Top 5 most-read stories last week: I-70 updates, snowpack levels and avoiding housing scams

Curtis Haley of Performance Tours Rafting guides a group down The Numbers. If snowpack levels stay at the 30-year median, rafting in Summit County could last longer than it did in 2021. Last year, rafting on the Blue River was cut short due to low river levels.
Performance Tours Rafting/Courtesy photo

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

1. What current snowpack levels could mean for summer rafting in Summit County

As the height of ski season gradually comes to a close, summer recreationists are already looking at summer activities and how current snowpack levels affect forecasting of the season.

Kevin Foley, owner of Performance Tours Rafting, knows this all too well. Much of his business relies on snow that falls now to feed the Blue River later. Drought conditions in the past few years have not slowed down demand, but adequate snowpack will allow more rafters to go down rapids that are stronger.

“All the early indicators are that we’re going to see the trend that we’ve seen the last couple of years where the demand is very, very strong, and we think that’ll continue this summer based on our early season reservations,” Foley said.

— Eliza Noe

2. Summit County real estate agents predict how the rise in interest rates will impact local homebuying market

Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve announced a quarter-point interest rate hike in an effort to combat the highest inflation rate seen since the 1970s.

The move is intended to balance out the economy, and as the Fed implements measures like this, some Summit County real estate agents are preparing for the affects these hikes will cause in the real estate market.

Most are in agreement: The types of buyers to feel the impacts of this interest rate hike first will likely be first-time homebuyers and local buyers.

— Jenna deJong

3. How to avoid housing scams in Summit County

Summit County has a lack of affordable housing for its workforce, and many individuals find housing by renting from second-home owners who post their available units on sites like Craigslist and Summit County Housing Connection. But renting from these sites leaves room for scams.

“It’s definitely a concern because it impacts our local population,” said Jennifer Johnson, a detective with the Breckenridge Police Department. “We’ve had reports where somebody drives up to us with a loaded U-Haul from out of state ready to move in, but then they find out that the address they thought they were renting doesn’t even exist.”

— Jenna deJong

4. Summit County commissioners take initial steps to cut ties with Mind Springs Health

The Summit County commissioners are taking steps to cut ties with Mind Springs Health as community members continue to struggle with accessing care from the mental health provider.

The commissioners held an emotional meeting with Mind Springs representatives and other behavioral health experts Tuesday, March 29. They described a dire situation in which people in crisis aren’t receiving basic support.

“I can’t in good conscience continue to allow what’s happening in Summit County right now to continue,” Commissioner Tamara Pogue said.

— Libby Stanford

5. Interstate 70 expansion project on Vail Pass will bring 30-minute closures, single-lane travel this summer

The five-year, nine-figure Interstate 70 West Vail Pass Auxiliary Lanes project got off to a good start in 2021 as the first fall season of construction was completed with relatively low impact to motorists and trail users.

Now, however, begins the hard part on the section of I-70 through Vail Pass. The area between mile markers 180 and 190 has the highest crash rate in Colorado.

Beginning in April, the second of the project’s five scheduled construction seasons will get underway which, over the course of the summer and fall, will involve lane closures and rock blasting, stopping the interstate in both directions for up to 30 minutes.

— Vail Daily

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