPA, margarita helles, lemongrass ginger pale ale and the nitro dreamsicle.
INDEPENDENCE DAY RACES:
Independence Day 10K: This event is one of the most iconic Fourth of July traditions in Summit County. Before the parades and parties, the town of Breckenridge will host its annual Independence Day 10K starting at 7 a.m. The race has a mix of singletrack trails and dirt roads spread across town. Runners start will a Carter Park climb before merging onto Moonstone Trail and heading into the Sally Barber area. The race has 882 vertical feet of elevation gain — nothing to laugh at, but not overly strenuous. Registration is $35 for adults (18 years and older) and $25 for youth (younger than 17 years old). If spots are still available on race day, last-minute registration is $40 for adults or $30 for youth. Packet pick-up and day-of registration opens at 6 a.m. at Carter Park in Breckenridge — same spot as the start line.
Firecracker 50: This race isn't for the faint of heart. The Firecracker 50 is a full-day race comprised of some of Breckenridge's best trails. The race starts during the annual Fourth of July parade on Main Street and ends in Carter Park with a post-race party. The 50-mile race is split into divisions for men, women, juniors and teams. Registration is $100 for the pro/open division, $90 for all other divisions and $150 for the two-person relay. Spots are still available but going quick. To sign up, see the Firecracker 50 tab at MavSports.com.
Breckenridge Town Council left Tuesday's work session reeling from sticker shock, as permanent repairs to the Goose Pasture Tarn Dam were pegged at $16 to $18 million.
Even worse, those estimates were put together last year and are already outdated. In reality, the price tag to fix erosion problems plaguing the spillway at the Tarn Dam, built by the Theobald family in 1965, is expected to come in much higher.
One reason town officials are forecasting the fix at a higher rate is the town can't start work on the dam until a new $50 million water treatment plant is finished, which is tentatively slated for 2020.
Judging by market changes over the last three to four years, it will likely cost more than $20 million to fix the dam by the time the town can begin to address the underlying spillway issues.
"I think we start building that (dam), and five years from now, it's not going to be $16 million," said Councilman Mike Dudick, who has a background as a developer. "But I think one of our primary responsibilities is the health and safety of the citizens, and we can't have a failure of that dam, so we have to do it and figure out a way to pay for it."
Mayor Eric Mamula echoed Dudick's comments, with the mayor emphasizing the need for the council to find the necessary funding to fix the dam and protect the "people who live below this thing."
The mayor admitted this "is not the kind of news you like to hear," but he said it's something council must tackle and they must "do this right."
"Yeah, it's terrible," Mamula said of the situation and potential cost. "Because you figure by the time we seriously get to it in four years … guaranteed it will be $30 million to fix this dam."
The good news is neither town officials nor council members seem to think a dam failure is imminent in the coming years. Still, as council looked to assess the risk of a devastating event, its members asked questions like, "What's our true risk for catastrophic failure?" and "Where is that perfect storm?"
In response, town manager Rick Holman told them "it's safe to say the state would force us to close it now" if the dam were in any real danger of failing.
But as a representative of the design firm working on the dam also told council, "It's a real risk," and included in his presentation were images of the Oroville Dam in California, which collapsed in February 2017 after a spillway there failed.
"I think it's important citizens understand we're going to do everything we can to make sure the dam doesn't fail," Mamula said after the meeting. "That's No. 1. This is about the safety of the community, and the council is obviously committed 100 percent to make sure this thing is fixed correctly, not just some Band-Aid that's going to have to be fixed again down the road."
According to a memo addressed to council from Public Works director James Phelps, the town noticed a problem in spring 2015, when devices measuring groundwater pressure at the dam recorded abnormally high readings, specifically in an area beneath the lower spillway slab.
Upon seeing the readings, town staff immediately initiated meetings with a dam engineering firm and state officials.
The discussions raised more alarms, according to the memo, and several concerns were identified, the biggest of which was that the groundwater pressure could be stronger than the downward force on the eroding spillway, leaving the spillway "close to failure" and the dam in danger of breach.
The memo states that town staff continued to monitor the dam and spillway throughout the 2015 runoff season, and their assessment was an immediate repair was necessary.
Last spring, the town hired a contractor to perform a temporary fix on the dam and address concerns of increased water pressure pushing on the spillway slab. To mitigate risks, they also reduced water levels in the reservoir and lowered the emergency spillway crest level to keep water off the spillway, while also placing sandbags across the service spillway crest, according to Tuesday's presentation.
At the same time the temporary repair work was being completed, the town hired another engineering firm, Kumar and Associates Inc., to assess the dam issues and make design recommendations for a permanent repair.
At Tuesday's town council work session, a representative of Kumar and Associates walked council through the PowerPoint presentation with two options for repairing the dam. One was framed as a temporary, piecemeal spillway fix at $9-10 million, while the other, described as a more permanent dam solution, was tagged at $16-18 million.
During the work session, no council member expressed support for anything but the permanent fix.
"We don't really have any options other than doing what we're doing," Dudick said, as the council members begrudgingly resigned themselves to the more expensive of the two options. Dudick added that until the town can start work on the dam, Breckenridge "will have to have a four-year plan to mitigate risks."
Councilman Mark Burke did not attend Tuesday's work session or the regular meeting that followed it.
Breckenridge is the second-best town with a population under 100,000 to visit in the country, according to a new ranking from U.S. News and World Report.
To help people decide which towns are worthy of a vacation, U.S. News narrowed its list down to the top 15 small towns with populations under 100,000. For the rankings, they looked at restaurants and attractions and town character, and decided that Breckenridge, settled in 1859, "retains the same Victorian-era charm it did during the height of the gold rush. Its down-to-earth and friendly atmosphere has also endured its transformation from a silver- and gold-mining town to one of the country's most beloved skiing destinations."
The large number of local distilleries and breweries were highlighted in the report, and whether it's snowboarding and skiing in the winter or hiking and cycling in the summer, "no matter the season, the majesty of a Breckenridge sunset and star-studded night sky is a wonder to behold — and worth coming back to year after year."
Ranked No. 1 was Sonoma in Northern Califorinia. Breckenridge was followed by Asheville, North Carolina; Park City, Utah; Lake Tahoe along the California-Nevada border; Monterey, California; Steamboat Springs; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Juneau, Alaska; Aspen; Miami Beach, Florida; Sedona, Arizona; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Vail; and St. Augustine, Florida.
The 65-mile tributary, flowing from the Tenmile Range on the southern edges of Summit to the town of Kremmling in neighboring Grand County where it terminates in the Colorado River, is popular with anglers. From Interstate 70, fly-fishermen can often be seen on its banks trying to outwit trout near Silverthorne's shopping district.
It's lower down the gushing waterway's span, however, on a 19-mile stretch north of Silverthorne toward Green Mountain Reservoir, that state officials said the gold medal tag had to be pulled this past March. While perhaps no shock to those who best know the area's waters — many already avoid that segment for lack of comparative success — the local emphasis has been on exploring if regaining that billing as one of the state's top fishing destinations is even possible.
"When we removed that gold medal designation, it got the attention of a lot of people, which was part of my intention," said Jon Ewert, aquatic biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "Part of it is truth in advertising, and the other effect is that it would draw some attention to that stretch of the river."
To possess a gold medal, a waterbody needs to offer 60 pounds of trout per acre and a dozen fish at least 14 inches or longer in that same space. But through some mix of unnatural streamflows, insufficient bug populations for fish to eat and temperature variability, those 19 miles have produced no better than half those quantity requirements since as far back as 2001.
A regional stakeholder group has been meeting quarterly to trade data and hypothesize what may have ultimately turned the tide on the classification. So far it's still uncertain.
"It's a great mystery," said County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier, who is a member of the quarterly Blue River meetings. "There are a lot of possibilities and one is that it's a water quality issue, but no one has identified that, and there's been some effort to see if there's something in the water that we're not aware of that's bad."
What is clear is that the number of rainbow and brown trout that used to populate the segment are no longer there, and those that remain are underweight.
"Fish, they just don't thrive there," added Stiegelmeier. "And they get pretty beat up, because they're caught and released, caught and released."
Water quantity, meaning outflows from Denver Water-managed Dillon Reservoir, are almost certainly a factor in all of this, but how to overhaul that is even trickier. Based on annual snowpack and peak periods of melt, the agency pushes water out into the Blue River to avoid overflow, but is also unable to lend more than present totals so it can still meet the demands of Front Range water needs.
In a related quality issue, what is funneled out is often colder than ideal temperatures for fish because it originates from lower in the reservoir, rather than at various depths as with more modern dam designs. Trout thrive at between 54 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit, and what comes out of Dillon Reservoir is typically closer to about 46.
Discussions persist about possibly retrofitting Dillon Dam, which opened at the end of 1963, with an updated, staged-release structure like that of Grand County's Wolford Reservoir. That project, completed in 1995, includes a tiered system that can combine water from three different depths to better manage temperature downstream.
The primary obstacle, though, is that such a renovation could cost up to $10 million, and no one knows yet from what source the funding might arise.
That's if it would even help address the challenges in the Blue River at all.
"It's definitely an idea that has merit, but the problem is it's millions of dollars in an infrastructure project that nobody's stepping up and volunteering to pay for," Ewert explained. "And number two, it's essentially an experiment because we don't know for sure if that would be the fix. We're certain that it wouldn't hurt it, but … it's a pretty expensive experiment."
Eventually restoring the gold medal fishing label for the entirety of the Blue River is the group's goal. Doing so by artificially stocking the deficient stretch is another alternative, but officials note that does nothing more than simply reinstating a name — and at unsustainable costs — rather than straightening out what's really going on.
"We could do it by just dumping a bunch of fish in there, but that's really not economically responsible," said Ewert. "What we want it to do is be a more productive fishery and improve the potential of it, and in the course of accomplishing that it should meet gold medal standards. We have to pool all of our information and figure out what information we've got, and is it pointing us in any certain directions before we can figure out what we can do to help this stretch of river … and it's going to take time."
The amount of wildlife hit and killed by motorists in Colorado has grown by nearly 50 percent in the last four years and two state agencies are now streamlining efforts to reduce these deadly collisions.
Nearly 7,000 wild animals were cut down by passing trucks and cars in 2016, according to roadkill survey data from the Colorado Department of Transportation, resulting in two human fatalities and almost 400 injuries. Year over year since 2013, the CDOT region that includes Summit County has had the highest wildlife mortality rate, with almost 2,100 deaths — roughly 81 percent of which were deer or elk.
Specifically, the stretches north of Silverthorne toward Green Mountain Reservoir and on the Summit side of Vail Pass on Interstate 70 are hot spots for the county. Knowing that the Western Slope and entire western side of the state experience the majority of these animal-vehicle crashes — more than 60 percent of the state total last year — helped to initiate a priority study for planning mitigation techniques.
"At this point, I think a lot of the problems are on the West Slope," said Mike Vanderhoof, a planning and environmental manager for CDOT. "We agree," the rest of the state has mounting issues, too, "we just have a little bit of a head start on the West Slope side."
Today, thousands of wildlife, from elk and deer to moose, bobcats, coyote and foxes, have been monitored using the crossings each year, helping to offset potential danger to the animal and commuters. The 10.4-mile roadway has now seen an 87 percent decrease in carcasses, down from a five-year annual average of 64 to just eight following the project's completion.
But both CDOT and Colorado Parks and Wildlife acknowledge that financing such projects remains the primary obstacle. State budgets are decreasing, and yet the expectations of each agency only continue to increase.
"The funding is a challenge," Michael Lewis, CDOT's deputy director, explained at a meeting Wednesday. "It has always been a challenge. Nobody is going to come in and throw bags of money on the table and say, 'We've got you covered, go and solve this.'"
So instead, along with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other stakeholders like local governments, CDOT and CPW say it will take prioritizing problem sites and creative approaches to finding solutions. Just establishing lines of communication on this growing issue between the two organizations, which sometimes have different goals and objectives, itself took several years. That first formal meeting of the minds took place Tuesday and Wednesday in Silverthorne to begin to form a mission and strategic plan for their collaborative work.
With the largest elk herd in the country at 278,000, and one of the largest deer populations in the western United States, at 419,000 post-hunt, Colorado brings in $919 million each year from big game hunting and $2.3 billion from wildlife viewing. Meanwhile, based on those animal collisions that go reported, the economic cost is more than $68 million annually, and rising.
The state's population is also projected to grow from five to eight million in the next two decades and to 10.5 million by 2050, which almost certainly will trigger more and more wildlife-vehicle conflicts. With each dead animal, there's greater chance of hampering this key component of Colorado's recreational economy, on top of the desire to improve wildlife protections and highway safety.
"We are absolutely arm in arm with CDOT right now," said Bob Broscheid, director of CPW. "We're both in the same position with priorities with where the money is going to go, but we're trying to find solutions. If we're going to double by 2050, where are these people going to go and how are they going to get there?"
"Keystone offers no shortage of summer fun to be had, and what's more Colorado than guests being able to slide down snow despite the calendar being set on summer," said Cody Stake, manager at Adventure Point, the summer and winter activities hub at the top of the River Run Gondola. As Stake says, Keystone is packed with summer diversions — scenic lift rides, mountaintop yoga, the Keystone Bike Park — but summer tubing is one of the strangest, and by far one of the most enticing. Keystone is home to the only snow tubing operation in Colorado after the ski season ends, with lanes open for tubers of all ages from now until at least mid-July. Some seasons, when Mother Nature cooperates with cool temperatures, the tubing lanes are open as late as August.
"(Snow tubing) continues to be another fun way for guests of all ages to experience the mountains," Stake said. "It's quite the rush to be sitting atop snow in shorts and a t-shirt, with nothing but mountaintop views surrounding you, while your friends back home have the air conditioning cranked up to full blast."
SUMMER ON SNOW
Snow tubing in summer is a one-of-a-kind experience, to be sure, but how exactly does it work? As seen from U.S. Highway 6, Keystone's slopes are usually the first in Summit County to appear completely dried out, and there certainly isn't anywhere anxious skiers and snowboarders can hike to for mid-summer turns, like they often do on July 4 at Fourth of July bowl (aka Peak 10) looming over Breckenridge.
Simply stated, Keystone isn't as snow-free as it seems. The upper reaches at nearly 12,000 feet hold snow long after summer begins, Stake said, and crews begin farming snow for the tubing hill as soon as the lifts stop spinning in April.
"Once Keystone closes for the winter, we begin condensing our eight winter tubing lanes into two summer lanes, piling the snow as high as we can to create an experience that will last into the summer," Stake said. "Our two summer snow tubing lanes are 500 feet long. That's a lot of tubing."
The tubing hill didn't open until June 9 this season — nearly a full two months after closing day — but that only meant the rest of Keystone truly felt like summer by the time it was ready for tubers. Shorts, t-shirts and tank tops are more than acceptable for summer tubing, Stake said, but he recommends anyone who signs up for an afternoon of tubing bring layers, just in case. The only things required are close-toed shoes and a sense of adventure.
But what does a taste of winter in the heat of summer cost? As winter lift ticket prices inch closer and closer to small fortunes — a single-day adult ticket at Keystone this past season was more than $100 — summer tubing has remained relatively affordable. The price is $33 per person, which includes a lift pass to the top of the mountain and one hour of tubing. Groups of up to four people in daisy-chained tubes can cruise the lanes and Stake makes special arrangements for large groups, such as birthday parties, family reunions and church groups.
"Come and enjoy some of the last remnants of snow at Keystone," Stake said, "Before it's too late!"
Governor John Hickenlooper doesn't have a lot of spare time for bike rides, but on Thursday he got the chance to cruise down several miles of the Summit County recreation path from Copper Mountain to Frisco.
"This is really the first time I've ridden more than a mile this year," he said, adding that it's not a very long trip from the Governor's Mansion to the state capital.
The ride came after a presentation from the county open space and trails department, which was showing off a planned extension of the path that would link Summit and Lake counties over Fremont Pass, allowing cyclists to skip the treacherous stretch of Highway 91 dubbed "The Narrows."
That project is one of 16 chosen by the governor's office last year for its Colorado the Beautiful initiative, which identified the state's most pressing trail gaps in the hopes that the added spotlight might help local governments gin up funding to get them built.
“I appreciate that public-private mix and I love the notion that we’re getting counties working with each other.”John HickenlooperColorado governor
"The state's role here isn't top-down," said Ken Gart, the governor's bike czar and the man who spearheaded the program. "It's to facilitate and help find opportunities to get local groups involved."
Last year, the county unsuccessfully courted a $2 million grant for the project from state lottery funds. Nonetheless, said open space and trails director Brian Lorch, the designation from the governor's office was key to a $4 million federal grant the county secured for the project in February.
"I just want to thank everyone who was involved in getting us on that list," he said. "It was huge for getting access to the grant — being able to say the governor is behind this."
Although the county has secured partial funding for the trail, it still has another hurdle to clear; the route runs through lynx habitat, and there are also concerns about bringing people to one of the last patches of untouched land in the county.
If the project gets the final green light, however, it would fill a key link in the still-fabled Alma-to-Aspen loop, an enormous trail network that would include roughly half of Colorado's 14ers.
"We're trying to get from here to Leadville, to Aspen, to Glenwood, to Vail and back," assistant county manager Thad Noll said. "That kind of a loop will become a mecca for summer tourism."
Officials hope to begin work on the first 3-mile stretch in 2020. The full path would follow a long-abandoned railroad grade, cross Highway 91 via a new overpass and end just south of Leadville after a brief stretch through private land owned by the Climax Molybdenum Mine.
"I appreciate that public-private mix and I love the notion that we're getting counties working with each other," Hicknelooper said. "I think the real willingness and commitment to make these bike trails all over the state a reality is going to be a big deal."
Hickenlooper said that polling done by his office shows that good bike infrastructure is a major draw for the young people coming to Colorado in droves, who in turn contribute to Colorado's strong economy.
"We're at, what, 2.3 percent unemployment?" he said. "That's a good place for a state to be, and part of it is we've become this destination, and bikes are a huge part of it."
People have been driving by the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center for months, watching as the new $9 million facility took shape and wondering what's inside. However, with "Sister Act" set to debut there Friday night and a daylong grand-opening celebration planned for Saturday, that wait is almost over.
Ahead of this weekend's festivities, town officials and representatives of the Lake Dillon Theatre Company gave members of the media a sneak peek of the new performing arts center, built in a public-private partnership between the town and the local theater group.
For its part, the Lake Dillon Theatre Company put up $2.7 million toward the total while town residents footed the remaining $6.3 million.
LDTC executive director Joshua Blanchard said the money came from a $3.8 million fundraising campaign, of which the theater company has already raised $3.2 million.
For their investment, the company gets regular use of the new center, including office space, while taxpayers get a brand new public facility that's four years in the making and widely seen as a catalyst for further downtown development.
That's because even as they prepare to take their scissors to a ribbon on Saturday, Silverthorne officials like town manager Ryan Hyland have their attention fixed on a much bigger mission, bringing a "main street" feel to the Blue River Parkway, north of Intestate 70, through Silverthorne.
"We really wanted to design an iconic landmark for our downtown, which we think we've accomplished," Hyland said. "We also needed to create a world-class facility for our main tenant, if you will, our main partner — the Lake Dillon Theatre Company — and I think we accomplished that as well."
Most notably, the new performing arts center features three unique performance spaces, not counting a small, weatherproof stage built of wood and concrete just outside the front entrance.
Just inside the main lobby is the biggest of the three indoor performance spaces — The Flex, as they've named it — and it can be adjusted to fit any one of five different configurations, seating up to 150 depending on the stage setup.
The Flex comes with false floors ready for all sorts of different theatrics, a vaulted two-story ceiling, multiple projectors, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, a balcony along the back wall and a tech booth neatly removed from view.
Also included is a heating and cooling system, which did not exist at the Lake Dillon Theatre Company's old facility. Additionally, the entire building was designed to muffle noise from the highway and from other performance areas by using thick walls and things like hallways as natural sound barriers.
The second-largest performance area — The Studio — is comparable in size to the theater company's old stage, and it can seat up to 68 theatergoers at any given time.
The smallest of the trio, The Lab, is undeniably the most intimate, and it might be the most intriguing too. That's because the comparatively small room, which closely resembles a dance studio, has one wall covered in mirrors and another with a large garage-style door that pushes up on the opposite side of the building from the highway to reveal a view of the Blue River, fully integrating the stage with the outdoors for any would-be indoor-outdoor performances.
The center also contains a workshop area with table saws, other construction tools and a loading dock that, when necessary, will allow theater workers to take stage construction and set design outside.
The green room, a behind-the-scenes area for actors and actresses to change into wardrobe, among other things, features a fair amount of space with multiple dressing and restrooms.
An orchestra pit is located in a separate room apart from the performance areas, but it remains wired into the main stages, allowing musicians to follow the production.
Altogether, the Lake Dillon Theatre Company sponsors about 150 days of programming each year, with up to four different programs on a single day, Blanchard said. They have a regular staff of 10 full-time employees, and Blanchard said that as many as 70 people can be working out of the building at any given time.
More important than having a new performing arts center, however, might be what it can do to transform downtown Silverthorne, both as a gathering place and as a symbol of downtown.
"We see this as a community-gathering space, and that's really what this was about, is place-making for Silverthorne," Hyland said. "… We want that traditional downtown feel."
Even "before a shovel was in the ground," he explained, the new performing arts center was sparking newfound confidence in nearby developments, giving people the faith they needed to move forward with, for example, things like the Fourth Street Crossing, a roughly $70 million mixed-use development across the street, or the construction of the Angry James Brewery on Adams Avenue, which broke ground in fall 2015 and is expected to open this year less than two blocks away from the performing arts center.
The sky is clear, the weather is wonderful and the singletrack is finally dry. Now's time for the bike lovers to come out and play.
Breckenridge's annual celebration of all things on pedals and two (or fewer) wheels, Breck Bike Week, rolls through town June 21-25 with all-new activities, including women-only clinics, guys and gals combo clinics, family poker ride, a new adult big-wheel race, and brewery and distillery rides across town.
The party kicks off today (June 21) with Bike to Work Day and continues all week in downtown Breck with bike-in movie night, the Funkadelic Pond Crossing and more, according to a release from the Breckenridge Tourism Office. Also open this week is the Breck Connect gondola, providing free access to Peak 8 base area and beginner biking lessons through Breckenridge Resort.
Here's a quick roundup of not-to-miss Breck Bike Week events. For the complete roster, including times and locations, see BreckBikeWeek.com.
Bike-in movie | Wednesday, June 21: Come to town at dusk for a free screening of "Breaking Away," part of BreckCreate's LateNite @ the District. Bring blankets and lawn chairs for the outdoor event.
Breckenridge Distillery bike tour | Thursday, June 22: Stop by Ridden in Breckenridge for a tour of town on a carbon fiber fat bike. Casually roll through town to the Blue River Rec Path and finish at the Breckenridge Distillery for sprit sipping and patio relaxing.
Skils clinics | Thursday to Sunday, June 22-25: Join Yeti Beti for beginner and intermediate women's skills clinics. New this year are beginner and intermediate guys and gals' combo clinics with Colorado Adventure Guides. These free mountain bike events fill up fast, so sign up now by emailing Cat (email@example.com) to reserve a spot for Yeti Beti and Abe (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up for combo clinics.
Firecracker 50 pre-ride | Friday, June 23: Are you planning on conquering Breckenridge's classic Firecracker 50 mountain bike race this Independence Day? Breck Bike Guides can help. No matter if you are training or just want to tour one of the summers best race loops, meet at Breck Bike Guides in downtown Breck for a course preview.
Funkadelic Pond Crossing | Saturday, June 24: Formerly held during the USA Pro Challenge, this favorite local "race" challenges townies, unicycles and anyone with a great costume to a ride across the dredge pond on a narrow, unstable rail bridge in downtown Breckenridge.
Adult Big-Wheel Race | Saturday, June 24: Grab your favorite goofy costume, hop on a provided big wheel (yes, the same plastic bikes from when you were a kid) and race around the dredge pond in downtown Breck. It's a must-see intermission during the Funkadelic Pond Crossing, with for prizes first, second, third and best costume.
Bikes + Beers + Bands | Sunday, June 25: Breck Bike Guides and Rocky Mountain Underground team up for this brand-new, summer-long series, which kicks off during Breck Bike Week. For $15 per person, get a full-day skills clinic at the Breckenridge Pump Track and two post-ride beers at RMU's new backyard beer garden. All proceeds benefit Summit County Search and Rescue.
Take our word for it: You don't have to dodge cars and semis on U.S. Highway 6 to get from Keystone to Lake Dillon and back again. There's a recpath for that.
Found on the banks of the stunning Snake River, the Snake River Rec Path (aka Keystone recpath) from Keystone to Summit Cove is one of several routes in the sprawling Summit County Rec Path System. The entire system stretches nearly 50 miles across the county, connecting Keystone, Breck, Frisco, Copper, Dillon and Silverthorne on wide paved trails with stunning scenery, from the crest of Swan Mountain overlooking Lake Dillon to the summit of Vail Pass west of Copper Mountain.
The Snake River Rec Path runs 4 miles one way, linking the east end of Keystone Resort to a long, fingerlike bay on the east end of the lake. From there, it connects with a tough (but short) climb southwest to Swan Mountain, or a meandering cruise on the lakeshore northwest to Dillon.
The short-and-sweet path is one of the mellowest sections in the entire system, with hardly any vertical gain. This makes for a picturesque bypass of the noisy and bustling highway, which stays mostly hidden by trees and homes to the north.
Along with the namesake river, the Snake River Rec Path passes by quiet neighborhoods, quaint meadows and The River Course at Keystone golf club. On the east end, you'll find dozens of restaurants and eateries at River Run Village, The Lodge at Keystone and elsewhere in the resort hub. On the west end are several secluded benches and tables to rest your legs or stop for a picnic lunch with the family.
The Snake River Rec Path begins at River Run Village in Keystone, with free parking at the Montezuma Lot throughout the year and the Hunki Dori Lot from June to September.
From Interstate 70, take Exit 205 for Dillon/Silverthorne and drive east on U.S. Highway 6 past Dillon for about 6 miles. Look for signs leading to Montezuma Lot. For Hunki Dori Lot, pass by the Montezuma Lot to the stop sign on Montezuma Road. Turn right and take your next right onto Hunki Dori Court. The lot is next to the base of the River Run Gondola.