New tour presents ghosts of Breckenridge, without standing in the cold
If you go
What: A Taste of Ghostly Breckenridge
When: 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
Where: Meet at The Dredge Restaurant & Bar, 180 Jefferson Ave., Breckenridge
Cost: $25 per person for adults, $20 for children
More information: Reservations are required. Call (970) 343-9169, or visit www.breckghosttours.com
Gail Westwood, owner and manager of Breckenridge Tours, has been giving her ghost tours around town since June 2010, and she discovered that people don’t always dress appropriately for the weather during the winter months.
“I’ve tried for four and a half years to explain to people that it gets cold here at night,” she said. “I wear a real fur coat, Uggs, thermal underwear, sheepskin gloves, and as much as I tell people a good idea would be to wear your ski suit, they never come in their ski suit. They come in daytime attire, jeans and a light jacket. We always struggle to keep people warm.”
What makes this tour unique from others offered in Breckenridge is that most of it takes place indoors, and food and drinks are part of the experience.
“They can hear the stories in the warmth of a building instead of standing on the street, which is absolutely fine the rest of the year; it’s just through the winter months that it gets harder,” Westwood said. “I noticed that we really do have a problem through the middle of the winter with people keeping warm, so I didn’t want to stop doing the ghost tour but I thought it might be a good idea.”
The tour starts at The Dredge Restaurant & Bar just off Main Street, where participants will have a cocktail before moving on to Cabin Coffee for coffee and cookies. The next stop is Creatures Great and Small, a collectible shop on Main Street.
“Then we’re going to go inside Apres, which used to be The Prospector,” Westwood said. “It has Sylvia, one of the most well known ghosts in town. The owners are keen for me to go in there and talk about Sylvia and have some craft beer there.”
French Fry Heaven will provide fries to nosh on at Apres Handcrafted Libations, and then the tour will head to its final stop, The Historic Brown Hotel on Ridge Street, where participants sample homemade Colorado chili.
“The idea is that we’re going to have a table set aside for us, sit at that table, sample the foods and drinks and tell the ghostly tale stories while we’re inside,” Westwood said. “Who are the characters that you might meet? Sylvia, the lonely widow; William Goodwin, the mangled miner; Dr. Condon, the cold-blooded killer; and Miss Whitney, the lady of the night.”
Westwood said people love ghost tours, and another element that makes hers unique from the Haunted Tour offered by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance is the addition of technology to seek out the ghosts.
“We have ghost-hunting equipment,” she said. “We use a dowsing rod and EMF meters and laser thermometers, so that sets us apart right now. We’ll be providing it on this tour and the stops that we’re stopping at.”
In the past, Westwood found that people would call in the morning to book their tours, and then as the day went on, after skiing all day, the sun would go down and the weather got colder and walking around in the snow no longer seemed very enticing.
“We’ll appeal to people because they won’t have to be standing out in the cold,” she said.
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