Week in Summit: Frisco hears new grocery store plan, and Breckenridge gets new community center
January 12, 2015
Technically, Frisco might not qualify as a resort town, since it doesn't have a major ski area of its own. But if its new Whole Foods Market and its Safeway are soon joined by another store, Natural Grocers — which appears to be in the works — it can very legitimately claim the title Grocery Town.
Developers are taking the first steps toward opening a new Natural Grocers store on the north end of Frisco, just across the street from the Safeway and not far from the 6-month-old Whole Foods. The plan calls for a 15,000-square-foot store on a property located along Ten Mile Drive.
Natural Grocers already has a store in Dillon, and there don't appear to be plans to close it. The arrival of a second Natural Grocers store inside a 5-mile radius depends on Frisco's planning commission. After town staff reviews the developers' plans, the commission will consider a formal construction application at a future meeting.
COMMUNITY CENTER OPENS
When the town of Breckenridge bought the old Colorado Mountain College building on Harris Street in Breckenridge in 2010, there really wasn't a plan in place for its use. Fortunately, officials saw it as a landmark worth preserving. With time, a plan came together, and the project took the shape of a community center, a hub that would draw people from Breck and from all over the county.
After nearly two years of demolition, construction, restoration and fundraising, the Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center & South Branch Library — we know, kind of a mouthful — is ready for its close-up. The old schoolhouse is now home to Summit County Libraries' South Branch, a number of offices for local organizations, including the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance and the Breckenridge Film Festival, a coffee shop and a movie theater (see below).
All that remained was the obligatory grand-opening celebration, which was held Saturday, Jan. 10. Now it's your turn to stop by and see what the fuss is all about.
One of the best things about the new center, from our perspective, is that …
… MOVIES ARE BACK IN BRECK
The highest cinema in the United States is back in business.
Born in 1998 in the basement of the CMC building in Breck, the Speakeasy Movie Theatre faced an uncertain future when the town bought the building. But the effort to repurpose the building as a community center was good news for the Speakeasy.
The theater was moved to a different part of the building and outfitted with a state-of-the-art projection system, including digital picture and sound for a crisp, clean, high-tech film experience. An addition to the north end of the building houses a concessions area and bathrooms and provides the theater with its own outdoor entrance.
The Speakeasy's first showing is "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and the late Robin Williams.
For a full schedule visit http://speakeasymovies.com/
FEELING GASSY IN BRECK
After nearly seven days and nights of chasing an invisible hazard, Main Street Breckenridge was back in business Saturday, Jan. 10.
A section of Main Street was closed down on Monday because of a natural gas leak over the weekend.
Nobody was hurt, but several businesses were evacuated and a section of Main Street was closed for more than 24 hours.
The leaky section was in the 300 block of Main Street, not far from the Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District station.
Xcel Energy said crews had fully contained the leak Saturday, and the downtown strip, including the 300 block, was opened again to vehicles and foot traffic.
The cause of the leak is still not known. Xcel is investigating potential causes — company spokesman Mark Stutz said ground shifts and surface activity have caused similar leaks elsewhere — but the energy provider might not have official findings until late spring or summer, when the ground has thawed enough to easily dig around the underground gas lines.
Xcel crews will remain in town for at least a week to monitor four venting stations on the 300 block.
RESIGNATION LEADS TO CHANGE
For Ian Andrews, the arrival at the Summit County Animal Shelter of a dead dog named Jameson was the last straw.
Jameson's body, you see, was badly underweight and there was a large tumor on one of his forelegs. Andrews, who was then an animal control officer at the shelter, felt strongly that questions about the dog's treatment needed to be asked of the owner, who claimed Jameson had long suffered from cancer.
Andrews' boss saw things differently, however, and told him not to pursue his investigation into the circumstances of Jameson's death. That's when Andrews decided he'd had enough.
He sent an email to the Summit County Sheriff's Office, which oversees animal control, saying his boss, Leslie Hall, had repeatedly told him not to pursue investigations and that he believed animal control had been ignoring possible abuse cases for decades.
He then resigned from his position with animal control.
As a result of Andrews' allegations, the sheriff's office did an internal investigation, and although it found there was "no indication of any violation of policy," according to undersheriff Derek Woodman, changes have come to the shelter.
Animal control's antiquated record-keeping system, for example, has been brought in line with current sheriff's office practice, which is to destroy hard copies of records older than 10 years. Animal control had been keeping documents for only two to three years. Having older reports on hand could be a potential boon to future investigators.