When I think about how I ended up in Breckenridge, I can’t decide whether I chose Breckenridge or if this quaint mountain town chose me. It’s a familiar story. I graduated from a reputable college, landed a great job at a respectable law firm in Boston, and worked — unhappily — for a year before grabbing the reins and taking control of my life. I grew up as a competitive ski racer and, having traveled the states, I have always called the mountains home, even growing up in flat Minnesota. On a whim, I left my job in Boston last April, packed the car, and drove west on a quest for some kind of freedom and a new career that involved more human interaction (no offense to attorneys intended). After a brief stint in Minnesota, I rolled into the mountains in mid-May with the sun shining and the windows down. I felt relieved, even though I was jobless during a recession with no place to call home. I managed to weasel my way into an uninhabited townhouse in Vail while I frantically searched through job listings. My focus was on Summit County, Breckenridge to be specific. I was fortunate to land a position at Summit Mountain Rentals, working the front desk on a year-round basis.
After spending a summer and half of a ski season here, it is readily apparent that the town chose me. It’s the quintessential mountain town for so many reasons! Once I started hiking last summer, I couldn’t get enough of the crisp mountain air, the smell of the pines and, most important, the incredible mountain vistas. When Summer turned to Fall, the hikes were even more stunning as the sunsets, colored aspen leaves and pines all blending into sensory bliss. Breckenridge is also composed of an incredible group of people — locals and travelers alike — who come out the woodwork for the seemingly endless slew of town and area events. My first exposure to the culture was at Frisco’s annual summer barbeque. I stuffed myself silly, drank some refreshing beverages, met a lot of competitors, and even watched some pigs race around a small track. Next was Oktoberfest a multi-day drinking and eating affair that shuts down Main Street in Breck. Shortly thereafter, Arapahoe Basin opened for the season. As the snow started falling, it was time to start thinking about the snowpack and the dangers of skiing in the backcountry at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s annual fundraising dinner. After a slow start to the snowfall, we praised Ullr, the god of snow, at Breckenridge’s Annual Ullr Fest, which culminated in a massive parade and even bigger bonfire — not to mention a lot of wild people in Viking outfits. Our praises did not go unanswered: It started to snow in earnest not long after the festival! Most recently, we hosted the 22nd Annual Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Competition, where competitors from around the world carved intricate sculptures out of 20-ton blocks of ice. If I haven’t convinced you that this isn’t the best town in the world already, lets’ talk about the world-class skiing! I was out there on opening day, and have been cruising groomers, crushing chutes, and skiing powder in the backcountry ever since. Every day is a new adventure on the mountain as there is always a different run open, with a different type of snow, and a varying crowd. It never gets old. This is a great place to be, and I hope you’ll join us for the fun!