Top 5 stories on, week of Oct. 20 |

Top 5 stories on, week of Oct. 20

SUVs drive in both directions on Interstate 70 on Oct. 22 near Silverthorne.
Liz Copan /

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

1. Summit County rental car companies urge visitors to skip the DIA rental and get a car with snow tires

Summit County car rental companies want visitors to realize the potential problems that can come with renting a car without proper snow tires in the high county. Pete Griff, owner of Breckenridge Rental Car, said snow tires are particularly important for rentals because a lot of visitors are not used to driving in the snow. Even if there isn’t a blizzard, he said, it helps improve traction in mild winter weather. 

As one of the few rental car companies that has snow tires on every car, Griff said he has often rented to people who already have another car from a Denver rental company without proper tires, who then run into problems with unplowed roads or driveways.

Of the local chain rental car companies, Hertz Car Rental officials said they could not guarantee snow tires, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car officials said all of their vehicles at the Silverthorne location have snow tires.

Griff recommends people flying into DIA take a shuttle to the mountains instead of driving themselves, and then rent a car with snow tires after arriving in Summit County.

Taylor Sienkiewicz

2. Sunday’s powerful snowstorm blankets Summit County ski areas

A powerful storm rolled in on Sunday of last week to bring several inches of snow to town and all of the Summit County ski resorts. The natural snow and snow machine-friendly cold temperatures added to the runs open at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Keystone Resort, and helped with Loveland Ski Area’s opening.

Alan Henceroth, COO of A-Basin, wrote in his blog that day that the snow guns would be moved to the upper mountain, which would help get the higher runs open soon if the cold weather continued.

Both Copper and Breckenridge announced a tentative opening day of Nov. 8 at the September COO Breakfast.

Taylor Sienkiewicz

3. Parking, traffic concerns raised as Summit County commissioners approve One River Run hotel development exemptions

At a contentious Summit Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, officials approved two exemptions requested by One River Run Acquisitions, the developer of a proposed hotel at the former Keystone Resort Hunki Dori parking lot site.

The proposed project features a 107-room RockResorts hotel and would include a spa, restaurant and banquet space that would be managed by Vail Resorts’ hospitality division. The project also includes about 95 residential condos and 12,000 feet of commercial space.

At Tuesday’s meeting, county commissioners approved an amendment to convert the originally planned multifamily units to lodging units and approved an exemption that requested a portion of the parcel be carved out for River Run Gondola.

The developers now need a stamp of approval on their site plan from the Snake River Planning Commission, which is expected to meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at Dillon Town Hall. The meeting will be open for public comment.

Taylor Sienkiewicz

4. Summit County building permits on pace to eclipse record-setting 2018

Through the first nine months of the year, building permit requests in Summit County are on pace to eclipse 2018, which itself was a record-setting year for construction.

The Summit County Building Inspection Department has seen a 10% increase in requests for building permits through September 2019 compared with last year, according to Chief Building Official Jeff Flynn, whose department oversees projects in Silverthorne, Dillon and unincorporated Summit County.

“The towns of Dillon and Silverthorne, both of those areas, the skylines are going to be changing,” Flynn said about current development work. “Silverthorne is one area that’s been a lot busier than it has in the past.”

Taylor Sienkiewicz

5. No bond for woman who killed two children when she crashed car high on meth

A woman with methamphetamine in both her bloodstream and her car at the time she crashed, resulting in the deaths of two of her children, asked District Court Judge Russell Granger on Monday afternoon to be free on bond while she exhausts her appeals.

“That I cannot do,” Granger ruled in a quick, 10-minute hearing.

Jenny Figaszewski, of Arvada, originally claimed faulty suspension caused the July 14, 2016, crash on Interstate 70 that killed two of her daughters. However, her voluntary blood test afterward found more than 1,000 nanograms of methamphetamine in her bloodstream at the time of the crash, roughly the meth equivalent of a 1.8 blood alcohol level, Assistant District Attorney Heidi McCollum said.

McCollum argued Monday that Figaszewski is where she should be — prison.

— The Vail Daily

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