Top 5 most-read stories last week: Snow falls, bonfire returns, electric vehicles banned


Bruce Ruff of Arvada enjoys some Friday freshies at Loveland Ski Area.
Dustin Schaefer/Loveland Ski Area

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

1. Summit County ski areas could rack up double-digit snow totals

After an unseasonably warm fall, the change in weather follows a nearly two-week stretch without any snow and high temperatures that neared or set records.

The high temperature of 55 degrees Nov. 30 broke a record for the day, besting a three-way tie for the previous high temperature record for the date: 53 degrees set in 1950, 1986 and 1999.

Saturday, Dec. 4, also set a record high temperature with 55 degrees. That narrowly beat the previous record of 54 degrees set in 1998.

National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Schlatter said Dec. 6 that Summit County is experiencing such warm weather partly because there’s no snow on the ground.

“Part of the reason that you’re seeing such warm temps, especially in the towns, is because there isn’t much of a snowpack,” said Schlatter, adding that it aids in overnight cooling.

— Nicole Miller

2. Ullr Fest returns to Breckenridge, and the bonfire is back

While it was originally looking like there would not be a bonfire this year, the Breckenridge Tourism Office scrambled at the last minute to ensure it would make a triumphant return with the rest of the festival.

The bonfire lit up the night Thursday, Dec. 9, at the East Sawmill Lot off Main Street in Breckenridge. With the construction of the South Gondola parking structure, the previous home of the bonfire was no longer an option.

— Lindsey Toomer

3. Keystone’s Decatur homeowners association bans electric vehicles in garage

Homeowners at the Decatur property in Keystone’s Lakeside Village were alerted last week that electric vehicles are now prohibited from parking or charging in the garage due to an increased “risk of fire.”

The email that went out to homeowners on Nov. 30 said Decatur’s design “creates increased fire risks if an (electric vehicle) fire happens in our garage.”

While the email stated that the fire marshal did a risk assessment and concluded there is increased risk, a spokesperson for Summit Fire & EMS said that’s not the case.

Summit Fire spokesperson Steve Lipsher said the organization received an inquiry from the homeowners association asking whether Summit Fire advised against parking electric vehicles in the underground garage, which it did not.

— Lindsey Toomer

4. Some Summit business owners say they’re not interested in implementing a vaccine requirement for customers

Summit County’s public health order was updated Tuesday, Nov. 30, and the latest version has a few tweaks, including a recommendation that restaurants and bars require guests ages 12 and older to be vaccinated.

But some business owners are hesitant to implement a mask mandate much less a vaccine requirement. Though many business owners acknowledge that keeping guests and staff healthy is their first priority, they said they also have to balance other effects at play when measures such as these are in place.

Rootstalk owner Matt Vawter said his restaurant team is in the business of creating an enjoyable experience for guests and that a mandate would work against that.

— Jenna deJong

5. How Breckenridge distinguishes exempt short-term rentals from lodges and hotels

With the town of Breckenridge passing its new short-term rental regulatory fee, properties previously exempt from the administrative fee will now have to pay $400 per bedroom to the town come Jan. 1, 2022.

The only short-term lodging properties exempt from the fee are ones registered as a lodge with the town, which applies to traditional hotels owned entirely by one person or corporation.

Lodges will still have a different type of business license, and they don’t need short-term rental licenses.

— Lindsey Toomer

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