Top 5 most-read stories last week: Law officials comment on panhandling, Vail Resorts announces winter opening dates, climate scientists comment on current weather patterns
Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com in the past week.
1. Summit County second-home owners report struggles if their properties aren’t paid for by short-term renters
Summit County second-home owner Rick Davis said he wishes he never bought property in the county.
Davis said he and his wife, Teresa, who live in Austin, Texas, have brought their sons to Summit County since 1988 routinely to ski and spend time outside as a family.
His sons loved it so much that they eventually moved out to Denver to be closer to the resort community. Once their sons had children, Rick and Teresa decided they wanted a place in Summit County to host family, be close to their grandkids and enjoy the county they’ve loved for so many years.
Rick said they swung the purchase with the understanding that they could supplement the mortgage cost with short-term renters. However, once the May 24 moratorium on certain short-term rental licenses in neighborhood zones hit, Rick hasn’t been able to rent the property.
— Eili Wright
2. Climate scientist: ‘This isn’t a drought. It’s something else;’ ‘The desert just to the south of us is moving our way’
The above-average monsoon season along the Upper Basin of the Colorado River has brought relief after recent summers suffocated by wildfire smoke in the American West. But, according to Brad Udall, senior water and climate research scientist at the Colorado Water Institute and director of the Western Water Assessment at Colorado State University, the relief we’re feeling now is a sign of bigger problems for years to come.
“Next year’s runoff will be really interesting to see what happens. It will be a test of this theory of depleted soil moisture,” Udall told a packed room at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Education Center on Aug. 19.
— Vail Daily
Residents have raised questions and concerns about panhandlers on medians near the Interstate 70 exits in Silverthorne and the Dillon Dam Road in Dillon. Local law enforcement has heard the questions but have said there’s little to be done and encouraged residents to be skeptical to whom they give money.
“Panhandling in our state is now a little more complex of an issue than most people think,” Silverthorne Police Department Chief John Minor said. His department has received questions and complaints about recent panhandlers in medians, he said.
As a statutory county, Summit County has no ordinances regulating panhandling in unincorporated areas. Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said there are no locations in unincorporated Summit County with panhandling.
— Luke Vidic
4. Vail Resorts announces opening dates as snow falls in Summit County and on Pikes Peak — signs that winter is coming
Snow has fallen on Colorado peaks. Hoosier Pass turned slick with sleet Monday. Some Summit County resorts have announced their opening days for the winter season. Summer seems to be wrapping up with fall on the way and winter following close behind.
On Monday, Vail Resorts announced several opening days, with Keystone leading the way. Keystone announced a “mid-October” opening day, meaning the ski season could be less than 60 days away.
Breckenridge and Vail ski resorts both are set to open Nov. 11. What sets Keystone apart is its state-of-the-art snowmaking system, Vail Resorts Senior Communications Specialist Shayna Silverman said. Its guns can sense temperature and humidity and output snow as efficiently as possible.
— Luke Vidic
Breckenridge Town Council unanimously approved short-term rental regulations on second reading Tuesday, officially bringing tourism overlay zones to residential areas across town.
At its last meeting, the council unanimously approved the ordinance’s first reading after about two hours of public comment. This week, several more people spoke to the council before the vote.
The regulations were passed through two ordinances. The first will create the mapped areas and the rules for rentals that correlate with the zones, including the tourism overlay district. If the council had voted this down, the 2,200-license cap established in 2021 would still be in effect, but there would be no zones.
— Eliza Noe
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