Top 5 stories on SummitDaily.com, week of May 5
Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com for the past week.
A Miami-based firm is set to build a branded hotel and over 100,000 square feet of wholly-owned condos at the base of Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 8 after purchasing the 4-acre property from Vail Resorts. Lionheart Capital is proposing a ski-in, ski-out, full-service branded hotel with about 150 rooms that would be managed by a subsidiary of Vail Resorts. Local timeshare purveyor Breckenridge Grand Vacations is now absent from the project, however, selling its interest in the development to Lionheart after the development team negotiated a difficult agreement with town council in July after elected officials rejected the project in February 2018. Approval negotiations hinged largely on building density issues, and council members were reluctant to approve the development agreement until the team put together a package featuring a long list of public benefits and gained support for the project in the community. BGV co-owner and CEO Mike Dudick described the sale of BGV’s interest in the project as “a mutually beneficial business transaction.”
While the use of runaway truck ramps may seem somewhat rare, even for those who travel Interstate 70 often, officials say they’re more common than we might think. Colorado’s truck ramps made news late last month after a truck descending from the mountains crashed into the back of stopped traffic near Denver West Parkway, killing four. Of the 13 runaway ramps in the state, the two most frequently used are on westbound I-70 on the west side of the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels, at mile posts 209 and 212 just outside of Silverthorne. A spokesman with the Colorado State Patrol said the department sometimes sees trucks in the ramps multiple times a week.
“These trucks are very heavy, dangerous weapons,” said spokesman Colin Remillard. “Most of the truckers are pretty good about it, and when they’re really out of control they end up taking a runaway ramp. It works, but when it isn’t used the results can be catastrophic.”
Nathan Alexander Finnegan, the man convicted of assaulting a Breckenridge police officer last summer, was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Finnegan, 22, fled the scene of a car crash while driving inebriated last July, and later assaulted Breckenridge officer Jennifer Kruse who found him lying half-naked in the street and attempted to help him. Finnegan was convicted on a charge of second-degree assault, along with other crimes, following a trial in March. Finnegan was also sentenced to 90 days in jail on the DUI charge to run consecutive with his prison sentence.
Thanks to one of the wettest, wildest winters in recent memory, Colorado went from 67% of the state experiencing some form of drought in February to 0.6% in the latest assessment from the U.S. Drought Monitor. At the 26th annual Summit County State of the River, speakers explained what that snow will mean for Summit County going into the summer. Weather forecasts show that the next couple of weeks will be both colder and wetter than normal, a good sign that the runoff will be stalled until the end of the month or early June. Regardless of how much snow is up in the hills, there is always a risk for flooding. One of the biggest factors is how fast that snowpack falls off, which is when sustained temperatures are above freezing.
An unprecedented avalanche season is leaving Summit County with an unprecedented cleanup effort. The historic snow slides in March buried more than 6 miles of the recreation path between Frisco and Copper Mountain under many tons of debris, leaving county officials scrambling to find a way to clear the path by peak summer season in July. The minimum cleanup estimate is 15 days of work, which would come out to $60,600 total, with a further projection of $80,800 for 20 days of work. Given how there’s no way to tell how much work needs to be done until the snow melts, it is probable that the Ten Mile Canyon recpath won’t be open until the middle of June or July.
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