No. 6 Breckenridge will try even harder |

No. 6 Breckenridge will try even harder

Breckenridge Mayor Sam Mamula likes to call ski resort Chief Operating Officer Roger McCarthy a genius or a magician for getting Vail Resorts to invest in on-mountain improvements at the ski area – in advance of development to help pay for them.

Maybe it wasn’t such a risk for McCarthy and the Vail Resorts board after all.

Apparently, two new lifts and 165 acres of new intermediate terrain are good enough to help lift Breckenridge’s ranking in SKI magazine polling from No. 10 to No. 6. Not much else has changed in a year in Breckenridge, save for another real estate office on Main Street.

Otherwise, it’s still a great ski town, just like it’s always been.

To us, the various rankings that appear in SKI and SKIING magazines are manufactured hype and don’t always make sense. For instance, Vail is always near the top, hitting No. 1 again this year. Go figure. The skiing is great but the town is certainly an acquired taste.

Still, the ski resorts buy into the rankings with gusto and believe the payoff is in increased visitation. So congratulations, Breckenridge, on hitting No. 6. We can say firsthand the skiing experience is greatly improved by the new lifts and terrain.

That’s another point Mamula makes. He said it was town council members such as avid skiers Larry Crispell and John Warner (now off the board) who raised the issues of crowding and congestion with 1.4 million skiers hitting the slopes. They were on the mark.

They made the point of saying on-mountain improvements should come before expansion of the bed base, and even more crowding.

It was a locals’ point of view. As Mamula said Monday, in effect, if you take care of the locals, you take care of the guests.

Breckenridge – the town and the resort – also have cooperated on improving the bus system and the handling of traffic flow. As we speak, the new intermodal transportation center is being staked out in the day skier parking lots.

Breckenridge’s ace in the hole has always been the relationship between a historic mining town and a ski resort. As the town’s paid economic consultants have pointed out in recent years, in a competitive world, the advantages should be exploited. That’s what’s happening in Breckenridge.

Opinions published in this space are formulated by members of the Summit Daily News editorial board: Michael Bennett, Jim Pokrandt, Jason Starr, Rachel Toth, Reid Williams, Aidan Leonard and Martha Lunsky.

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