Top 5 stories on, week of April 28 |

Top 5 stories on, week of April 28

An avalanche slide path filled with debris covers the recreational path in the Tenmile Canyon in April 2019 near Copper Mountain. Avalanche debris has closed two sections of the Tenmile Canyon recpath, causing bike rental shops to put its Vail Pass bike shuttles on hold.
Hugh Carey /

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

1. $10.1 million Breckenridge home sale sets new record

A seven-bedroom home in Breckenridge is the new high-water mark for the most expensive residential property in town after the record-setting deal closed April 18 for $10.1 million. In March, the priciest property of the month was a $4.8 million home in Breckenridge’s Shock Hill neighborhood. The sale was followed by two other Breckenridge homes, one in Keystone and another in Blue River. Those five transactions, ranging from $1.9 million to $4.8 million apiece, rounded out the most expensive homes of the month in Summit. Mary Brooks, who has worked in Summit County real estate for three decades, said prices in the area have steadily increased, but she’s noticed recently that it’s gotten to the point single-family homes priced under $500,000 are almost impossible to find anywhere in the county, and even the single-family homes under $1 million are starting to disappear.

2. ‘Catastrophic flooding’ in Summit County unlikely, but avalanche debris adds uncertainty to runoff season

Although snowpack levels are well-above normal this spring, Summit County officials said they aren’t anticipating major issues. But with snowpack at 131% of average and massive deposits of debris due to avalanches this winter, they’re still preparing for anything. Temperature and rain are the major deciding factors in determining how fast runoff comes off of the peaks, with an ideal scenario meaning Summit County would enjoy warm days that melt the snow and ice, and below freezing temperatures at night to slow the process. The bigger issue is obstructions in the waterways that could potentially spur flooding. Even if the debris does create issues, Brian Bovaird, Summit County’s director of emergency management, said that his office doesn’t expect “catastrophic” flooding even if the worst comes to pass.

3. Summit County bike stores brace for extended recpath closure in Ten Mile Canyon

Officials are anticipating an extended closure of two sections of the Summit County Recpath through Ten Mile Canyon after a winter of avalanche activity. That’s bad news for tourism-dependent businesses like bike shops. A handful of local bike stores run shuttles up to Vail Pass throughout the warmer months, but the closed sections between Frisco and Copper Mountain and between Copper and Vail Pass mean the stores can’t run the shuttles for now. When exactly the areas may reopen remains anyone’s guess, as county officials are working with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to evaluate spring snowpack and determine when the area is safe to start clearing the recpath of tons upon tons of avalanche debris.

4. Summit County’s population only grew by three residents from 2017 to 2018

According to 2018 Annual Estimates of Resident Population from the U.S. Census Bureau, Summit County only grew by three net residents from 2017-18 — the lowest population growth charted in Summit since it dipped during the recession. While the almost non-existent growth — from 31,004 residents in 2017 to 31,007 as of July 1, 2018 — may be seen as good news for some locals tired of crowds and overburdened infrastructure, it also causes concern for businesses that need a pool of local skilled employees to draw from. The population estimate also affects resource allocation for government aid and grant programs.

5. Rocky Mountain region breaks all-time record with 24 million skier visits this winter

Preliminary figures released last week by the National Association of Ski Areas trade group show that skier visits in the U.S. increased by nearly 11% over last season with more than 59 million this winter. The association found the growth was most dramatic in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions, which saw skier and snowboarder visits jump by 22.9% and 15.6%, respectively. Overall, the 2018–19 ski season will go down as fourth best in terms of visitation since the association started tracking these figures in 1978. According to the National Ski Areas Association, no region in the U.S. saw more ski visits this winter than the Rocky Mountains, which broke all previous records by surpassing 24 million visits in 2018–19.

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