Bistro lighting, a type of decorative lighting that includes stringed lights, soon could be allowed in more areas around Breckenridge.
The type of lighting currently is allowed only in outdoor dining and bar areas, but the town planning commission has proposed bistro lighting for the South Gondola parking structure, which is expected to be built in 2020-21.
The town development code reads: “Bistro lighting is permitted at an outdoor dining/bar area designated by the site plan to provide light and ambiance. Bistro lighting includes a temporary arrangement of lighting bulbs or tubing from May 1 through October 31 of the same year. At all other times bistro lighting is unlawful.”
A statement released by the town explained that the bistro fixtures are shielded and have a “warm yellow LED bulb.” The lights will be strung at about 9 feet, 4 inches high.
Part of the reason for the strict lighting restrictions in town is the Breckenridge Exterior Lighting Policy, which serves to protect views of the night sky. But during a discussion Tuesday, Dec. 10, about making an exception to the code for the parking structure, Breckenridge Town Council members learned toward changing the code altogether.
“I don’t think we have enough light,” council member Wendy Wolfe said. “I know the whole dark sky policy is important to us, but also getting people out of their cars and walking the town is important to us. I think we should consider changing our town code to allow some of this bistro lighting to exist.”
Wolfe added that increased lighting could make it easier to see ice on the sidewalks.
“I completely agree with Wendy,” council member Erin Gigliello said. “… It looks so nice with the Christmas lights, but I think we could have more of that.”
Gigliello commented that more lighting would make the town more inviting. Mayor Eric Mamula agreed that council should explore potential code changes.
Every year, Drew Goldsmith, Peter Drummond and Shawn Hazer build one of the most crowd-pleasing floats of the Ullr Fest parade: the Ullr After Schooler. Drummond and Goldsmith said they started building a ski jump float for the parade 20 years ago, packing snow into the back of a pickup truck to make a jump from the truck bed to a trailer.
Back then, the men performed the jump themselves. Now their children, who ski for Team Breckenridge Sports Club and Team Summit Colorado, do the ski jump in the parade.
“It’s kind of like a handing of the torch,” Goldsmith said about his children now performing the ski jump.
The jump is constructed on the bed of a 1951 Chevy truck. The men put plywood forms around where they want the jump to go and then fill the space in with snow. The snow is then packed down and formed into a wave shape. The kids land on the trailer that is pulled behind the truck, and one of the men stand in the “eagle’s nest” of the truck, or the space above the jump.
The kids who will be jumping from the truck bed to the trailer are Cope Goldsmith, Jackson Hazer, Maddie Hazer, Thomas Drummond and Elizabeth Drummond.
Cope Goldsmith is 11 years old and skis for Team Breckenridge Sports Club. Cope said this will be his fourth year skiing in the parade and that he has been skiing since he was young. He said that while he and his friends are working on 360-degree jumps, they aren’t quite there yet and are focusing on grabs for now.
“The first year was (scary), and then once you do it, it’s just super fun,” Cope said. “My favorite part is going by the judges and everyone rushing to get back to the top to do their best trick in front of the judges.”
Although Cope is performing tricks in the parade, he said he prefers big-mountain skiing.
“I do big-mountain skiing, which is like Peak 6 and those runs that have cliffs,” Cope said. “I’m just looking forward to having fun.”
Goldsmith and Drummond said they want only skilled skiers to perform the jump.
“We’re here to put on a show, and our kids have what it takes,” Drummond said.
Drummond said Robin Theobald, who sponsors the float, once told him, “There are two kinds of people: people who like to be in parades and people who like to watch parades. You need both people to have a good parade.”
Goldsmith and Drummond reminisced about the annual tradition they’ve shared over the past 20 years, including some now comical mishaps.
“We’ve been through a lot together,” Drummond said. “The back of the truck broke off once a mile in.”
Goldsmith attributed this to his subpar welding job on the bumper of the car. Despite the problem, Goldsmith attested that no child has been hurt ski jumping on the float.
The Ullr Fest parade starts at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, on Main Street in Breckenridge. As of Wednesday afternoon, 26 floats were registered to be in the parade.
On Monday, Dec. 9, Vail Resorts announced $210 million to $215 million in capital investment projects for the 2020-21 season. For Summit County, this means a new chairlift on Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 7 and a replacement of Keystone Resort’s Peru Express Lift. Beaver Creek Ski Resort also is getting an additional 250 skiable acres.
“With the Forest Service approval and the capital investment, we plan to start construction after closing,” Breckenridge spokeswoman Sara Lococo said about the resort’s plan to begin work when the ski resort closes for the season after Memorial Day.
The new lift is meant to increase skier traffic flow on the peak. The lift will transport skiers from the middle of Monte Cristo intermediate run, just below the base of the Zendo Chairlift, back up to the top of Peak 7 between the existing Independence SuperChair and the Pioneer Crossing building.
“All the runs are as is on Peak 7, but it will be easier access to north side runs on Peak 7,” Lococo said.
Over at Keystone, crews will replace the current four-person Peru Express with a six-person chairlift to increase the rate of transportation from the base area. Lococo said construction of the lift will take place after the resort closes, pending government approval, which has not yet been granted by the Forest Service.
The proposed lift will go through the National Environmental Policy Act process, which includes public comment.
“The plan would be, if everything is approved, to start after the close of the season, as well,” Lococo said.
Vail Resorts is expecting to have both lifts ready for the 2020-21 ski season.
Selling to an iBuyer means homeowners can forego the uncertainties of listing a property and never have to worry about prepping for an open house.
But are they leaving money on the table? Mike DelPrete, a real estate tech advisor and strategist known as the “iBuyer whisperer” because of his focus on the sector, says they are. But, not much.
The average “discount to market value,” meaning the difference between what an iBuyer pays and what the home could get on the openmarket, is 1.3%, DelPrete said in an interview on Friday with HousingWire.
That’s based on his analysis of more than 20,000 transactions made byOpendoorandZillow, the two biggest iBuyers, in 2018 and 2019.
Together, the two companies accounted for 86% of iBuyer transactions, meaning a property that was purchased and resold, during the period.
“A lot of people think they’re going to get ripped off by these big iBuyers, but the data shows they’re not,” DelPrete said.
On a $300,000 home sale, that’s a discount of $3,900. DelPrete said some sellers would find that a good trade-off if it gets them to atransactionwithout open houses and uncertainty.
“That’s the choice for consumers: are you willing to trade a little bit of money for certainty,” DelPrete said. “It’s going to be a difference of several thousand dollars, but it’s not going to be $20,000 or $30,000.”
While sellers don’t have to prep for an open house, they’re still going to get charged for somerepairs, DelPrete said.
“If there’s a hole in your roof, you’re still going to be paying for that, in the form of a reduction in the offer an iBuyer will make,” DelPrete said, “but you were going to have to pay for that, anyway, by getting it fixed before listing a home the traditional way.”
Another consideration is fees, DelPrete said. Homeowners who sell to an iBuyer typically will pay a fee that might be a percentage point higher than using a real estate agent, he said.
A traditional real estate agent might charge a commission equal to 5% or 6% of the home’s selling price, depending on what’s negotiated in the listing contract.
The fee iBuyers typically charge is equal to about 7% of the negotiated price, DelPrete said.
“When you take everything into consideration, the difference between an iBuyer and traditional sales is probably going to be a couple of percentage points,” DelPrete said. “Can you get that money on the open market? Maybe. Will it take you three months to sell? Maybe.”
The plan, a hulking 600-page comprehensive guide, outlines the county’s biggest potential hazards along with plans for work that could be done to mitigate those hazards. Aside from countywide threats, the plan also contains annexes for each of the individual municipalities in the county, along with special districts.
“It basically does a good job capturing the demographics and all the hazards present and our vulnerability to those hazards,” said Brian Bovaird, the county’s director of emergency management. “The next big part of it is actually ranking our hazards and identifying mitigation actions that the county or towns could take. In the world of emergency management, mitigation is simply any actions that you can take before a disaster happens that will minimize the impacts of that disaster.”
The county is required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to update the plan every five years for a number of reasons, including to stay eligible for federal emergency management grants. Bovaird said the county relies in part on federal programs such as the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the Post Disaster Mitigation Program for funding initiatives, including a recent $50,000 grant awarded to help update the plan — a heavy majority of the price tag.
But more importantly, a lot can change in a five-year period. Bovaird said the county’s three biggest hazards, determined by potential impact and exposure, include wildfires, severe winter weather and flooding. But officials are hopeful the plan update also can help to address some of the new hazards that have presented themselves over the past couple of years.
“With the update, we can look back over the past five years to see what’s changed,” Bovaird said. “One of the big changes is population. We’ll evaluate how the county has grown, and specifically how that has changed our vulnerability and exposures to all these hazards. But there’s a couple new hazards that we want to analyze, as well.”
Among increasing threats facing Summit County, Bovaird noted invasive species, avalanches and wildlife.
“The last plan was heavy on beetle kill, because that was the prevalent thing,” Bovaird said. “Now that we’re evolving in that cycle, there are dozens of other types of species we’re concerned about. We’re trying to look forward to determine what other types of invasive species are coming around the corner, and what we can do to minimize that. Another big one, after last winter, is that we’re looking at avalanches a little differently. Before, they were kind of an isolated hazard … but last year, we had avalanches everywhere. It’s an indication of an evolving hazard.”
Bovaird said the new plan also would detail new wildlife risks, primarily in regard to trying to mitigate traffic collisions with wildlife, and would take a deep dive into the potential effects of climate change in the future.
“The final part, other than the updates, is that we will be including analysis on climate change and how that will affect all the different hazards moving forward over the course of the next fives years,” Bovaird said.
The update also will address mitigation plans, not only in regard to physical efforts such as fuels reduction projects or installing larger culverts to prevent flooding, but also by digging through town and county codes to see whether there’s any regulations worth augmenting or strengthening.
While officials and stakeholders are working diligently to make sure all of the county’s potential hazards are properly addressed, they’re also urging members of the public to share their concerns and suggestions. Community members are being encouraged to fill out a short, online survey to help officials gain a better perspective on anything people in the area are concerned about. The survey can be found on theemergency management page of the county’s website. Additionally, Bovaird said the county will be holding a community meeting on the plan sometime in late December or early January.
“We don’t want to assume we know everything,” Bovaird said. “There’s a theory in emergency management that community members are the true first responders. They’re the ones affected immediately and dealing with the impacts right away. With that in mind, we think engaging the public and having them provide input for this plan could go a long way toward getting people to think about these things.”
Do you want to build a snowman? If so, you’re in luck because Breckenridge Creative Arts is throwing a snowman building competition at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. The contest will be on the Arts District lawn and judged by Breckenridge Creative Arts staff.
People with pooches are invited to join in on the annual dog parade at 3:45 p.m. at Main Street Station. Following behind them on Main Street is the Moose March, a fun run for children 12 and younger at 4:20. The 0.75-mile Race of the Santas begins just 10 minutes later, and the top finishers are awarded Ullr helmets and other prizes. Visitgobreck.comfor race registration details.
Feel free to walk to the Blue River Plaza after the races. There, the town tree will be illuminated at 5. Santa himself flips the switch, and families can meet him in person at 5:30 at the Barney Ford Museum. He’ll listen to children’s Christmas wishes at the decorated Victorian home and pose for photos. Closing out the night is a free holiday concert with Hazel Miller at 6 at the Riverwalk Center.
This is the first year that Ullr Fest is in December, rather than January, so there also is plenty to do after the tree is lit. The festival begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, with the crowning of Ullr royalty — Leigh Girvin and Carl Scofield — and a town talent show at the Riverwalk Center. During the show, artist David V. Gonzales will sign posters and showcase his style with a live painting demonstration.
The celebration gets hotter Thursday, Dec. 12, with the Breckenridge Distillery attempting to break the shot ski record currently held by Park City, Utah. The distillery is hoping for more than 1,300 people to line Main Street and start the fun at 4 p.m.
Main Street will stay plenty busy as the Ullr Fest Parade takes over at 4:30. The float that comes in first receives $500, second gets $300 and third is awarded $200. Visitgobreck.comfor shot ski and float registration details.
Though Christmas hasn’t happened yet, the annual bonfire will be made from old Christmas trees from previous years at 5 at the South Gondola Parking Lot.
Hopefully the fiery night of revelry works its magic because, for the first time, the Ullr Ice Plunge set for Friday, Dec. 13, has been canceled due to warm weather. The Breckenridge Tourism Office is working on rescheduling the event for a later date.
The main event that evening is comedians Jim Colliton and Geoff Tice. Colliton’s delivery and suburban background help him connect with audiences of all ages and sizes, and he has been seen on Comedy Central’s Laugh Riots and heard on XM Satellite Radio’s Comedy Channel. Meanwhile, Denver-based Tice is a regular at Comedy Works and has performed at SF Sketchfest, Limestone Comedy Festival and High Plains Comedy Festival. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 the day of the show, and all proceeds benefit the Carriage House Early Learning Center. Visitbreckcreate.orgto purchase.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, families can enjoy an ice skating party at 1:15 p.m. at the Stephen C. West Ice Area. Then, closing out the celebration is a new event called Ullr on the Edge. The juried fine art show at Arts Alive Gallery features 25 skis and snowboards that have been painted. An opening reception is from 4-7:30 and the art will be on display through March 22.