Those in Summit County with ties back East may recognize a familiar icon as they peruse Main St. in Breckenridge: the vibrant yellow and red umbrella of a Vienna Beef hot dog stand.
The stand belongs to Nancy and Brady Sandsmark of Frisco, owners of Puttin' on the Dog in Breck. The stand, located on Main Street south of Adams next to Lucky Finds, has been open for just over a week. The Sandsmarks say business has been hit or miss so far.
"There's no real pattern to it," Brady Sandsmark said, adding that the county's schizophrenic weather probably wasn't helping. "We've had really good days and bad days."
The Vienna Beef hot dog featured at Puttin' on the Dog is a standard at hot dog stands everywhere. Vienna Beef popularized the Chicago-style hot dog, and they are thoroughly enjoyed across the country.
"We didn't want some cheap ball-park frank," Nancy Sandsmark said.
Puttin' on the Dog's menu is somewhat limited at first glance: They only serve hot dogs, no bratwurst or other things that might go in a bun. But the variety of condiments and quality of the hot dogs themselves makes up for the menu's simplicity. A Vienna Beef dog piled-high with onions, pickles, peppers and mustard is truly a treat for the taste buds.
"They fill me up pretty well," Brady Sandsmark said. The Sandsmarks said they're looking into expanding their menu later in the year to include brats, chili and chili dogs for the winter season.
Brady, a 17-year-old senior at Summit High School, runs the stand himself most days. His mother Nancy, who runs Road Runners errand service in Summit County, was his first venture capitalist and provided the money to get Brady started.
"It's a good education for him, it helps him learn where money comes from," she said. "I want to stay behind the scenes and let Brady take it and run with it."
Hot dogs appear to be a booming business around the county. The Summit Daily just recently reported on another hot dog stand opening in Frisco. Brady said hot dogs are an affordable alternative for those who don't like the expense of going out.
"Everybody likes hot dogs," he said. "We're pretty cheap compared to the rest of Breck."
In order to get the word out, Nancy Sandsmark said she'd be distributing flyers and coupons offering locals a discount. To appeal to the county's canine-friendly atmosphere, she also said they would be giving out free dog treats to passersby. Puttin' on the Dog will be open daily in Breckenridge, Mother Nature permitting of course.