Top stories on summitdaily.com for the week of Nov. 11
Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com for the past week.
Citing public safety concerns, Breckenridge Town Council voted to say goodbye to Isak Heartstone on Nov. 13, a massive art installation that was runaway success with visitors, but whose popularity rankled residents living nearby. The 15-foot wooden troll sat about a mile up the Wellington Trail in Breckenridge, built there for a summer arts festival that ended in August. The original plan was to leave the troll in place as long he could withstand the elements and wasn’t vandalized. Since the festival, the troll drew large crowds, causing nearby homeowners to voice complaints over illegal parking, littering and a severe a loss of privacy.
After council’s vote to take Isak Heartstone down, Danish artist Thomas Dambo, who created the sculpture, took to Facebook to start a campaign to save the troll, which cost the town $40,000 to construct. On Facebook and Instagram, Dambo detailed how the troll in Breckenridge is one of 40 across the world made of recycled wood.
“I make these sculptures out of local scrap wood, with the help of local volunteers,” Dambo wrote, “to show the world how much potential and beauty lays hidden in our trash.”
The sculpture was always meant to be temporary, but temporary in the world of public art installations can cover a wide range of time frames, measured in days, weeks, months or even years.
“I don’t think it’s jolly happy days that the sculpture is to be taken down after only three months, like some medias quoted me saying,” Dambo wrote in his post.
And just like that, a day and a half after Breckenridge Town Council’s vote, the troll was removed in the early morning hours on Nov. 15. Town staff blocked off the Wellington Trail as workers cut up and dismantled the 15-foot troll. About a half dozen to a dozen workers used a chainsaw and small Bobcat backhoe to do the work, hauling off a few pieces to put into storage in hopes Isak Heartstone might return someday. Locals and tourists alike took to social media to share their disapproval for town’s decision, showing the community just how well loved the troll had become. But it was his popularity that led to his untimely demise — with heavy traffic forcing the town to spend an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 on mitigation efforts, from new buck-and-rail fencing and signage to extra trashcans, more town staffing and even having volunteers and police officers on-site, sometimes working overtime.
In other news unrelated to the troll saga, a new business was created in Summit County in response to updated short-term rental regulations. Summit Local Agent is designed to be the “responsible agent” that will handle complaints generated by rental units within one hour 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as required by these new regulations. The business is in the process of signing up new clients with plans to launch the service at the beginning of the New Year, the same time the new rules are supposed to take effect in Breckenridge and Silverthorne. Other jurisdictions will come online when their governments move on new rules and they start to take effect. Summit Local Agent won’t act like a property management company, rather, it will simply serve as a subscription service to be the agent for self-managed short-term rentals in Summit County.
Early season has been promising, with resorts opening early and quickly expanding terrain. Copper Mountain Resort opened Friday with 275 acres of skiable terrain via seven lifts and 27 trails. Copper said it was able to open all of this terrain for Friday thanks to the more than 5 feet of natural snow that has blanketed the resort thus far this season. Both Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort also opened more terrain in time for the weekend. In total, Breckenridge has nearly 1,000 acres of skiable terrain open, as the resort’s received nearly seven feet of snow since mid-October. On Friday, Keystone opened its Mountain House base area and Peru Express lift for the season, and the intermediate Anticipation run on North Peak, with access to the Wayback lift. On Saturday, Keystone opened expert terrain at The Outback.
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