Top 5 stories on, week of Dec. 2 |

Top 5 stories on, week of Dec. 2

Compiled by Heather Jarvis
Vail Pass Rest Area. A 42-year-old Denver man was found dead of an apparent suicide at the rest area on Thursday morning.
Hugh Carey /


Social Calls are comments pulled from the Summit Daily’s website and Facebook page.

“Hey Boss... I think I should take off today. My dog got skunked this morning and we both stink. See you Fri...errr Saturday for skiing.” — Ali Pine on “Arapahoe Basin Ski Area to open Montezuma Bowl Friday — the earliest opening ever”

“Cough, cough. Sick...” — Michelle Flynn on “Arapahoe Basin Ski Area to open Montezuma Bowl Friday — the earliest opening ever”

“The overwhelming majority of the townsfolk whom were pleading with the with the think tank of Dillon, to employ a modicum of common sense concerning the new development was completely ignored and here we are. Damage done and said think tank is now reconsidering... The think tank in Dillon has to know how horribly they screwed up! Take a walk to the corner of La Bonte and Main and check out this abortion of a development. It has no business being there! “View sensitive corridors” my ass! They no longer exist! Hang out at the town hall meetings. Dillon truly lets anyone with free time serve as mayor. Pitiful!” — Dan Falliaux on “Dillon considers more restrictions on building height”

“They’d probably get more drivers if they took cannabis off of the list of drugs they test for in the random UA’s.” — Leif Osborne Hunter on “With a statewide lack of snowplow drivers, Colorado’s lesser-used roads may get less attention”

“That intersection in Keystone is extremely dangerous for pedestrians. My advice is don’t use. You are better off walking 100 yards in either direction and crossing there. The entirety of Keystones pedestrian pathways or lack thereof are a deathtrap and have been for years.” — Kihm Beyer on “Quandary: Looking at pedestrian safety on the mean streets of Summit County”

“Kudos to Summit County DA for pursuing this as a criminal case. Usually they tell you it is a ‘civil matter’” — Craig Baker on “Summit County plumber charged with stealing thousands in deposits for uncompleted projects”

“‘Not anticipating any delays as a result of the mishap’.... so not being able to access center village terrain at this part of the season was part of the planned schedule? If so, POWDR project management isn’t just incompetent but their PR machine has intentionally mislead their pass holders. On a bright note, A-Basin is still selling season passes...” — Rob Huehmer on “Gondola cabin crashes during testing at Copper Mountain”

“Facts: The Earth is 5 billion years old. It has gone through 6 ice ages. That is long periods of extreme cold followed by long periods of extreme heat. Humans were not here to cause it, and we are not causing it now. Its just a way to introduce another tax to generate revenue for our overspending government.” — Keith Loveless on “Major federal study says climate change is hurting U.S. and will wreak health, economic havoc”

“Really unfortunate for Coloradans as the off seasons and quiet times once available in the mountains are being lost to year round crowds attracted by non-stop marketing making many of these once special communities seas of overcrowding and noise.” — Bryan Kochis on “Lodging sets new summer records at western resorts”

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

1. Dead body found at Vail Pass Rest Area

Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the Vail Pass Rest Area on Dec. 6 after reports of a dead body at the scene. Deputies, detectives, the county coroner and Colorado State Patrol were at the scene for investigation, and the death was ruled a suicide. The man was a 42-year-old Denver resident. The man’s death brings the number of suicides in Summit County this year to 11.

2. Copper Mountain Resort opens new American Eagle lift

After a summer of work, Copper Mountain Resort opened its new American Eagle chairlift, bringing the ski area a new high-speed lift that includes a combination of both 6-person chairs and 8-person gondola cabins. The new lift is supposed to increase uphill capacity by more than 40 percent, replacing a high-speed quad, in servicing some of the resort’s most popular skiing and riding terrain out of Center Village. The new American Eagle and American Flyer chairlifts are the first two lifts in North America to run on direct drives as opposed to a complex gear system. As for the new American Flyer lift, it will be a Leitner Poma, high-speed six-person chair with bubble enclosures that should increase uphill capacity by 33 percent. The resort is working on getting that lift open soon.

3. Defunct HOA offers to gift Breckenridge, Summit County 20 acres of land in Illinois Gulch

A homeowners association that disbanded 20 years ago but still owns eight parcels of open-space land has offered them to Breckenridge and Summit County free of charge, with the town and county only needing to cover title insurance and closing costs to make it happen. Town manager Rick Holman put the price tag at just a few thousand dollars, and considering the cost, the town’s elected officials said they were all-in. If the transaction goes through, the defunct HOA would hand the county and town seven parcels totaling almost 23 acres altogether. Because the land was designated as open space, there are no developable density rights associated with it, and the deal would not affect the town or county’s transferrable density rights programs. The town and county taking control could be bringing privately owned open space into the public sphere and under the management of the town and county’s open-space programs.

4. Silverthorne sexual assault suspect charged with cheating on urine test, attempting to bribe public servant

Justin Cayce Erwin, a key figure implicated in a 2016 St. Patrick’s Day sexual assault case, was taken into custody at the Summit County Justice Center after allegedly attempting to bribe a public servant, resulting in the revocation of bonds in several ongoing cases. When Erwin visited GEO Reentry Services in Frisco on Nov. 9 to take a court ordered urine test, he allegedly was caught using a “Whizzinator,” a synthetic urine device sometimes used in attempts to cheat urine tests. According to court documents, Erwin then attempted to bribe the employee by offering them $100 to overlook the device. At the time of his most recent arrest, Erwin was on bond for three cases stemming from incidents between 2016–18, including a 2016 incident resulting in Erwin being accused of sexually assaulting a woman too inebriated to consent on St. Patrick’s Day in 2016. He was also on bond for an incident in 2017 when he was pulled over while driving under restraint, operating an unregistered low power scooter, failing to provide compulsory insurance and violation of bail bond conditions. At the hearing, Erwin pleaded not guilty to all counts stemming from that case. Finally, he was on bond for a DUI in 2016, to which he pleaded guilty.

5. Copper Mountain Resort won’t open new American Eagle lift this weekend

With plans to open the weekend of Dec. 1, Copper Mountain Resort announced on that Friday evening it would have to delay the opening of the new American Eagle chairlift. The resort announced the delay was due to a few unforeseen technical issues and the manufacturer of the new lift, Leitner-Poma, said several backup power systems were not performing to its standards. During testing, a gondola cabin for the new American Eagle lift broke free and fell to the ground just after exiting the base terminal. Because it was not open to the public, no one was injured.

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