Top 5 stories on, week of May 3 |

Top 5 stories on, week of May 3

The outdoor patio at BLD in Breckeridge is pictured on Wednesday, May 6. Breckenridge is planning a pedestrian mall are featuring outdoor restaurants and shopping.
Liz Copan /

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

1. Officials explain decision to close Rocky Mountain National Park as they work toward a phased reopening

With Colorado following safer at home guidelines, officials are looking at a gradual reopening of Rocky Mountain National Park. However, an exact date has not been determined.

According to Kyle Patterson, a spokesperson for the national park, the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service is working to reopen national parks across the country in a safe manner.

Park staff at Rocky are going through the decision and planning process now, she said, but the exact date for a phased reopening remains unknown.

Because of the popularity of Rocky, officials felt that keeping the park open risked too much non-local travel, Patterson said.

Amy Golden, Sky-Hi News

2. Breckenridge considers pedestrian-only Main Street to allow for outdoor restaurants and retail

Breckenridge Town Council members gave the go-ahead Tuesday for the Breckenridge Reopening Committee to begin planning an outdoor restaurant setting on Main Street that would close the lanes to vehicles and allow more room for pedestrians.

Town Manager Rick Holman began the discussion by saying council needs to move “full steam ahead” in identifying issues and mapping out a strategy if a pedestrian-only Main Street is something they want to do. Holman noted that staff has heard more positive than negative feedback from the community and that the idea seems to be supported. 

Mayor Eric Mamula pointed out that the sidewalks in the core of town are relatively small, and if the street was open to pedestrian traffic, people could better keep their distance from one another. Drawbacks Mamula noted include some increased traffic, lost parking and difficulty around liquor licensing. 

Council member Erin Gigliello said the more the town can embrace the new normal and be outside, the better.

Taylor Sienkiewicz 

3. Breckenridge City Market coronavirus outbreak grows to 17 employees

A total of 17 employees at the City Market store in Breckenridge have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The county first reported an outbreak of eight positive cases among employees of the grocery store April 29. Another three cases were confirmed shortly thereafter.

Since then, 80 employees who were not experiencing symptoms have been tested for the virus through the county’s mobile testing unit. Five of those employees tested positive. Summit County Public Health was notified that a quarantined individual developed symptoms. The individual is being counted as a probable positive case.

The store will stay open, and has been thoroughly cleaned and continues to be cleaned, according to a county news release.

Libby Stanford

4. Longtime Summit County locals compare mud season to how it was 40 years ago

It’s no secret that mud season isn’t like it used to be.

Some longtime locals remember it fondly while others remember the hardships of mud season. With the COVID-19 shutdown, locals who have been here for decades say this year’s mud season bears similarities to those of the 1980s.

Larry Crispell, who has lived in Summit County since 1972, said he doesn’t miss “the good old days” and that the town has turned into a better place to raise families, for kids to engage in recreational activities and for kids to come back to the community and start their own lives in a more diversified economy. 

Leigh Girvin, who has lived in the region for over 48 years, said one of the biggest similarities between mud seasons of the past and this year is the lack of traffic.

John Warner, a Summit County resident since 1980, also compared this year’s mud season to those in decades past. 

“I used to make a joke that you could walk across Main Street with your eyes closed, and you wouldn’t get hit by a car,” Warner said. “And that’s my barometer. I think you can do that now.”

Taylor Sienkiewicz  

5. Breckenridge passes ordinance requiring masks

At a special Breckenridge Town Council meeting last week, council members unanimously passed an emergency ordinance requiring the use of masks or facial coverings in situations where 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. The ordinance took effect immediately and will stay in place until Mayor Eric Mamula declares the public health emergency is over. 

Town Manager Rick Holman introduced the ordinance, explaining that while this is already a countywide requirement, the ordinance allows Breckenridge police officers to issue citations to those who do not follow the rule. If ticketed by police, the first offense is $50, the second is $250, and the third and subsequent offenses are $500 each. 

Summit County has a similar measure, requiring the public to wear facial coverings or masks while inside publicly accessible buildings as well as during any other situation indoors or outdoors where 6 feet of separation from other individuals could not be maintained.

Taylor Sienkiewicz

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