Top 5 most-read stories last week: Changing community, new name for creek and $50M for housing |

Top 5 most-read stories last week: Changing community, new name for creek and $50M for housing

Squaw Creek is pictured off Colorado Highway 9 near Silverthorne on Wednesday, March 2. The creek is one of 28 locations in Colorado that will receive a new name per a secretarial order from the Department of the Interior.
Joel Wexler/For the Summit Daily News

Stories in this list received the most page views on in the past week.

1. Summit County commissioners are worried the fabric of the community has changed for good

Within Colorado, community needs and challenges differ depending on where you live, and with this in mind, the state identified 16 regional teams that would each have an appointed consultant who would come up with a “roadmap to recovery” coming out of the pandemic.

The teams were identified last year. Entities like Summit, Park and Lake counties, along with The Summit Foundation, all four town governments and more were grouped together. According to a news release from the state, the Colorado Rural Resiliency and Recovery Roadmaps program is expected to create more than 100 jobs and up to $50 million in private investments.

Guiding the Summit County-area entities through the process is the Utah-based economic development consulting firm Better City, which was appointed to the Summit County area by the state.

Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence worried that what has happened with the growth of short-term rentals, skyrocketing home prices, lack of affordable housing and exodus of local workers — among other new pandemic trends — is irreversible.

“I’m so nervous, and I feel, can we get it back? What can we do to stop it?” Lawrence said. “… I’m just worried about the timing here because it seems like something radical needs to happen sooner rather than later.”

— Jenna deJong

2. Summit County creek will get a new name under federal order

Summit County will be included in a nationwide effort to rename public lands that include a derogatory name for Indigenous people.

Led by the federal task force assigned to remove derogatory names from locations, the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board is accepting suggestions for 28 locations across the state that use the word “squaw” in a name. That initiative includes Squaw Creek in Summit County, one of eight locations in Colorado with the same name.

The creek, which is northwest of Silverthorne along the Blue River and Colorado Highway 9, sits in Eagles Nest Wilderness in White National Forest. The area is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Established by Gov. Jared Polis in 2020, the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board is an advisory board within the Colorado Department of Natural Resources that works with the U.S. Board of Geographic Names, which gives final determinations for standardizing the names of geographic places. The board will give preference to replacement names submitted by Indigenous tribes.

— Eliza Noe

3. Breckenridge commits $50 million to ambitious workforce housing plan

A Breckenridge plan to invest $50 million into workforce housing over the next five years could result in 970 additional units for workers living within town limits.

The Breckenridge Town Council gave its approval of the Five-Year Housing Blueprint at its meeting Feb. 22. The blueprint outlines the town’s goal to have 47% of the town’s workforce living in Breckenridge. Additionally, the plan aims to create a balance of 35% resident housing to 65% vacation or resort lodging in the community.

Although Breckenridge itself will be committing $50 million, town officials hope to leverage partnerships and projects with private developers and existing homeowners into a total $300 million investment into housing over the next five years.

The town’s short-term rental fee, which the council passed in November 2021, will help fund the $50 million investment. The fee requires every short-term rental license owner to pay $400 per bedroom to support the town’s workforce housing initiatives.

— Libby Stanford

4. Summit County residents with ties to Ukraine and Russia fear for what’s to come overseas

To some, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia might feel like worlds away, but for a few Summit County residents, the events unfolding overseas hit close to home.

When Russian forces began invading Ukraine last week, it put the world on edge as people from around the globe watched in shock. To some, the last few months of Russia’s steady buildup of militant forces at the border foretold what was to come but even still, Summit County community members with ties to the region were shocked the attack extended past the eastern separatist region and into the western part of Ukraine.

One such individual is Andrii Iwashko, chief operating officer and head roaster of Breck Coffee Roasters. Born in Chicago, Iwashko’s family moved back to their home in Kyiv, the capitol of Ukraine, when he was 2 years old. Iwashko said his childhood was enriched with the history of Ukraine and that he “wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

— Jenna deJong

5. Summit County leaders push CDOT to improve issues on Exits 203 and 205

Interstate 70 Exits 203 and 205 in Frisco and Silverthorne continue to be a never-ending battle for Summit County officials as they try to address concerns over gridlock traffic and congestion.

County commissioners and Silverthorne Town Council members have spoken about the issue at recent meetings, expressing a desire for something to be done at the exits in the near future.

Silverthorne council member Mike Spry said the problem of congestion around the two exits has been ongoing for over 10 years, sometimes leading to extreme traffic that causes safety hazards when emergency vehicles can’t get through. But local leaders are powerless to do anything about it without the help of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

“We keep on trying to knock on doors, ring doorbells and throw stones where we can, but it just becomes one of these things that gets lost in the bigger picture,” Spry said.

— Libby Stanford

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