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Living the dream - a blog about Breckenridge local perspectives

While Breckenridge continues to see powder days through mid to late April this season, we cannot help but wonder what the snow will be like next year. Current forecasts are showing that there is a 65% likelihood of an El Niño next winter, which is twice as much as a typical season. El Niño is a series of climatic changes that affect temperatures in the equatorial Pacific region and can greatly affect weather in our area. This could ultimately mean wetter weather for Colorado.

Forecasts will be more accurate once summer hits and we can get a better idea of the future weather patterns. According to current patterns, we may all need to start investing in powder skis because the future season holds promise. Until then, we can finish this season with the sun shining and snow falling in Breckenridge, making for an excellent spring skiing experience.

798px-Snowfall_on_19th_Street,_N_W__-_Blizzard_of_2010

Once again this April, as part of their month-long Spring Fever celebration, Breckenridge Ski Resort is offering four fantastic concerts at the base of Peak 8. This Bud Light Concert Series has been bringing great name acts from around the country now for several years, and both locals and visitors alike look forward to this great free entertainment. When the weather cooperates, nothing beats skiing in the morning, then soaking in the sun with some friends, enjoying a beverage and the great music. These free shows are open to the public and will take place on a specially-constructed stage on the snow at the base of Peak 8, facing the plaza level by the T-Bar and One Ski Hill Grill.

 

Big Bad Voodoo DaddySaturday, April 12 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
This big band, swing-influenced group has been around for 20 years. Notable singles include “Go Daddy-O” and “Mr. Pinstripe Suit.” Listen In

 

 

Gin BlossomsSunday, April 13 – Gin Blossoms
This 90’s radio group had massive hits like “Follow You Down”, “Til I Hear It From You” and “Hey Jealousy.” Pop/rock. Listen In

 

 

ymsbFriday, April 18 – Yonder Mountain String Band
Bending bluegrass, rock and countless other influences that the band cites, Yonder has pioneered a sound of their own. Listen In

 

 

Blues-TravelerSaturday, April 19 – Blues Traveler
The band’s music covers a variety of genres, including blues rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and Southern rock. Listen In

 

 

 

Maybe it was my measly bowl of cereal this morning, but I’ve been thinking about all of the fantastic places in town to grab breakfast. On the go, sitting down, coffee shop/bakeries, restaurants, you name it. Some of these great Breckenridge eateries are venerable establishments, long-time local favorites. Others are fairly new. But one thing’s for sure, you will leave satisfied!

  • Amazing Grace – Quant little natural food place. Great vegetarian and gluten-free options. Try the buttermilk biscuits or breakfast tacos.
  • Blue Moose – One of the most popular breakfast joints in town. Cash only. The huevos rancheros or rosti are highly recommended.
  • Clint’s – Established coffee shop/bakery & local hangout. Bakery is downstairs in the back. Bagel sandwiches, lemon yogurt muffins are incredible. Try one of their homemade cakes for that special occasion.

    La Francaise French Bakery

    Pastry selection at La Francaise French Bakery.

  • Columbine Cafe – Family-run restaurant, always popular, great place to bring the kids. I recommend the Courtyard Special, or any of their great pancackes or french toast.
  • Cool River – Friendly little coffee shop/bakery with great ski area views. Conveniently located near Peak 9 base. Try their breakfast sandwiches, pastries & croissants.
  • Cuppa Joe – Newer, eclectic coffee shop on Ridge St. with amazing ski area views. Prob my favorite Americano in Breck. Gargantuan breakfast burritos!
  • Daylight Donuts – For an inexpensive, hearty breakfast, this popular local spot has great pancakes, eggs & donuts. The breakfast burrito to go is awesome to take up on the mountain.
  • Kava Cafe – This small Main Street cafe offers unique, sugar- or cinnamon-coated mini donuts, cooked right in front of you!
  • La Francaise French Bakery – Escape the hustle and bustle of town, and relax at this French bakery. Try the baguettes, pastries, croissants, paninis and lattes.

 

With February continuing the trend of the amazing snow we’ve seen since the New Year, the conditions on the mountain are unmatched right now. In some years, as we get in to March we can struggle with a thin base, or even some spring-like weather that may really reduce an otherwise strong snowpack. This year, Breckenridge Ski Resort has already seen 335″ of snow since the beginning of ski season, and 80″ in February. With a mid-mountain base depth of 90″, the mountain is skiing better than ever, and conditions are perfect now for our Spring Break crowds. Long range forecasts are calling for snow about twice a week through the middle of March, with no prolonged dry spell.

While many of our customers this time of year are looking for lots of sunshine, nothing beats a few days of fresh snow, soft slopes, and a bit of sun in between. And with Daylight Savings Time beginning this Sunday, March 9th, the longer days will keep the sun that much higher in the sky. Temps in the 40s along with some sunshine really make for a spectacular setting here in Breck. Sipping on your favorite beverage at the base of the mountain, on your own private deck or even in the comfort of your own private hot tub is a highly recommended experience!

Spring in Breck

If you’re coming out to Breck later in March or April, be sure to check out the great lineup of events for this year’s Spring Fever party, from March 22-April 20.
- free Bud Light Concert Series – Apr 12-13, 19-20 at the stage at base of Peak 8)
- Spring Fever Chili Cookoff – March 23rd
- Mountain Dew Throwback Throwdown – March 29th
- Breck Spring Beer Fest – April 5th
- Easter Sunrise Service and Easter Egg Hunt – April 20th
- Fever Reliever Main Street shopping deals

Wow is all I can say. If any of you were up in the Colorado mountains in January, particularly in Breckenridge, it would have been hard not to notice (and play in) all of the great snowfall we received. The new year came in strong with frequent storms through the first two weeks of the month. After a little break and over a week of some calm, sunny weather, one of the biggest storms to come through Breck in several years graced the area. Over 38″ of snow fell the last few days of the month, upping the January snow total to 123″, as reported by Breckenridge Ski Resort. Obviously, the skiing & riding conditions are unbeatable right now. A 77″ settled mid-mountain base allows for fantastic coverage. Many of the upper mountain runs have never been deeper, and your chances of skiing over some rocks or tree tips are pretty slim now! Breck’s famous above-treeline expert terrain is now wide open, with ski patrol recently opening Snow White, Lake Chutes, and some of the high alpine hike-to terrain on Peak 6. If you’ve been longing to experience some of our quintessential alpine terrain, now is the time to get up to Breckenridge! Availability is tight for all weekends through about the middle of March, but don’t hesitate, there is still plenty of time left this winter for a Breck vacation.

The Hearthstone Restaurant, after our 26" snow

The Hearthstone Restaurant. Image courtesy of GoBreck.

 

Snow graces town street lamps. Image courtesy of GoBreck.

Snow graces town street lamps. Image courtesy of GoBreck.

 

Breckenridge Welcome Center. Image courtesy of GoBreck.

Breckenridge Welcome Center. Image courtesy of GoBreck.

 

 

After an exciting last 6 weeks of Olympic qualifications in California, Colorado and Utah, I was thrilled to hear that Breck’s very own Bobby Brown and Keri Herman both qualified for the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics.

Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown (follow him on Twitter here) grew up skiing for local club Team Summit, and soon realized skiing bumps wasn’t nearly as fun as catching air. After winning a few Dew Tour slopestyle events in 2008 and 2009, Bobby came on the scene big time with his signature X Games slopestyle gold in Aspen in 2010. Ever since he has been a contender in any slopestyle or big air contest he has entered. The 22-year-old athlete is sponsored by Breckenridge Ski Resort, Red Bull, Salomon, Under Armour, Smith Optics and more.

Twenty-seven-year-old Keri Herman (follow Keri on Twitter here) has been living in Breck since 2004, and is one of the top female halfpipe and slopestyle skiers. Growing up in Minnesota, she focused on ice hockey as a kid and early in college, and it wasn’t until moving to Denver to attend college that Keri soon found a love for freestyle skiing. The two-time Dew Tour and four-time X Games medalist came in to the 2013 season hot off a World Cup slopestyle gold medal performance in Argentina, and won the Copper Grand Prix Olympic qualifying event this past December here in Summit County. Keri is currently sponsored by Scott, US Freeskiing, Monster Energy, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Discrete Headwear and more.

As you can imagine, both athletes have been under enormous pressure since the beginning of winter, knowing the qualifying events would be very competitive for a coveted spot on the US Olympic team. Now that both Bobby and Keri are officially going to Sochi, both skiers are excited to be able to relax just a bit, get their bodies back healthy again, and focus solely on improving their skiing for a chance to medal in February.

Keri Herman

 

Hard to believe but Breckenridge locals and visitors alike have been celebrating the Ullr Festival now for over 50 years. Wait, has Breckenridge been around that long?! Yes, the town of Breckenridge was formally established in 1961, and just two years later in 1963, the very first “Ullr Dag” (Norweigan for “Ullr Day”) was started by some Breckenridge Ski Resort ski school instructors in hopes of bringing more visitors to town. Ullr is the Norweigan god of snow, and each year we pay homage to this mythical god in hopes of a bountiful snow year. As you may have heard, Breck’s roots go back to the 19th century gold rush, but now our economy revolves heavily around the “white gold.”

Ullr parade

 

 

 

 

 

This year’s Ullr Festival offers a whole host of activities, most, but not all, are entirely family friendly.

  • Tuesday, Jan 7 – Ullympics (6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)  Partake in wild events such as the frying pan toss, group ski racing and ski boot relay.  Email events@gobreck.com to register. Breckenridge Riverwalk Center Lawn, 150 West Adams.
  • Wednesday, Jan 8 - SYRCL Wild and Scenic Film (5:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.) – High Country Conservation Center and Continental Divide Land Trust are partnering to bring the film festival to Breckenridge. HCCC and CDLT share complementary missions of resource and land conservation. We are excited to come together to bring the community thought-provoking and beautiful films to inspire involvement and action. Breckenridge Riverwalk Center, 150 West Adams Ave. $15.00
    Breck’s Got Talent (Doors open at 6:00 p.m., Show at 6:30 p.m.) – Join local radio station, Always Mountain Time, for a town-wide talent show. For more information or to register contactjohnny@alwaysmountaintime.com. Breckenridge Theatre, 121 South Ridge. $5.00. Advance tickets available at the Breckenridge Welcome Center.
  • Thursday, Jan 9 - Ullr Parade (4:30 p.m.) – The centerpiece of the week, the Ullr Fest parade showcases Breckenridge’s wild winter fun. Main Street Breckenridge. Don’t miss the World Record Shot Ski Attempt at 4:00 just prior to the parade (click here to sign up for the shot ski). Register for the Parade HERE
    Ullr Bonfire (5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) – Join us for the town bonfire.  Christmas trees are welcome! South Gondola Parking Lot. FREE
  • Friday, Jan 10 - Comedy Night (7:00 p.m. Doors Open, Show at 8:00 p.m.) – Comedy Works comics descend on Breckenridge for a night of big laughs. Breckenridge Riverwalk Center, 150 West Adams Ave. Admission TBD
  • Saturday, Jan 11 - 2nd Annual Ullr Classic Pond Hockey Tournament (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) – Close out the week with a pond hockey tournament held at the Gold Run Nordic Center, 200 Club House Drive.  Register online  $150 per team and FREE for spectators.

With the Holiday season in full swing, we have a lot of guests arriving in town now. Many come every year over the Holidays, while others are experiencing it for the first time. Breckenridge is truly a magical place this time of year, with fresh snow, Holiday lights, window decorations & wreaths, and plenty of happy visitors! This is a festive time, so cozy up with family & loved ones, relax a bit and be thankful that you are in Breck. Below I’ve listed 5 of the most popular things we recommend to all guests, family & owners here for the Holidays.

carriage-05

1) Take a horse-drawn carriage ride around town. This is a unique way to experience Breckenridge, either on a 30-minute historical tour or a 20- or 10-minute ride around town. Warm blankets & hot chocolate provided. Meet at the corner of Washington and Main Street, no reservations needed. Operated by Breck Stables.

2) With the full moon having recently occurred December 17th, clear nights are still providing a lot of moonlight for outdoor evening activities. A moonlit snowshoe tour is extremely popular, and made easy by our friends over at the Breckenridge Nordic Center on Peak 8.

3) Ring in the New Year with Breck’s torch light ski parade or the big fireworks display.

4) Make a reservation and enjoy a romantic dinner at The Hearthstone, an old Victorian building that is now one of the nicest restaurants in town. Or drive Swan Mountain Road over to Keystone, and experience the quaint Ski Tip Lodge, formerly an old stage coach stop that is now a charming inn and four-star restaurant.

5) Check out the sixty-foot-tall town Christmas Tree in Blue River Plaza!

6) And lastly, share your experiences through social media using #breckbecause

New this year in Breckenridge, a company out of Utah has selected Breckenridge as one of three locations for one of their Ice Castles. This is a unique creation created by thousands of icicles, strategically formed through a complex system of water piping and sprinklers. Then mother nature helps out, with wind, sun and air temperature all lending a hand in this creative process. Depending on the weather, the sculptors will repeat this process daily for almost a month, and soon the end result is a magnificent display of archways, tunnels, walkways, caves and towers, all safe for exploration.

IceCastles

Ice castle formation in Breck on December 3rd. Photo courtesy of Ryan Baines.

After a fairly warm Thanksgiving here in Breck, the first week of December has ushered in the coldest air of the season, with below 0 temperatures settling in the last 4 nights. Rest assured, this has been great news for Brent and his crew creating the ice castle, so their anticipated opening of December 26th looks to be right on schedule. Admission is $10/person, ages 4 and up. Click here to buy tickets. Or for a limited time, take advantage of this Groupon offer of 40% off, 2 tickets for $12, or 4 tickets for $24.

Cuppa Joe's, Breckenridge (Flickr Filter)

Cuppa Joe

Perhaps stemming from my recent lack of routinely eating breakfast, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my favorite places in town for lunch. As little as 10 years ago, there were just a handful of classic local eateries that were famous with the locals for a quick lunch during the work week. Today the Breck lunch scene is thriving, with a wide variety of food offered in unique atmospheres. Still popular today, Downstairs at Eric’s offers a great Club sandwich, Turkey BLT, or Gyro. If you’re in the mood for Mexican, snag a table at Mi Casa, overlooking the Dredge Pond, and dig in to the Mango Duck Quesadilla or a tasty burrito. One of the better burgers in town can be found at either the Breckenridge Brewery or Empire Burger. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, I’d recommend the Autumn Turkey Sandwich and an excellent Americano at Cuppa Joe. Despite a pretty limited lunch menu, this popular coffee shop has also quietly become the #1 ranked restaurant in Breck according to TripAdvisor. And one of the best values for a quick bite can always be found at Soupz On. Besides their fresh soup selection, their Taco Salad and Pork Torta are out of this world.