‘Shop before you travel’ Summit County officials prepare for surge of tourists


BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (KDVR) — As Summit County prepares to move into Level Red with several other Colorado counties this Friday, many locals worry how new restrictions may impact their rental units and grocery stores, as tourist begin to come into the area over the holiday season.

Summit County officials held a virtual town hall Thursday to address concerns and answer questions.

“Just imagine the crowds that can’t go to restaurants and have to wait in line for groceries when it’s 10 degrees outside,” said Thomas Elliott on the Zoom Webinar Chat. “The next few days will be the reckoning and give insight for the rest of the ski season.”

Under the new Level Red COVID-19 restrictions, all critical and non-critical retail stores are limited to under 50% capacity with increased curbside pickup and delivery encouraged. Indoor dining is prohibited.

“There definitely is a concern with the new restrictions with balancing our everyday local needs as we move into the holiday seasons,” said Haley Littleton, spokesperson for the Town of Breckenridge. “We are really focusing on our food infrastructure, Summit County has a few grocery stores but not as many as front range has, and they are smaller too.”

The Town of Breckenridge in encouraging families to send one or two people from their household to grocery shop to help with capacity issues. The town is also urging people traveling into the area to pre-shop for their foods to make space for local needs in town. 

“We are in the mode of preparing for every possible outcome. That’s something that the town of Breckenridge and our town council has done a good job of identifying situations before they get too far along,” said Littleton.

Summit County is also limiting the number of families that can book a short term rental unit. Officials said Thursday, short term rentals in Summit County will be restricted to people living at the same address. The local health department said property managers must check in guests and verify their addresses. Health officials said anyone with upcoming short-term rentals in Summit County that booked before the public health order will not be “grandfathered in.”

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