Top 5 most-read stories last week: A-Cafe announces closure, leaf peeping season, Copper Mountain improvements, Tiki Bar’s future

Robert Tann/Summit Daily News
Arapahoe Cafe & Pub is pictured in Dillon on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. The owners announced the restaurant and bar, a popular hang out space for local residents and longtime visitors, will close in October due to uncertainty surrounding proposed plans to redevelop Dillon's town core.
Robert Tann/Summit Daily News

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on from Sept. 17-23.

1. ‘It’s all talk’: Dillon Town Council looks to ‘save’ Arapahoe Cafe as development proposal spooks businesses

Dillon Town Manager Nathan Johnson and Mayor Carolyn Skowyra met with representatives of Arapahoe Cafe & Pub on Sept. 19, days after the longtime small business announced it would be closing its doors next month.

Skowyra, responding to concerns from Dillon residents who spoke during public comment, said the town is aware of the “ripple effects” businesses are feeling as developer Jake Porritt has pitched a luxury hotel where the Best Western Ptarmigan Lodge now stands.

Uncertainty around these massive redevelopment proposals prompted Arapahoe Cafe to announce in a Facebook post last week that it will be closing Oct. 15.

Ryan Spencer

2. Colorado’s fall leaf-peeping season could be one of the best in years

The 2023 leaf-peeping season has officially kicked-off in Colorado’s High Country, bringing pockets of fall color to mountainsides across the state. 

Thanks to above-average precipitation in past months, forest experts say this year’s ephemeral event is likely to be one of the best in years. 

“This year, aspens are just proliferating with all the successful moisture we had over the winter,” said Dan West, entomologist for the Colorado State Forest Service. “I expect the color to be more than we’ve seen in the last few years.”

West, who recently completed an aerial observation of the state’s 24 million acres of forest, said aspen trees haven’t looked this good since 2018, which he called the last great snow year prior to 2023. 

Robert Tann

3. A look at Copper Mountain Resort’s new lodge, upgraded trails and expanded parking

Last season was a busy year for Copper Mountain Resort. Throughout the winter, Copper celebrated its 50th anniversary season, hosting several celebratory events and a handful of world-class ski and snowboard competitions.

In addition to celebrating the huge milestone, at the tail end of last year’s ski and ride season, Copper announced that it would make its single largest investment in over a decade with a new 25,000 square foot mid-mountain lodge spearheading the list of new developments for the ski resort.

Other improvements set to debut during the 2023-24 season and years beyond include the expansion of the Far East lot, the introduction of new winter trails and the upgrade of two lifts. 

Cody Jones

4. Dillon Town Council talks more about tiki bar’s future as changes likely remain in store for the marina

The Dillon Town Council will not issue a request for proposals seeking new concessionaire to run the tiki bar at the town marina.

Earlier this month, some town council members suggested that the tiki bar, which has been run for years by Pug Ryan’s Brewery, was overdue for improvements and the town should seek proposals from other businesses that would like to run it.

But during a work session on Tuesday, Sept. 19, other council members said not enough effort had been made to communicate with Pug Ryan’s before soliciting a potential replacement. Council members also noted capital improvements are planned to the marina in coming years and talked about how a clearer vision for the waterfront will be necessary moving forward.

Ryan Spencer

5. Drug use suspected in 3-vehicle crash that killed a Wyoming woman on Interstate 70 near Silverthorne earlier this month

Drug use is suspected to be involved in a three-vehicle crash that killed a 71-year-old Wyoming woman on Interstate 70 near Silverthorne on Sept. 8, according to Colorado State Patrol.

The crash occurred just before 6:30 p.m., when a GMC Acadia driving eastbound near mile marker 205, just past the Silverthorne on-ramp, made an abrupt left turn in front of a Jeep Gladiator, public information officer trooper Gabriel Moltrer said.

The Jeep, driven by a 67-year-old Arvada man, collided with the driver-side door of the Acadia, causing the vehicle to rotate counter clockwise into the leftmost lane, Moltrer said. A Ford Explorer, driven by a 58-year-old Thorton man, attempted to avoid the Gladiator, which it had been traveling behind, and its driver-side door collided with the rear of the Acadia, he said. The Acadia and Gladiator came to a rest in the center lane while the Explorer was able to drive to an area off the right side of the road, Moltrer said.

Ryan Spencer

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