Top 5 stories on SummitDaily.com, week of Aug. 9
Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com for the past week.
The Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon made a major run overnight on Aug. 13, more than doubling in size to 14,663 acres with new areas of fire spread on the east and northeast sides of the canyon.
White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams confirmed Aug. 14 that the fire has burned in the area of Hanging Lake, the popular visitor attraction that now operates on a permit system.
By comparison in terms of fire size, the Grizzly Creek Fire is now more than 2,000 acres larger than the 2018 Lake Christine Fire on Basalt Mountain, which burned 12,588 acres.
— The Post Independent
Loveland Ski Area provided some insight into the upcoming ski season in its Aug. 5 update, which said the season will be “different” but that the ski area expects to open on time.
Ski area officials noted that cleaning and sanitation will increase in frequency and rigor and that physical distancing and masks will be required in indoor areas, base areas, lift mazes, on chairlifts and on shuttle buses.
Only related groups can ride together on chairlifts, there will be occupancy limits at indoor spaces and on shuttle buses, and Ski & Ride School will operate with reduced capacities. The ski area also noted that as many transactions as possible will be conducted online prior to arrival.
As winter quickly approaches, ski area CEOs and county leaders are looking to the state for guidance on how the resorts should operate.
A series of meetings between local government leaders, state leaders and ski area stakeholders took place last week. Some ski area officials are worried that the state will impose a 50% capacity on all resorts, according to County Manager Scott Vargo.
Ski area leaders were OK with 50% capacity limits on restaurants, transit and retail operations, however, Vargo said.
“The idea of the hill capacity being cut in half, that was very troubling,” he said.
A survey of Breckenridge businesses, conducted by the Breckenridge Tourism Office, showed that the majority of retail store owners and managers supported extending Walkable Main into September, but the results noted that restaurants within the closure are perceived to have benefited the most while retailers have not benefited as much.
Perception by business type varies, however, as some report positive summer business, which they attribute to Walkable Main, while others attribute a downturn in sales to the closure.
Ski area officials are preparing for the upcoming ski season as the pandemic continues to affect daily life.
With ski season just two months away, most ski area officials were reluctant to discuss specific winter plans but noted that they are or will be working with local and state health authorities as well as other ski areas to develop rules and guidelines for ski season.
Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz touched on some of the requirements of the 2020-21 ski season in a letter, including facial coverings in all indoor and outdoor public gathering spaces. He also wrote that physical distancing efforts will limit or restrict events or other gatherings where 6 feet of space between unrelated groups can’t be maintained.
Keystone spokesperson Loryn Roberson wrote in an email that the resorts are planning for a normal opening schedule as they continue to learn from summer operations. Employees also are undergoing health screenings and training.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area spokesperson Katherine Fuller wrote in an email that the ski area intends to work with public health officials and other ski areas but did not share details on the planning process for the upcoming ski season.
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