Top 5 most-read stories on, week of April 4 |

Top 5 most-read stories on, week of April 4

Editor’s note: Stories on this list received the most page views on in the past week.

1. State to move Summit County back to level orange restrictions Wednesday

Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence announced on Facebook on April 5 that the state would be moving Summit County to level orange beginning April 7.

The county is currently in level yellow, but incidence and positivity rates over the past weeks have reached well into level orange territory or worse on the state’s COVID-19 dial. As of 4 p.m. April 5, Summit County’s incidence rate was 351.8 new cases per 100,000 residents. That figure would have to fall below 300 to return to level yellow. Summit’s positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that return positive, was 9%, exceeding the level yellow threshold by 1.5 percentage points.

The change in restrictions means reduced capacity at restaurants, gyms and fitness centers, which will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer. Offices can operate at up to 25% capacity, but remote work is strongly encouraged. Personal services will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity or 25 people, whichever is fewer.

— Nicole Miller

2. Summit’s positivity rate returns to level orange after reaching into red

Summit County reported 126 new cases of COVID-19 from March 27 to April 2, according to the county’s coronavirus webpage.

On the state’s COVID-19 dial, the county has remained within level yellow despite incidence and positivity rates that have crept up into levels orange and red.

Summit County officials were expecting to hear from the state March 31 that the county would be moved back into level orange, but that hadn’t happened. When the county does hear from the state, officials plan to protest the move, citing the end of spring break and reduced tourism on the horizon. (The state moved the county to level orange April 7.)

The state’s dial is expected to expire altogether in mid-April, leaving restrictions up to county officials, who have made it clear that some restrictions are likely to remain.

At the April 1 Board of Health meeting, Assistant County Manager Bentley Henderson said businesses are pushing for the county to consider alternative metrics for restrictions, including weighing things like hospitalizations more than cumulative incident rates.

— Nicole Miller

3. Breckenridge chief John Buhler hangs up his hat after 27 years with Vail Resorts

Longtime Vail Resorts employee John Buhler is retiring from his position as chief operating officer of Breckenridge Ski Resort. Buhler has served as the COO of Breckenridge for six years following his five-year role in the same position at Keystone Resort.

With a dad on ski patrol, Buhler started skiing when he was just 2 years old. After getting involved with other sports during his teenage years in high school, Buhler revived his passion for skiing in 1980, when he kicked off his career in the ski industry as a part-time instructor in California.

“To have the ability to have an entire career in a field that was your lifelong passion is pretty cool and pretty rare,” Buhler said, adding that the reason he got into the ski industry is the same reason he’s stuck with it for nearly 30 years. “It’s the passion for the sport that I love, the mountains. And more than that, it’s the passion of everyone that lives up here.”

Buhler will officially retire after the ski season comes to a close at the end of May. However, he plans to stick around, staying in the county with his wife, spending more time with his two daughters — one of whom lives in the area with her husband and children — and skiing moguls, which he said is still one of his favorite things to do.

— Taylor Sienkiewicz

4. Late-season skiing at Breckenridge to move to Peak 8

Spring skiing is here, and Breckenridge Ski Resort is moving to its late-season operations plan. The ski resort’s five peaks will remain open through April 18, but on April 19, skiing and snowboarding will be available only out of Peak 8. Resort spokesperson Sara Lococo noted in an email that in 2019, late-season operations were based out of Peak 7 but have switched to Peak 8 this season because construction on the new Peak 7 lift begins this spring.

According to a resort blog post, intermediate, advanced and expert terrain will be open on Peak 8 along with Imperial Bowl, Peak 7 Bowl, Horseshoe Bowl and Contest Bowl as long as conditions allow. No beginner terrain will be available. Lifts that will remain open after April 18 are the Colorado SuperChair, Rocky Mountain SuperChair, T-Bar and Imperial Express. Rip’s Ride will stay open through April 25, and the BreckConnect Gondola will stay open through April 30. Since the gondola will be closed during May, resort and town buses will transport skiers and snowboarders to the base of Peak 8.

— Taylor Sienkiewicz

5. It’s not just the real estate market: Locals say rental prices are up and inventory is low

Traditionally, the beginning of mud season, when the ski areas start to shut down and the seasonal workforce leaves, is the best time for Summit County locals to find a place to rent, but residents say that is not the case this year.

Prospective renters say they’re having a hard time finding any rental options — much less options in their price range. High prices and low availability for renters coincides with soaring real estate prices in the county over the past year.

Josh Bartels, who has lived in Summit County for about four years, is renting a condo with his girlfriend in Wildernest, but they were given notice that their landlord is planning to sell the place. Bartels said his landlord has been reasonable, giving 90-days notice and offering to let him buy the condo before putting it on the market, but Bartels isn’t able to buy and hasn’t had any luck finding a new rental.

“You really can’t find anything out there,” Bartels said. “… We’re going to have to move somewhere.”

— Taylor Sienkiewicz

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