Top 5 stories on, week of Feb. 23 |

Top 5 stories on, week of Feb. 23

With the snowiest February on record at over 87” in Breckenridge this year, the bronze artwork in Blue River Plaza is an accurate representation of how many residents feel as they dig out of the snow, as pictured on Wednesday, Feb.26.
Liz Copan /

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

1. Extreme weather shuts down ski area buses and lifts

Last Monday, snow squalls and sudden whiteouts in the mountains led to some dangerous traffic conditions and even caused the Summit Stage bus service to shut down for a short period of time. The extreme conditions caused issues at Summit County ski areas as well, with resorts suspending services or shutting down lifts completely for the day.

Taylor Sienkiewicz

2. Mumps cases among Keystone Resort employees grow to 17

Summit County Public Health officials confirmed 17 cases of mumps among Keystone Resort employees on Feb. 24, after the outbreak started with three cases in early February. On Thursday, Feb. 27, the number of reported cases rose to 26, including two cases that were nonemployees. County officials said that number is expected to change as the public health investigation continues.

County representatives said there was minimal risk of infection to resort guests and the community at large, and the risk was limited to persons who are in close physical contact with infected persons.

A Vail Resorts spokesperson said the resort is ensuring that infected employees are under self-quarantine in their living quarter, and that it was providing assistance to the infected employees with a support team providing medical transport, assistance with shopping and meals, financial assistance and other services. It is also offering free vaccinations for its workers.

— Nicole Miller, Deepan Dutta

3. Breckenridge Ski Resort hits 300-inch season snowfall milestone

Breckenridge Ski Resort was the first ski area in Colorado to surpass 300 inches of total snowfall for the season. The total on the 5 a.m. report Sunday, Feb. 23 was just under the 300-inch mark, but the resort received more than a foot of fresh snow throughout the day. As of 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24, the resort reported 311 inches of snow for the 2019-20 season. 

Breckenridge broke its February snowfall record Feb. 17 with 87 inches. In March 2019, the resort recorded 117 inches of snow, according to data from OpenSnow. If March and April are on track with average snowfall numbers, the resort will see quite the snow year. 

Taylor Sienkiewicz

4. Centura Health backs out of Southwest Colorado community health alliance raising concerns about partnership with Peak Health in Summit

Centura Health, the largest health care provider in Colorado and owner of St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, has backed out of participating in a community health care alliance in southwest Colorado and instead will offer its own discounted plan that promises 20% savings from previous offerings. 

Centura made the announcement with a paid advertisement in the most recent weekend edition of The Durango Herald. The move effectively means Centura is dropping out of negotiations to collaborate with Southwest Health Alliance, an offshoot of Summit County’s Peak Health Alliance operating under Peak’s guidance, to negotiate rates with insurers and provide plans directly to consumers. 

While the move in Durango has no immediate impact in Summit, where Centura has a commitment with Peak Health through next year, it does have Peak Health worried that the health provider might use the same tactic in Summit during next year’s negotiations, making its own agreements with insurance carriers and offering its own discounted health plan while cutting Peak Health and the broader community out of the process.

Deepan Dutta

5. Dillon, county officials push forward on USFS housing partnership

Dillon and Summit County officials are moving forward with efforts to create new workforce housing options around the county, including a recent push to partner with the United States Forest Service for development projects on federal land.

The Summit Board of County Commissioners attended the Dillon Town Council work session Feb. 18, to discuss the concept — further developing a 9-acre parcel of Forest Service land outside of Dillon Valley — along with representatives with the U.S. Forest Service and the Summit County Housing Authority, among other interested parties.

Conversations are ongoing, and have begun in good faith that an eventual agreement will be reached. Though, any progress will likely be plodding in the early stages as everyone involved works to figure out exactly how the partnership would function.

Sawyer D’Argonne

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