Top 5 stories on, week of July 28 |

Top 5 stories on, week of July 28

Debris is strewn on the shoulder of I-70 following a rollover accident on Vail Pass.
Special to the Daily

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

1. Arapahoe Basin joins Ikon Pass after jumping ship with Epic

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced last week it would partner with Alterra Mountain Co. and join the Ikon Pass starting this winter. The news comes more than five months after A-Basin ended its more than 20-year partnership with Vail Resorts on Feb. 18, citing overcrowding in its parking lots, facilities and restaurants.

A-Basin chief operating officer Alan Henceroth said the new pass partnership would still align with the ski area’s mission to reduce crowding because the scale of the Ikon partnership is nowhere near that of the Epic. Ikon passholders will have seven days at A-Basin with no blackout dates, and Ikon Base passholders will get five days with blackout dates over the holidays.

“We’re committed to getting quite a few less people here over those busy periods,” he said.

— Nicole Miller

2. Vail Resorts announces Keystone, Crested Butte four-pack

To continue with the winter sports news, Vail Resorts announced it will now offer a new pass that includes four days between Keystone Resort and Crested Butte. The pass, which costs $249, is blacked out Nov. 29 and 30, Dec. 26 to 31, Jan. 18 and Feb. 15 and 16. Find more information at

— Staff report

3. Five hospitalized, two airlifted to Denver after rollover on Vail Pass

Emergency workers responded to a rollover accident July 27 at the lower truck ramp at mile marker 182 on westbound Interstate 70. Crews treated and transported five passengers who had been removed from an overturned SUV by bystanders. It was later reported that the Detroit man who was driving a semitrailer down Vail Pass faces five counts of careless driving causing injury following the three-vehicle accident. Excessive speed and brake failure are being considered as possible factors in the crash.

­— Vail Daily staff report

4. Letter to the editor: Confederate flag does not represent Frisco

Silverthorne resident Carl M. Birkelbach wrote a letter to the editor last week in response to a column written by Susan Knopf (“The Confederate flag and the First Amendment,” published July 18 in the Summit Daily News).

He writes, “Knopf quotes Roy Stark, who flew the flag, as saying the flag represents soldiers who were trying to object to the federal government’s taxation policy. There may be a few people who believe this ‘states’ rights’ alternative truth. However, I believe the vast majority of our U.S. citizens believe the Confederate flag represents the abhorrence of slavery and white supremacy.”

He continues into freedom of speech, and writes, “However, let’s not talk about the constitutional right to promote white supremacy in public or the right to wave the Confederate flag in Frisco’s Fourth of July parade. Let’s instead debate its appropriateness. All the former slave states no longer feel it appropriate to fly the Confederate flag on their capitol buildings because of political and boycott pressure from the public. What is the marketing image that the town of Frisco wants to represent to its huge tourist trade?”

5. Summit County considers local minimum wage

A minimum wage law recently signed by Gov. Jared Polis goes into effect next year, giving local governments the ability to set a minimum wage for workers, which could be higher than the state and federal minimum wage. The law will work in conjunction with Amendment 70, a constitutional amendment passed by Colorado voters in 2016 that will raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour next year.

To be self-sufficient with the high cost of living in Summit, a single adult needs to make a minimum of $14 an hour to get by, said Jessica Valand, director of northwest and rural resort workforce development for the Colorado Department of Labor. For a household with an adult and child, that minimum jumps to $30 an hour.

The idea of implementing a higher minimum wage in line with the cost of living in Summit was lambasted by business leaders in attendance.

Before passing a minimum wage, the law requires local governments to get input from a variety of stakeholders, including local chambers of commerce, small and large businesses, workers, labor unions and community groups. Commissioner Thomas Davidson, who supported the local minimum wage law, said it was merely the start of the discussion on local minimum wage and that the county government will be seeking input from workers and union representatives and all other relevant stakeholders.

—Deepan Dutta

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