One thing is certain, we’re not alone, we’re all in this global pandemic together. For Breckenridge, a resort community who depends tremendously on our visitors, we are definitely feeling the effects of Stay at Home orders.
Although Summit County had the very first positive case of Coronavirus in the entire state, there have not been any related deaths and our positive cases remain low. Being a world-class destination, the first few cases originated from international travelers from various corners of the world. Knowing we would have a spring break influx, local officials made the decision to be proactive and keep the spread to a minimum by closing the restaurants and non-essential businesses just days after Vail Resorts decided to cease operations at all of their ski resorts. Only our critical businesses remain open for the time being.
So what is life like in Breckenridge at the moment? The chairlifts sit empty and lonely. We look up at the mountain and long to be on the slopes. We worry about the physical and mental well-being of those who are most adversely affected.
Main Street is eerily quiet. The sidewalks are usually packed this time of year, but today you will only see a handful of residents out on strolls with their dogs. Our hearts ache for the owners and employees of the many establishments with “Closed” signs hanging in their dark doorways.
Please Understand …
Outdoor recreation is the center of life for many of our residents. To maintain mental health, our residents are encouraged to carry on with our love for outdoor activity as long as we avoid crowds and maintain the 6-foot social distance. However, conflict has arisen when non-residents travel here and cause crowding at the most popular trailheads and backcountry spots. Illegally parked vehicles have also been an issue.
Our community understands that people still want to come here! However, as Julie Sutor, Summit County director of communications states, “Visitors coming up from the front range flies in the face of everything we are trying to accomplish.” In a heartfelt plea, our government officials are asking that non-residents do not visit for the time being so that we can protect the health of our own residents, reduce the impact on our small healthcare system, not jeopardize search-and-rescue operations and reopen our businesses as quickly as possible.
In an effort to further discourage visitors, leaders from all Summit County ski areas and the White River National Forest joined forces to prohibit uphill access and ask everyone to stay home and recreate responsibly. Their widely-broadcasted statement ended with an uplifting note, however, “Our mountains will always be here and we will ski and ride another day.”
Coming Together While Staying Apart
Despite these unprecedented circumstances, Summit County residents are a hearty bunch and our spirits remain full of optimism and altruism. “What can I do to help?” is the question we are all asking each other.
Those who are able have donated to our food banks to help feed thousands of workers who are suddenly unemployed. Residents have volunteered their time and efforts to ensure that seniors and others who are compromised get assistance with daily needs. Moving forward, keeping our community on its feet, and welcoming our visitors back is at the forefront of our minds.
With real estate transactions falling into the critical category, we are business as usual at Breckenridge Associates while taking the necessary public health order precautions to protect our clients and staff. Fortunately, a great deal of our business is able to be conducted electronically and homes can be marketed virtually.
We greatly anticipate the end of quarantine and welcoming everyone back to Breckenridge and Summit County. The trails, recreational opportunities, good vibes and beautiful mountain properties will be here waiting for you.
Source for the quote from Summit County director of communications.