Breckenridge gears up for opening of walkable Main Street
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct that Main Street in Breckenridge will close at 6 a.m. Thursday. It also has been updated to clarify that the National Repertory Orchestra performances will be a quartet.
BRECKENRIDGE — Breckenridge’s Main Street will close to motor traffic Thursday morning and become what the Breckenridge Tourism Office has dubbed Walkable Main on Friday.
The closure will last for about eight weeks and is meant to allow for physical distancing in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 recommendations.
More than 25 restaurants and retail establishments are ready to bring seating and shopping outside, according to a news release from the Breckenridge Tourism Office. The full closure is planned to be on Main Street between Watson and Jefferson avenues, and a partial closure extends south to 400 S. Main St. with access for residents.
Restaurants are permitted to place four tables with a 20-person occupancy in a section of the street. Tables and stanchions rentals, which must be used for dining within a restaurant’s designated section, will cost each restaurant $350 for the duration of the closure.
Retail establishments can put out a merchandise table, shelving or rack, a mannequin and a sandwich board sign. Each participating business will get a 10-by-34-foot section of the street to use for tables or merchandise.
Breckenridge Tourism Office spokesperson Austyn Dineen said the section for Walkable Main will close at 6 a.m. Thursday so that the town can begin setting up. Dineen wrote in an email this process will involve marking the spaces on the street for where restaurants can put their tables, defining road closures and “setting up the look and feel of Walkable Main.”
“They’re going to go out and start marking where everything needs to be set up because they can’t do any of that while the street’s open, so they’ll be going through and measuring and marking,” Dineen wrote.
As for the barricades, Dineen said barriers would be set up and would be painted by a local artist. She said while there isn’t currently a specific time frame in mind for when the barriers would be painted, they will be “designed throughout the project.”
The release also notes that downtown Breckenridge guests can expect pop-up performances, demonstrations, workshops and art. The Riverwalk Center will host morning yoga, which will be run by local yoga studios. Dineen said yoga classes are typically put on by Bhava Yoga or Meta Yoga and that the classes are paid activities.
Spectators can watch quartet performances by the National Repertory Orchestra as well as performances by local musicians, storytellers and performance artists Wednesdays through Sundays during lunch and dinner hours. In addition to the picnic tables in the Riverwalk Center plaza, tables will be set up on the lawn. The Riverwalk Center’s concession stand, The Blue, will serve drinks and snacks.
Craft and visual art classes run by Breckenridge Creative Arts will take place outside and will feature live demonstrations and take-and-make activities by local artists. These classes will take place in the morning and midafternoon from Wednesdays through Sundays next to the Robert Whyte House. Dineen said class times would be listed on BreckCreate’s website, BreckCreate.org.
Breckenridge and Summit County ordinances still require masks in public spaces where 6 feet of distancing cannot be maintained, and the tourism office asks that Walkable Main participants wear masks and respect physical distancing.
Breckenridge Mayor Eric Mamula discussed the details of Walkable Main in his Facebook video update last week.
“I know there’s a handful of you that do not think this is a great idea,” Mamula said in the video. “Please know that we are not making this Oktoberfest. Everybody that has a liquor license on Main Street will be responsible for their clientele, they will get in trouble if they cannot control their clientele, and we’re doing this so that all of the venues that we have on Main Street, both restaurant and retail, have some extra space since everybody is so limited right now with how many people they can have indoors.”
Mamula said people should be outdoors and a lot of businesses don’t have access to outdoor space to sell their products. He said Walkable Main is an experiment that will last for a limited amount of time.
Paid parking, which resumes Friday, is available in the North Gondola Lot and at metered parking spots. Park ‘n’ Ride is available at the ice rink and Airport Road lots, and four Breck Free Ride buses will be in operation.
As for restrooms, Dineen said the town has opened four public restrooms and rented four additional portable toilets. Dining guests also are able to use the facilities of the restaurant at which they are dining.
Restaurants participating in Walkable Main:
- The Breckenridge Tap House
- Bangkok Happy Bowl Thai Bistro & Bar
- Carboy Winery / Gold Pan Saloon
- Pho on Main Asian Grill
- Motherloaded Tavern
- Downstairs at Eric’s
- Rocky Mountain Underground
- The Crown
- Whiskey Star
- Kenosha Steakhouse
- Flip Side Burgers
- Blue Stag Saloon
- Cool River Coffee House
- Michael’s Italian Restaurant
- Ollie’s Pub and Grub
- Lost Cajun
- Luigi’s Sports Bar & Pizzeria
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