Top 5 most-read stories last week: COVID-19 death, housing and more

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on in the past week.

1. Summit County man is 4th resident to die from COVID-19

A 49-year-old Summit County man died May 4 from COVID-19, according to a news release from the county.

The man died from acute cardiopulmonary failure due to complications of COVID-19, according to county spokesperson Nicole Valentine. The man had underlying health conditions and was not vaccinated, according to the release.

Jenna deJong

2. Record-breaking real estate frenzy is changing the culture of Colorado’s mountain towns

Across Colorado’s resort communities, a real estate frenzy is breaking records and transforming cultural landscapes. The record-setting pace of sales over the past year has turbo-charged a trend that has unfolded in recent years with more urban refugees relocating to mountain towns. This resort-home mania has happened before — and it didn’t end well.

In the few years leading up to 2007, mountain real estate brokers trumpeted their successes like a broken record. And, in fact, every month, quarter and year did break a record, thanks largely to loose lending that pushed ill-qualified buyers into homes with no money down and principle-only mortgage payments. When that lending fiasco fell apart, a yearslong recession and mighty crash in real estate values followed, leaving long-lasting impacts.

Last year’s real estate sales in Colorado’s high country looked eerily similar to 2007, with every month in the last half of the year setting sales volume and pricing records.

The Colorado Sun

3. Summit County officials discuss strategies to mitigate housing ‘crisis’

Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue has described the area’s housing issue as a crisis in multiple instances.

“This is a crisis,” Pogue said April 29. “This is not something we have ever seen in Summit County, and while I admire the work that Summit County government has done in the 367 units that we’ve built in the past five years, that kind of thinking is not necessarily going to get us to a solution.”

The Summit Board of County Commissioners, along with other local leaders, listened to a housing needs presentation hosted by the Summit Combined Housing Authority on April 29.

Currently, Summit County has a shortage of 725 units, meaning the county needs that many new units to meet housing demand. That number is expected to balloon to 2,400 units by 2023.

Jenna deJong

4. Breckenridge businesses give mixed response to Walkable Main not returning

Many Breckenridge business owners were not happy to hear that Walkable Main would not return to town this summer, while others felt unaffected by the decision.

Alex LaMarca, owner of Crêpes à la Carte, said it’s unfortunate that the Breckenridge Town Council decided not to reinstate Walkable Main this year.

LaMarca said while it was a good advantage for the town and its people, he doesn’t see his business taking a hit without the amenity this summer. He said he’s more concerned about the environmental impact, as he appreciated the reduced circulation of cars.

When the town of Breckenridge surveyed locals asking for feedback on Walkable Main, 86% of residents and 83% of businesses that responded supported its return. The issue for the council, though, was that the support was conditional on various changes respondents wanted to see.

Lindsey Toomer

5. Summit towns reassess recruitment for seasonal employees amid workforce shortage

Memorial Day is fast approaching, and Summit County’s towns are seemingly in a race against the clock to try to fill seasonal staffing positions before the peak tourist season arrives.

But with “help wanted” signs still dangling in the windows of restaurants and shops around the county, the towns are finding it difficult to attract enough workers to their summer positions. Frisco officials broached the topic during the town’s regular work session discussion Tuesday, May 11, noting that the town has a considerable staffing shortage heading into the summer season. And Frisco isn’t the only town struggling to bring in new workers.

“We are not the only ones, and we are all sadly battling for a small pool of employees for seasonal operations,” Frisco Mayor Hunter Mortensen said.

Sawyer D’Argonne

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