Week In Summit: Uninvited guests | SummitDaily.com

Week In Summit: Uninvited guests

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Cramped living conditions with unanticipated roommates became the hottest topic of conversation this week as Vail Resorts, Inc. held two meetings with employees to hatch plans to pack 100 more residents in employee housing at Keystone.

On Tuesday Vail told a roomful of agitated employees that two of three buildings at the Tenderfoot property in Keystone would house more workers. Occupancy for two-bedroom units would increase to four persons, with bunk beds being installed, while three-bedroom apartments would now house five.

The audience reaction varied from tears to jeers, with muttered expletives, as some workers threatened a walkout.

"The meeting last night tried to make it seem like we were part of the planning process," one upset employee told the Summit Daily. "The thing that really, really got me was they said it was a last resort. But they didn't ask for volunteers. So to me, that's not a last resort."

(Because Vail Resorts has a restrictive policy that prevents employees from speaking to the media without first receiving approval from Vail higher ups, the names of employees quoted have been withheld, for fear each would face reprisal.)

After a breaking news story in the next day's edition of the Summit Daily, Vail released a statement once employee feedback was considered.

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"We are not forcing anyone to double up in our employee housing units," said Mark Gasta, chief people officer of Vail Resorts, in the statement. "In order to provide affordable housing this season for as many employees as possible while remaining compliant with building code, we are offering financial incentives to employees who volunteer to take on an additional bed and roommate. It is a completely voluntary program, and those employees who do not want an additional bed added to their unit will not be required to do so."

Conflicting stories

Questions abound after a dog bites a young girl on Thursday, Dec. 10 in Breckenridge.

Two days later Breckenridge police arrested the dog's owner, 23-year-old Fort Collins resident Alec Peyton, after the man apparently left the scene following an incident where his golden retriever allegedly bit a six-year-old girl in the face near the valet station at the Village of Breckenridge.

He faces one class-three felony count of child abuse and two misdemeanor counts, including reckless endangerment and unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog. If found guilty of the class-three felony charge, Peyton would face up to 12 years in prison.

"They were pretty serious injuries," Breckenridge assistant police chief Dennis McLaughlin said. "He was arrested on our warrant, and the dog is being quarantined."

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown said the child abuse charge stemmed from "knowing or reckless behavior," when the owner allegedly allowed the child to approach the dog to pet it despite prior concerns about the animal.

"At that point, the owner knew the dog had tendencies to bite," Brown said. "If you consciously allow a person (who) could be at risk to come into contact with that animal, and that animal does what could be predicted, that could be knowing or reckless behavior."

According to the police report the owner consented to a request from one of the girl's parents to pet his canine, which resulted in her being hospitalized following the alleged attack.

Following Payton's arrest, his family contested the allegations. His mother Cynthia Peyton told the Daily that a group of four adult and several children approached the dog and talked to Alec while he was sitting with the dog on a leash outside of the Village at Breckenridge.

"They walked up, surrounded him and started petting Bentley," Cynthia Peyton said. "The little girl wrapped her arms around Bentley, and he bit her."

Peyton's mother said her son left after the incident because the girls parents were screaming at him and the manager of the hotel also told him to leave.

"My son was traumatized," Cynthia Peyton said. "Our family is doing everything we can to be forthcoming in support of this little girl."

After returning to Fort Collins, she said Alec Peyton took his dog to the Larimer County Humane Society and turned himself into the police.

Ben Barnhart with the Larimer Humane Society confirmed that the shelter had taken the golden retriever in for bite confinement. He said after a veterinarian evaluation, the dog would be returned to its owner, though they had not conducted a behavioral evaluation.

"We are really devastated about the little girl first and foremost," Cynthia Peyton said. "It was a horrible incident."

"All I know is when I saw a picture of that little girl, it broke my heart," Deputy district attorney John Franks said, confirming the girl was hospitalized for her injuries.

Attempts to reach the victim's family were unsuccessful. The Summit Daily has filed an open records request for the arrest affidavit, which should contain additional details on the alleged attack.