Top 5 stories on, week of June 2 |

Top 5 stories on, week of June 2

A cyclist rides the rec path across the top of Dillon Dam on Wednesday, June 5, along the Dillon Reservoir. Colorado is now 100% free from drought for the first time in 20 years, according to the United States Drought Monitor.
Hugh Carey /

1. Breckenridge Brewery could be out of its hometown location

Despite being the longest running brewpub in Summit County and third oldest in Colorado, Breckenridge Brewery is facing the prospect of losing its Breckenridge home after the property owner “abruptly and inexplicably” backed out of an agreement to renew the brewery’s lease. The current lease is up June 30, and while the brewery thought it had an agreement with the owner, they recently had a change of mind. The people who work at the brewery — some a year or two shy of its original opening in February 1990 — would like to see the brewpub celebrate its 30th anniversary inside the same building where it first opened. It all leaves the brewery wondering what to do with little notice. Property records list the owner as the Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate company.

2. Statewide snowpack at 517% of normal. Hikers may not enjoy dry trails until July

The enormous snowpack leftover from an historic winter has yet to melt off, leaving higher elevation trails in the area — especially 14ers — mostly inaccessible until later in the summer. According to the latest data from the National Resources Conservation Service, as of June 1 the snow-water equivalent across Colorado is 517% of normal. In Summit County and the rest of the Upper Colorado headwaters, snowpack is at 410% of normal. Officials predict Quandary Peak will not be generally accessible until August.

3. Prepared to seize the property, Breckenridge buys downtown building for more than $6M

Breckenridge has forced the sale of a downtown building after coming to terms with an owner who would have preferred to keep the property. Ed Bello said he really didn’t want to sell the Professional Building in downtown Breckenridge, but he understands the town’s reasons for pursing the sale, and remains complimentary of the way local officials handled it and believes that he got a fair price. Breckenridge recently bought the building, which is next door to Breckenridge Town Hall, for $6.3 million after town council expressed its intent in February to buy the property or seize it through eminent domain. The purchase strings together a handful of town-owned properties that line the Blue River and form an “L” shape around the South Gondola Lot. That’s where Breckenridge plans to build a large parking garage after nailing down a long-term lease with Vail Resorts.

4. Summit County readies for epic spring runoff into Dillon Reservoir, potential flooding in local waterways

An epic spring runoff is in the works after one of the best winters in recent years, and local water and emergency officials are preparing Summit County for the deluge. Snowpack across the state is 51 times larger than the state’s average snowpack at this time last year. Denver Water is draining water from Dillon Reservoir in anticipation of runoff, which is expected to really begin coming down in the next few weeks. Peak inflow to the reservoir will most likely start about a week later this year than usual, which also means Summit’s two marinas in Dillon and Frisco will have to wait before the reservoir is full enough for boating. However, boaters should have a lot more time for play this year compared with last, when boat ramps were retracted weeks before they normally would be due to low water.

5. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area closes Pali, Zuma, Beavers lifts for season; COO elaborates on condensed June operations

In advance of its weekends-only season extension through at least June 21-23, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced last week that the only lift-serviced terrain offered for the remainder of the season will be skiing and riding off of the Black Mountain Express and Lenawee Mountain lifts. A-Basin will be open Fridays-through-Sundays for two more consecutive weekends:14-16 and 21-23, at least.

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