Top 5 stories on, week of May 10 |

Top 5 stories on, week of May 10

Liane Jollon, director of San Juan Basin Public Health, addresses the media Friday afternoon about their drive through coronavirus testing facility at the La Plata County fairgrounds.
Chris Neal / Shooter Imaging / For CPR News

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

1. How Colorado caught COVID-19: A CPR News investigation

A CPR News review of more than 2,000 pages of emails, text messages and memoranda from the weeks before the coronavirus reached Colorado through the first days of the state’s response found numerous instances of confusion, complacency and a lack of preparation.

In interviews with more than a dozen disease and disaster experts, all agreed that the rapid transmission of the disease contributed to early missteps, whether local, state or federal. Many applauded the state’s public response to the crisis after the virus arrived.

Colorado, however, has emerged as the only state in the nation ranked in the bottom 15 for both population density — which should make it easier to control the spread of the virus — and in the top 15 for COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents.

That could be because of the state’s popularity as a winter destination. Or because visitors passed through both densely populated Denver and widespread ski resorts, said Glen Mays, chair of the Colorado School of Public Health.

Whether caused by circumstance or ineffective planning, the result is seen in the statistics. 

— Ben Markus, CPR News

2. Breckenridge gives update on summer tourism outlook, plans for opening Main Street to pedestrians

Breckenridge is looking at a 50% downturn in tourism for the summer — May through October — according to DestiMetrics lodging data presented to council last week by Breckenridge Tourism Office President and CEO Lucy Kay.

However, bookings are looking stronger for late July, August and September. Kay said the tourism office’s website traffic is increasing and that the office is working on expanding its responsible tourism messaging, which originally focused on the environment.

Town council also discussed the pedestrian-friendly Main Street idea. Town Manager Rick Holman said the Breckenridge Reopening Committee is “feverishly” planning for the closing of Main Street to motor vehicles and opening to pedestrian access and open-air restaurant space. He said the committee is on track in the planning process but is still working out some decisions that need to be made, such as whether businesses can use pop-up tents. 

Taylor Sienkiewicz

3. Breckenridge plans to ban all club membership models going forward

After the East Peak 8 development proposal, Breckenridge Town Council has decided to opt out of all future club memberships. 

Community Development Director Mark Truckey asked council during a work session Tuesday whether it wanted to make provisions in the development code to allow for the types of club memberships proposed for the East Peak 8 development or ban them altogether by amending the current code.

Only one council member, Dick Carleton, said he wanted to look into making provisions and town standards for club memberships. 

Mayor Eric Mamula said he didn’t think the community needed the additional impact.

“We don’t need people coming to utilize lockers or parking next to the mountain,” Mamula said. “Why do we want that? Why do we want the additional impact to the community? We’re already having traffic issues.”

Taylor Sienkiewicz

4. Summit County residents now required to have permit for backyard fires

Summit County residents are now required to apply for a permit for backyard campfires, according to amendments to the fire code recently adopted by officials around the county.

Summit Fire & EMS spokesperson Steve Lipsher said the new restrictions came following a push from county officials out of an abundance of caution to reduce the possibility of wildfires in the area. While not a common problem, Lipsher said his district has had to douse a few out-of-control yard fires over the last couple years.

Permits are free, and require that residents to fill out a brief application on either Summit Fire or Red, White & Blue’s Community Connect portal depending on coverage area.

Sawyer D’Argonne 

5. Dillon police ask public for help identifying man who wore Klan mask into grocery store

On Thursday the Dillon Police Department was asking for community help in identifying a man who wore a Ku Klux Klan mask inside the Dillon City Market.

Pictures of a man wearing a Klan-style pointed hood began to flood across social media Thursday afternoon after he wore the hood into the grocery store and allegedly refused to leave when asked by store employees. A store employee also called the police.

Sawyer D’Argonne

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