Editor’s picks: Breckenridge’s saloon-fueled past | SummitDaily.com

Editor’s picks: Breckenridge’s saloon-fueled past

The Gold Pan Saloon has been owned by the Gray family since 1985. Megan Stromberg, daughter of Reggie and Pam Gray, runs the restaurant with her husband, Chris Stromberg.
Heather Jarvis / hjarvis@summitdaily.com |

“It has been said … that with the exception of Little Bighorn, all Western history was made in saloons, and if you think about it, states were named in saloons, capitals were decided in saloons, elections were held in saloons — Western history was made in saloons.”

Guide Rick Galgas said that recently on the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance’s Behind Swinging Doors Saloon Tour, and it rings true for one local tavern that’s been on Main Street for over 150 years. The Gold Pan Saloon in Breckenridge has seen the rise and fall of the mining boom, and the growth of the town more recently with the creation of the ski resort. It housed some of Summit’s shady ladies, survived prohibition, and houses legends of underground tunnels and ghost sightings. The building holds so many Summit County memories, that it’s only fitting it has been owned by a family that moved to the area 40 years ago. Megan Stromberg, daughter of Reggie and Pam Gray, who purchased the Saloon in the mid-80s, runs the restaurant and bar with her husband Chris. Both Summit County graduates, the two reconnected and married after Megan moved home in 2012 to help run the family business. And it is run like a family business: The upstairs houses employees during a time when finding an affordable room is scarce.

In Friday’s edition of the Summit Daily, an article featured The Gold Pan as part of a new “Behind the Bar” recipe series, but also offered a glimpse into its past. It only skims the surface of the history of the saloon in Breckenridge, but there are plenty of historic tours, including ghost tours, where you can find out more. There’s even a rumor that Sylvia, a ghost that usually haunts Après Handcrafted Libations down the street, occasionally stops by.


Keystone celebrates its Bluegrass & Beer Festival’s 20th anniversary this weekend with 40 breweries, a dozen bands and a beer maker’s dinner Friday, Aug. 5. Chef Chris Ryback will pair his small-plate creations with New Belgium beer, like an arugula salad with watermelon and Jumping Goat cheese paired with New Beligum’s Watermelon Ale, or a shrimp and scallop curry paired with the Citradelic IPA. On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-6, taste beer from 40 different breweries, and listen to Larry Keel Experience, Peter Rowan, Tim O’Brien and more. On Saturday, Aug. 6, the Fat Tire and Friends Collabeeration Seminar and Tasting begins at noon at Warren Station Center, and then same time and place Sunday, check out a homebrewing seminar with the American Homebrewers Association.

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