April Fools – SDN style | SummitDaily.com

April Fools – SDN style

Nummit Saily/Mack FixxSkiers employing the 'Houston Handbag' technique make their way to the hill on Thursday. In Breckenridge, town officials say embracing the Handbag is a good way to make visitors feel welcome, and they're encouraging all locals to adopt the practice.

Tourist ski-carrying contraption celebrated as antidote to ‘Gaper Day’by Vikram YugoBRECKENRIDGE – Saying it was high time the Town of Breckenridge really embraced its visitor population, Mayor Wanna proclaimed this April as “Houston Handbag Recognition Month” in honor of the ski-and-pole contraption many visitors use to carry their skis.”Locals may scoff at the Houston Handbag, but if you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense,” Mayor Wanna said, suppressing a giggle behind his mustache. “It really makes carrying skis a breeze, and in light of the fact that on busy days folks often have to park many miles from the lifts here in parking-challenged Breck, we could use all the help we can get.”The campaign even comes with a slogan based on an old Beatles song: “I Wanna Hold Your Houston Handbag.””It took me a little while to figure out how to do it, but I’m a little dyslexic,” said town council member Geoff Bourgeois. “It’s a little like driving a moped in that it’s kind of fun – but you don’t necessarily want your friends to see you doing it.”Mayor Wanna said the Houston Handbag recognition is a good counter-balance to the unofficial “Gaper Day” celebrations often seen on April 1 in Breckenridge.”Listen, I understand at this point of the season the locals want to blow off a little steam, but the fact remains that if it weren’t for the tourons, the gapers, the SPORES and turkeys, well, we’d just be a mountain town without a rec center or any museums or fancy roundabouts or any of that great stuff.”Mayor Wanna explained that “SPORES” stands for “spastic people on rental skis.””That’s an old one, but still a goody,” he said, hastening to add that it’s not a monniker he ever uses.”But I know some folks do,” he said.Vail Resorts has jumped on the handbag bandwagon, introducing an “Epic Houston Handbag” deal that includes lift ticket discounts, meal coupons and other perks for those “deploying a Houston Handbag in what appears to be the most excellent fashion possible,” according to a company press release. The company will deploy spotters on the hill and around town to look for skiers using a handbag and also “expressing themselves in the true spirit of skiing.””What we’re really looking for are folks who don’t give a crap what they look like or who’s giggling behind their backs – they just care about the epic skiing,” said VR CEO Bobby “Epic” Dogz. “If we can find a way to make the Houston Handbag epic, then yee-haw and b’golly we will!”Dogz added: “It’s epic. Epic!”

Five large solar arrays planned for current Main Street parking spacesBRECKENRIDGE-The Breckenridge Town Council approved a set of five stand-alone solar panels to be erected on the north end of Main Street in a special closed session Tuesday night. The panels, which will stand 18 feet tall, with 16×16 foot surfaces, will be constructed this summer between French Street and Lincoln Avenue, replacing existing roadside parking spaces on Main. Town staffers expect the panels to generate approximately 42 percent of the power needed for the nearby Riverwalk Center and downtown street lighting, saving the town nearly $46,000 in energy costs the first year. “It’s really a win-win all around,” Councilman Geoff Bourgeois said after the meeting. “We think this will send a message to people that Breckenridge is committed to renewable energy. Besides, they are beautiful structures in the eyes of some beholders.” In addition to energy savings, the panels will provide shade to pedestrians walking the stretch of Main Street in the summer and some coverage for frequently icy sidewalks in the winter, town officials said after the meeting. Approximately 15 curbside parking spaces will be retired to accommodate the solar arrays. “Sustainability is and always has been an important goal for this town,” Mayor Wanna said. “This project is really in step with our vision as a council and as a community.”After killing a controversial solar array proposal, which called for freestanding panels to be installed at the Riverwalk Center and the Breckenridge Golf Club, earlier this month, council members warned the solar project might be considered again in a different format. Council and town staff said the panels approved for Main Street Tuesday won’t be as noticeable on the north end of town. Approval of the solar panel project came as the council announced it is also considering dedicating 10 percent of in-town parking spaces to hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles within the next year as part of sustainability efforts. If the policy were adopted, a set number of spaces would be marked for fuel-efficient vehicles, and cars and trucks getting less than a specified gas milage that parked in the spaces would be ticketed or towed. “That’s really still in the discussion phase at this point,” Breckenridge spokeswoman Kit McDonnel. Also on the table is a potential test plant for a small, clean nuclear energy reactor on Airport Road, a “safe” distance from the recreation center and the elementary school.

Event seen as counter to ‘Mustache March’by Chester WontonHEENEY – Saying they want to “take back the spring” from men sporting ugly facial hair for “Mustache March,” a group of Heeney women is promoting “Armpit April” this month. The goal is, simply, to get as many Summit County women as possible to forgo shaving their armpits – immediately.”It’s pretty silly if you think about it,” said Rita Hairington, president of the Women’s Armpit Liberation Front organization headquartered in Heeney. “The only reason we shave our pits in the first place is because of some cultural tradition to please men. There’s absolutely no reason to do it – especially in Summit County where most of the year no girl is wearing armpit-revealing clothing.”Hairington said there are a number of benefits to not shaving.”It’s extra time, for one thing,” she said, leaning back in her tank top and crossing her hands behind her head to reveal her long, flowing armpit locks. “It’s also healthier for your pits. That’s sensitive skin there, and all that harsh soap and foam and razor action is not good for a gal.”The fact that a free-flowing pit mane is “beautiful and more natural” is another major point, Hairington said, while deftly twisting the hair of her left armpit into a diminutive French braid.”This is the way I roll, and it’s the way most women rolled until just the past century or so,” she said. While Hairington wouldn’t reveal the names of the other members of the Women’s Armpit Liberation Front, she said “her homegirls” have several events planned for the month, including a “Tank Top Promenade” through the Silverthorne Outlets April 16; a “Dreads fer yer Pits” demonstration and seminar in Heeney April 20; and a “Hairy Bikini” volleyball” match in Frisco April 23.Hairington also hopes to extend the fun into May.”Once the ladies have spent all of April growing their armpit bounty, they’ll want to show it off,” she said. “That’s why I’m proposing next month be ‘Tank Top May’ to maximize it.”

Town announces further Adventure Park expansionsBy Karmela De LuciWith strong results recorded for its new tubing hill at the Frisco Adventure Park, the town is looking to up the ante with some more traditional amusement park rides, town officials say. In what will likely be a surprise to town and county residents, the town is moving forward with plans to construct a Ferris wheel as well as a mid-sized roller coaster on the Peninsula property.”Town council had directed staff to find more channels to generate revenue at the recreation area,” said Kim Zzyvyx, the town’s director of recreation. “We spent months studying what kinds of amenities would attract visitors to Frisco, while maintaining the wonderful community-based spirit our town has always had. And the notion of a Ferris wheel and roller coaster kept popping up.”Construction on a 150 foot-tall ferris wheel and smaller, 50-foot roller-coaster is set to begin in June. Council is still debating the addition of a teacup ride for children.”We didn’t want anything too big – or too extreme – because we felt it might interfere with the integrity of our beautiful mountain landscape,” Zzyvyx said. “At the same time, we felt the ferris wheel would offer visitors an exciting view of Frisco.”Town Manager Mickey Nickel said council felt the Ferris wheel could help drive business to Frisco’s downtown.”While visitors are enjoying a peaceful ride on the Ferris wheel, they might spot a restaurant or store in town they want to patronize,” Nickel said. “Economically, we think this is an exciting opportunity for Frisco’s Main Street.”Nickel said the town will be funding the new amenities through a $25 million loan, which council expects to pay back within the next “century or so.” Construction is scheduled to be completed within two years.”We’re able to expand in a down economy because the town has taken a very conservative approach to its budget in the past few years,” Nickel said. “Our primary intention will always be to maintain our existing assets, but we’re always looking for ways to further distinguish ourselves as a destination.” Nickel said council hopes to waylay visitors traveling to Breckenridge. “Our goal is to have the fastest, craziest and gut-wrenchingest rides in all of Summit County,” Nickel said. “But, we still aim to maintain that small-town feeling and keep all our parking spots.”

Vail Resorts locks down skier to unprecedented endorsement dealBy Daniel WoodhillWhat’s in a name? About $8.7 million. At least that’s the sum paid to the world’s best female alpine skier for official naming rights to, well, herself.In an effort to “push its branding to a worldwide audience” Vail Resorts announced Thursday a new sponsorship initiative with three-time overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn, or as she’ll now be known, Vail’s Vonn.”For years, the headlines have always read ‘Vail’s Vonn wins such-and-such,'” a Vail Resorts spokesperson said at Thursday’s press conference, “and now we can just make it official.”As of today, the top female alpine skier in U.S. history legally changed her first name to “Vail’s.”The agreement comes years after the resort – where Vonn currently lives and trains – continually pushed the skier to ignore the fact she actually lived and raced in Minnesota before coming to Colorado in her late teens. Vonn is regularly referred to as a “Vail skier.””This is a fantastic opportunity to give back to a community that has given me so much,” Vonn said. “Some people may think it’s a little unorthodox or could be considered ‘selling out,’ but I think this just shows the continued commitment I have to Vail and Vail has to me.”And, I mean, it’s just my first name. I changed my last name when I got married.”Still, rumors have swirled about Vonn’s fall into financial futility after losing this season’s overall World Cup title to rival Maria Reisch by just three points. She initially called the loss “devastating,” but a report from Yahoo! Sports has shown just how devastating the loss really was for her. A paper trail links her to three Swiss bookies to whom she wagered inordinate sums of money on herself to win the overall title for a fourth straight year.When the season’s final race was canceled due to poor weather and course conditions, the lone sharks came calling.According to the report, Vonn’s already sold all of her crystal globes – given to overall champions in the various World Cup disciplines – and her dog. With little left, Vonn dumped off the last thing she owned – her name.”No, that’s not entirely true,” she said when asked about the scandal. “My dog is still very much a part of my family, my Vail Resorts family.”Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the sponsorship agreement, Vail Resorts is looking forward to years (and years and years) of a continued relationship with the town’s favorite skier.”Lindsey Vonn, eh, I mean, Vail’s Vonn is the best female American skier to ever take to a course,” the VR spokesperson said. “As long as she’s competing, our resort community will forever be synonymous with winning and success.”Some final arrangements have yet to be resolved in the endorsement contract. Vail is hoping to lock down Vonn to a 30 year agreement, starting after her racing career wraps up, in which she will spend all resort business hours in a glass box at the Elk’s Lodge at Mid-Vail. The resort would like to “let tourists from around the world see their prized possession, er, skier anytime they wish.”Vonn prefers 25 years.

SHS field to get some protectionOnly two years after Summit High School raised more than $700,000 to install an artificial turf field at Tiger Stadium, school officials say it’s time to “up the ante.””With the introduction of the turf to Tiger Stadium, our teams have been able to play a full spring home schedule each of the past two season,” the district said in a statement. “Now, we want to top it off with a full dome, allowing us even more athletic opportunities here in Summit County.”Prior to the installation of the new field, the Tigers were unable to play any home games during the spring season. The expensive project allowed Summit to play 24 home games for the boys’ lacrosse, girls’ lacrosse and girls’ soccer teams combined.The proposed dome could theoretically up the total of home games each spring to a staggering 26.”It’s certainly something we need to look into,” the statement read.The current stadium – lovingly referred to as “The Mine,” as an homage to its Climax Molybdenum naming rights – is subject to inclement weather without having the protection of a giant tarp inflated above it. The dome should change that.”It gets cold out there,” the statement said. “Various members of the media and even our own training staff have often complained about the intense conditions.”In a related story, the school has decided not to fix its basketball hoop on the east end of the SHS gym. The rim currently sits roughly two inches above 10 feet.Rec hockey steroid investigation thwartedFederal investigators looking into an alleged steroid scandal in the Breckenridge Adult Hockey League dismissed the allegations Thursday, citing “new evidence” to the case.”Well, when we entered the locker room to talk to players, we were able to see them with their shirts off,” federal agent Duke Anderson said. “And, um, let’s just say there was no evidence to link any of those guys to any sort of use of performance enhancing drugs.”The investigation was launched just a month ago, when several players were setting league records for goals scored. After further research, investigators cited “lack of goalies” for the influx in scoring.

With an unexpected grant from the Federal Highway Administration and the correction of a slight accounting error in the Colorado Department of Transportation budget, state transportation officials say the funds needed to move forward with the proposed zipper lane project are now available. “We didn’t expect to see the dollars turn up this year,” CDOT spokesman Gridd Locke said. “But here they are, so we’re getting started on this project, which we hope will help to relieve the congestion in the corridor.”The $23 million zipper lane would allow CDOT to reverse one westbound lane of traffic to run eastbound to help alleviate traffic toward Denver on peak Sunday afternoons. The lane will run approximately 13 miles from Georgetown to the base of Floyd Hill and would be operational about 17 days per year. Critics question its potential effectiveness.”It sucks, it’ll never work,” said Summit County Commissioner Danny Biggs.

Identifying some synergy in the number of lawsuits being directed at the towns of Dillon and Silverthorne, leaders from the two towns announced the formation of a special legal fund to fight it all in the coming months.The “Dilverthorne Legal Defense Fund” was announced in a joint meeting of the Silverthorne and Dillon town councils Wednesday. Silverthorne town manager Kevin Batch O’ Warm Cookies said money for the fund will come from a usage tax on stoplights. To a confused gaggle of media and residents, he explained that every time someone stops for a red light in Silverthorne or Dillon, a camera will record their license plate number and a bill for $1 will be automatically sent to the driver’s address on record.”And we’ve got a crap-load of stop lights around here,” Batch O’Warm Cookies said with a laugh. “We’re gonna clean up and then kick ass on all those whiny weirdos suing our towns over dumb stuff.”

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