Any talk about Summit County’s past — especially when discussing hotels and the county commissioners — has to include Tor Brunvand.
Although Tor now resides in New Hampshire, he still has family here and around Colorado.
Tor was the general manager of the Holiday Inn before being lured away back in the 1970s to the new Best Western Lake Dillon Lodge, right across Summit Boulevard, built by concrete pumping magnate Richard O’Brien of Denver and Phoenix.
Tor was a county commissioner for two terms — 1976-84.
Spike! reached out to Tor’s son Scott who would later serve as the Best Western GM for many successful years, continuing that hospitality legacy, for a roundup of family currents.
“Dad was actually a partner in the Best Western with Richard O’Brien and local contractor Don Lewis, but he and Don sold their interests to Richard at about the time he left for the East in 1986,” Scott recalls. “My dad has owned a hospitality management company in Waterville Valley, N.H., since 1988. At one time he was running two 100-unit hotels and roughly 100 condos. He eventually got fed up with all of the homeowner associations and about eight years ago bought a 38-unit inn, which he has turned into a Best Western. He runs it along with his wife, Susan.
“Even at 78 years old, Dad goes to work every day unless he is out of town. He is very active — golfing and skiing — and is doing just great,” Scott adds.
“That boat (see accompanying photo) is a 1965 Century, which apparently is the last year Century produced a wooden boat before going to Fiberglas. He totally refurbished it and had it docked on Squam Lake, which is the same lake ‘On Golden Pond’ was filmed. He sold the boat just a few years ago, saying he wasn’t using it enough. I have some great memories waterskiing with that boat on that lake. It’s quite a place.”
Now, here’s where we get to the Brothers Brunvand — all four of them, in birth order: Mark, Scott, Eric and Jay.
“My older brother, Mark, is an oncologist in Denver and has a second home on the golf course at The Raven, so he gets back to the Summit often. His daughter Claire has just completed her first year at the University of Southern California,” Scott says. “Amy and I (along with Mark and wife Ruchi) bought the Best Western Durango Inn & Suites here in Durango just over six years ago, and I have to say I’m happy to be down here in the banana belt, where the weather is much nicer than in Summit County. The hotel is doing great and we are very happy.”
Tori, Amy and Scott’s 11-year-old daughter, has also adapted to life in Durango very well, her father said.
“She has turned into quite the equestrian, competing along with her horse, Maddy, in both dressage and hunter-jumper competitions,” Scott says.
Another Brunvand brother, Eric, is in Shelburn, Vt., which is close to Burlington.
Eric, a middle-school teacher, is married to Katie and has two beautiful daughters, Shay, 13, and Delaney, 11.
And still a local, brother Jay lives in Silverthorne and is the finance director for the town of Minturn.
“Brady, (Jay’s) oldest son, is a well-decorated seven-year Navy man stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Academy,” Scott says. “His youngest son, Bryan, is a senior at Fort Lewis College here in Durango and will graduate this coming December.”
Scott is a grad of Fort Lewis back in 1981.
“Our mother, Sandra, is living quietly in Phoenix,” he adds.
Two of the thousands of out-of-towners attending Frisco’s Colorado BBQ Challenge included Ashley Reed and Johnny Walker of Steamboat Springs.
Spike! chatted with them at Bagali’s.
“We ran the Bacon Burner 6K and celebrated plenty at the Frisco Colorado BBQ Challenge festival and Bagali’s happy hour. Johnny works for Christy Sports, and I work for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association,” Ashley says. “Johnny’s parents, Dr. John and Suellen Walker, have had a condo at Village Point at Copper Mountain for almost 20 years. He has an orthodontist practice and they live in Boulder full time.”
Another run-for-the-bacon participant was new Frisco businessman Jim Curcio of Summit Hot Yoga Studio.
He is also running the Summit Series.
Jim and wife Deby are relocating their studio from Farmer’s Korner to Bear’s Den condos at Sixth and Granite.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to firstname.lastname@example.org