Top 5 stories on, week of June 23 |

Top 5 stories on, week of June 23

A skier transitions from the slushy on-mountain snow to the waters of Lake Reveal while skiing at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area last weekend.
Courtesy Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Stories in this list received the most page views on for the past week.

1. Breckenridge troll Isak Heartstone reopens with new look in new location

Breckenridge’s beloved trail troll, Isak Heartstone, is now open to receive visitors at his new home near the Stephen C. West Ice Arena and Illinois Gulch trailhead. The first 15-foot tall wooden sculpture was removed in fall 2018 after nearby residents complained about too much traffic and noise from thousands of visitors. But the troll’s popularity was so immense, the town worked with artist Thomas Dambo to build a reimagined version in a new location.

“Its popularity was beyond all expectations,” Breckenridge town manager Rick Holman said. “That’s why we felt it was important to bring it back.”

2. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area extends season to July Fourth for first time since 2011

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced on Thursday it would open for lift-serviced skiing and riding on the July 4th holiday. The comments on social media to the announcement said it all — people are stoked. “That’s it I’m coming out there,” wrote Brian Strzelecki. “Super jealous of everyone who gets to be out there riding on the 4th! So awesome!” Nick Tahtinen wrote.

The last time the ski area opened for the holiday was in 2011. July 4 will be A-Basin’s official closing date for the 2018-19 ski season.

3. Vail snowboarder among 11 killed after skydiving plane crashes in Hawaii

Casey Williamson was among the 11 killed when a skydiving plane crashed and burned at a coastal airfield on the island of Oahu, the worst civilian aviation accident in the U.S. since 2011. The 29-year-old’s love of adventure led him to winter snowboarding in Vail, Colorado, and summer skydiving in Moab, Utah. He had found his way to Hawaii a year and a half ago, where he could skydive year-round. Williamson, who was from Yukon, Oklahoma, worked as an instructor and as a videographer who filmed customers as they dove.

4. Dillon parks committee wants ice castles out of Town Park because of concerns about damage

Although the Dillon ice castles have been a major hit for the town over the past two winters, for some, the amenity comes with too high of a cost. The Dillon Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee has voiced serious concerns about the ice castles being built on top of Town Park and think it might be time to relocate the attraction. Barb Richard, the committee’s secretary, said that on top of numerous brown spots at the park where the grass hasn’t yet recovered from the castles, the weight of all the ice has created lumps in the ground that make it more difficult to use for parkgoers. With major park improvements scheduled through next year, committee members feel future iterations may be counterintuitive to the long-term plans of the park.

5. Colorado question pitting ranchers against wolf advocates is heading for supermarket parking lots

The Colorado Secretary of State recently approved a petition seeking signatures to land a wolf reintroduction proposal on the November 2020 ballot. Wolf supporters will need 124,632 signatures by Dec. 13 to put the restoration of gray wolves before voters. If wolf restoration reaches the ballot next year, Colorado could be the first state where voters — not those wildlife scientists — order a plan to welcome the predators back to Western Colorado. Story from The Colorado Sun.

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