Top 5 most-read stories on, week of Dec. 27 |

Top 5 most-read stories on, week of Dec. 27

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

1. Up to 55 injured skiers and snowboarders arrive at Colorado emergency rooms each day, analysis shows

Skier safety laws that require skiers to recognize inherent risks in the sport and be responsible for their own behavior have for decades protected the resort industry from large legal settlements and kept the public from understanding how often people are seriously hurt on the slopes.

But new statistics provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment offer a peek behind the resort industry’s curtain. A study of ski-season hospital admissions in 20 mountain ZIP codes shows as many as 55 skiers and snowboarders a day arriving at emergency departments.

Another report shows 4,151 skiers and snowboarders transported to emergency rooms in ambulances or helicopters in 2018, 2019 and the first part of 2020, which is about 10 patients every day of the season.

— Jason Blevins, The Colorado Sun

2. Summit County to move to level orange Monday

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced late Wednesday, Dec. 30, that he will loosen coronavirus restrictions in areas across the state that had been forced to ban personal gatherings and shut down indoor dining in recent weeks.

Polis said he is asking the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to move counties that had been under level red restrictions to level orange restrictions starting Monday, Jan. 4.

At a Board of Health meeting Thursday, Dec. 31, Public Health Director Amy Wineland said Summit County will be moving into the new level at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The county will release an amended public health order to reflect the change to level orange Thursday evening.

“(It’s) really great news,” Wineland said. “It’s a step in the right direction for our community and businesses.”

— Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun

3. Visitors struggle to secure refunds for canceled lodging reservations due to level red restrictions

As cancellations due to lodging restrictions increase, some visitors are struggling to secure refunds for trips booked before restrictions were in place.

Tim Osborn, who lives in Louisiana, planned to visit Breckenridge over the holidays with his wife, children and their significant others. In total, the group comprised three households.

After hearing from the tourism office and the town that the restrictions would mean his reservation would violate the public health order, Osborn canceled with VRBO, the short-term rental service he used to book the house. However, the property owner initially refused to give Osborn a refund, and he was never notified from VRBO or the property owner that restrictions prohibited their reservation, he said.

Libby Stanford

4. Family remembers ‘free-spirited’ Tommy Montez, who was found in the Blue River

Family members and friends around Summit County and beyond mourned the death of Tommy Angel Montez over the holidays after he was found dead in the Blue River earlier this month.

On Dec. 14, the Breckenridge Police Department discovered his body in the Blue River near the Satellite Parking Lot. The Summit County Coroner’s Office has yet to release an official cause of death in the case while awaiting results from toxicology and histology testing, but officials believe he accidentally drowned in the river after stepping away from a small gathering with friends late the night before. He was 21 years old.

Those close to Tommy said he had a heart for adventure, which brought him to Summit County just weeks before his death.

Sawyer D’Argonne

5. COVID-19 vaccines now open to Summit County residents 75 and older

Summit County residents who are 75 or older will be eligible to sign up for an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as early as this week.

An update on vaccine distribution was given during the Summit County Board of Health meeting Tuesday, Dec. 29, and Public Health Public Affairs Coordinator Nicole Valentine said a link to make an appointment will be made available on the county’s website.

Public Health Director Amy Wineland said the county just finished its second week of providing vaccinations to the community, with the first round of the county’s Pfizer vaccine going to hospital staff. Last week, outpatient staff received vaccinations, and over the weekend, two drive-thru vaccination clinics were open to health care workers and first responders.

Taylor Sienkiewicz

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