BRECKENRIDGE, Colo (KDVR) –Town leaders in Breckenridge are considering major changes to downtown in an effort to recoup lost tourism.
The Town Council has given the Breckenridge Events Committee permission to investigate a plan that would close Main St. to cars, creating a pedestrian walking mall for multiple blocks.
“We’ve heard way more positive from people than negatives,” said Mayor Eric Mamula at a recent Town Council meeting. “You know, our sidewalks are pretty small. This will allow people to walk all over Main St.”
Restaurants and retail up and down Main St. have been severely impacted by COVID-related closures.
Summit County has some of the strictest measures in the state, and hotels in the area will remain closed through at least the end of May.
“This being a tourist town, it really killed us,” said Justin Stone.
Stone owns Sun Logic, a sunglass and goggle retailer on Main St.
“We’re sitting on a solid winter inventory that we should not have right now,” says Stone. “So I love the idea.”
A spokesperson for the Breckenridge Tourism Office declined to comment on details for the plan, saying “it’s still too early to discuss specifics and it is not a done deal yet.”
Town Council is looking into ways to allow restaurants to expand their liquor licenses to the sidewalk, and street, in front of stores.
The town will also need to evaluate the impact on parking, an issue that has plagued Breckenridge for years.
“The drawbacks, you know traffic is always a draw-back, losing parking is always a drawback,” said Mamula. “And what do we do with the alcohol portion of it?”
Stone says those issues are well worth a move that could bring tourists up from Denver who might normally not make the trip.
“They could come do a little day trip, cruise around, shop a little, have a little bite to eat,” he says. “I think it’s good for all.”