Top 5 most-read stories on, week of Jan. 3 |

Top 5 most-read stories on, week of Jan. 3

An employee scans a lift pass on opening day at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Nov. 13.
Photo by Liz Copan / Studio Copan

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

The new year means fewer restrictions as Summit County moved to level orange on the state’s COVID-19 dial on Jan. 4.

Since Nov. 22, the county had been in level red on the state’s dial, which closed indoor dining, placed further capacity restrictions on ski resorts and prohibited gatherings of more than one household. The move to level orange will allow indoor dining and gatherings as well as additional capacity at ski resorts, county officials said at a Board of Health meeting on Dec. 31.

“Our community has done such a great job getting our numbers down,” Public Health Director Amy Wineland said at the meeting. “Across the state and, of course, locally we’ve decreased our case numbers by nearly 50% since early December.”

Libby Stanford

Dick Carleton came to Breckenridge from Virginia when he was 24 years old. He had a business degree from Virginia Tech, a ’69 Volkswagen bug, $100 and three friends willing to share a crappy two-bedroom condo with no insulation.

It was awful. It was glorious.

He was “full of rebel spirit” in a town of kindreds, and so he never left. He grew up with Breckenridge, jumped into the restaurant business in 1981, married Cathy, his wife of 27 years, had three kids and became a town council member.

Forty years passed. Time gave him no more preparation for 2020 than it had given anyone else. It sure as hell didn’t prepare him for the drumbeat of anxiety, the worry, the weight of responsibility that comes with being a family man, businessman and councilman in a ski town during a global pandemic.

— Tina Griego, Colorado News Collaborative

Second-home owners who spend significant time in Summit County will be eligible to be vaccinated locally beginning this week.

At a Summit County Board of Health meeting Thursday, Jan. 7, Public Health Director Amy Wineland said the state’s allocation process for the novel coronavirus vaccine changed this week to allow part-time residents to be vaccinated.

The state is still in Phase 1B on its vaccination distribution plan, which means only people 70 and older — as well as those who are health care workers or first responders — are eligible to be vaccinated.

Libby Stanford

Summit County Rescue Group volunteers performed a pair of simultaneous missions Jan. 3, helping to rescue a pair of stranded skiers and a missing hiker.

At about 2:30 p.m., the rescue group received a call regarding two skiers who were stuck in the Coin Slot chute on Mount Royal. The skiers were at the top of the skiable terrain when they noticed a sudden collapse in the snow and were concerned they couldn’t safely descend without causing an avalanche. The skiers also were unable to climb back up to the top.

Volunteers fielded a nine-person rescue mission, which included setting up a technical evacuation system at the top of the chute and having two team members rappel to the skiers. With the help of rescuers, the skiers were then able to climb back up the chute using ascending devices, essentially clamps attached to a fixed rope that tighten when weight is applied. The mission ended at about 7:30 p.m.

Sawyer D’Argonne

By all accounts, Mike Dudick is an excellent negotiator. He’s a successful marketer, manager and developer, a generous philanthropist, active community leader, and CEO and co-owner of Breckenridge Grand Vacations, the largest year-round employer in Summit County outside of the ski areas.

But when it came to alcohol, Mike’s skills failed him.

“Alcohol was always the better negotiator,” he said. “It got me to cut all kinds of deals with myself to have another week, just another day of drinking. If you get to that point like I did, where you’re negotiating between yourself and alcohol, I promise you’re going to continue to lose that negotiation. And it’s a great breakthrough moment when you realize you’re never going to win without help.”

Now two years sober and intensely grateful for the changes it has brought to his life, the 55-year-old is sharing his recovery journey.

— Suzanne Acker, Building Hope Summit County

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