New in Breckenridge this Winter
Breckenridge has long been thought of as a welcoming and friendly community, but as awareness heightens around diversity, equity and inclusion, that accolade has taken on a deeper meaning and point of pride. As one of the nation’s premier year-round destinations, travelers visiting Breckenridge feel safe, welcome, and are treated with respect in a town filled with genuine character.
Shutdowns and quarantines have enhanced Americans’ desire to be outside in nature, and this upcoming winter will be no exception. Breckenridge has positioned itself above other winter destinations to safely welcome travelers looking to explore the outdoors with a variety of open-air and safe spaces to calm and restore the soul. Between the old-school charm, newly-expanded amenities, elevated safety protocols, and a welcoming atmosphere, travelers will feel good about adding Breckenridge to their short-list this winter.
NOTE: Many local outfitters are adjusting business models to address the coronavirus pandemic, this information will be regularly updated as more offerings become available. For more information on what to expect when visiting Breckenridge, visit GoBreck.com.
Safe and Sustainable
Looking forward to the winter travel season, Breckenridge has emerged as a leader in safe and sustainable travel practices amid the pandemic. Between an early enacted mandatory mask zone in downtown, industry-leading sanitation practices at lodging properties becoming the norm, and adjusting business models to ensure visitors are comfortable, guests visiting Breckenridge can feel confident that the Town of Breckenridge and local businesses are doing their part to keep people safe.
- Mandatory facial coverings: In early July, Breckenridge was one of the first mountain destinations in the country to implement a mandatory mask zone for both indoors and outdoors throughout the downtown core. To ensure the entire community is doing their part to limit the spread of COVID-19, this is expected to continue into the winter months.
- Lodging safety regulations have been amplified: Breckenridge lodging properties have swiftly folded in industry-leading sanitation practices and contact-less principles as part of their standard operating procedures to ensure guest’s confidence while visiting. Breckenridge’s Grand Vacations launched new PURO™ UV Disinfection Lighting which delivers hospital-grade lighting technology capable of killing 99.9% of bacteria and viruses through UV lighting.
- Reservations are a must: To limit interactions with guests from separate households, the majority of Breckenridge outfitters have adjusted their business models to accommodate reservations only with same-household parties. Guests win this winter with private experiences being the norm throughout some of the most popular winter adventures like scenic snowcat tours, snowmobiking, dog sledding and sleigh rides.
- Yurt Dining Premiers in Breckenridge: Much like the rest of the globe, Breckenridge spent the summer and fall dining outside, with indoor dine-in occupancy currently limited to 50 percent in the State of Colorado. As the snow starts to fall this winter, the Breckenridge culinary community is getting creative on ways to accommodate guests when al fresco dining isn’t an attractive option. The popular Aurum Food and Wine has led the charge with announcing a super-exclusive twist on the typical private party with fully-heated yurt dining this winter. Up to eight guests from the same household will be able to dine outside in cozy comfort.
- Private and Small Open-Air Group Arts Workshops: Known as one of the most arts-vibrant small towns in America,Breckenridge Creative Arts continues this tradition with safe arts experiences through the winter. While regular adult, youth and family programming will take place in small groups inside on the Arts District Campus and in the Riverwalk Center, after a summer of popular outdoor offerings, BreckCreate will continue in and around Breckenridge. Private family and group workshops will be available in a wide array of subjects including the ever-popular painting, ceramics, metalworking and hot glass.
- Breckenridge selected as Top 100 Green Destination: Green Destinations recently named Breckenridge as one of its Top 100 Sustainable Destinations, only one of three U.S. destinations named. In recent years, town officials ratified the first-ever Destination Management Plan to balance the quality of life for residents and quality of place for visitors. This set Breckenridge on a path to pursue global certification as a sustainable destination so that the Town’s sustainability initiatives are verified and community-wide efforts are measured against global criteria through the Mountain IDEAL standard.
- Broken Compas Opens Taproom on Main Street: With the goal of dispersing visiting beer enthusiasts, Breckenridge’s Broken Compass is expected to open a Main Street taproom by mid-January. Guests can expect eight taps of their award-winning brews and front-seat views of the Breckenridge Ski Resort steps off of historic Main Street. Broken Compass Brewing opened in 2014 and quickly developed a cult following by winning regularly at the Great American Beer Festival and a business model of non-distribution – where guests can only get their brews in Breckenridge (other than a few bro-deals around Colorado).
Breckenridge Enhances Safe Outdoor Offerings
Keeping in mind that travelers will be looking for more outdoor experiences for their winter vacations, the Town of Breckenridge announced plans to expand and enhance its already extensive winter outdoor offerings with the goal to provide guests with additional safe, socially distanced, budget-friendly experiences to complete any winter escape.
- Gold Run Nordic Center Doubles Fat Bike Rental Fleet: COVID-19 has fueled a cycling surge, and the U.S. is facing a shortage of bicycles as the desire to exercise in the great outdoors has sent demand skyrocketing. As winter approaches, a rise in fat biking popularity is expected, with a new breed of snow enthusiasts taking advantage of Breckenridge’s expansive trails, gold-level bike routes, and Nordic center operations. The Gold Run Nordic Center is responding by doubling its fat bike rental fleet.
- Breckenridge Expands it’s Already Expansive Groomed Trails Network: To allow guests to experience wide-open spaces and historic mining sites by snowshoe, ski, fat bike, or simply hiking, the Town of Breckenridge will expand grooming operations by three miles (five kilometers) this winter. Historically, Breckenridge boasts more than 30 miles (48 kilometers) of groomed trails between the two fee-based Nordic centers, the free Blue River Recreation path between Breckenridge and nearby Frisco, and additional trails in the iconic Golden Horseshoe. Expanding free groomed trail access will allow more visitors to participate and potentially explore a new outdoor winter sport. Additionally, the recreation path between Breckenridge and Frisco will see double the grooming frequency to ensure an amazing snow surface for guests to enjoy.
- Additional sledding hill on popular Breckenridge Free Ride bus route: Breckenridge’s free sledding hill at Carter Park has long been a popular activity and a bucket-list item for many visiting guests. Near free parking on Fraction Drive, Breckenridge plans to create a new free sledding attraction allowing for some extra space and breathing room. With safety being the town’s top priority, the Town of Breckenridge staff is also working to ensure that Carter Park remains a safe amenity where users honor social distancing guidelines.
- Snowshoe Treasure Hunts at Colorado’s Oldest and Most Famous Mine: Country Boy Mine is expanding winter offerings to include a snowshoe treasure hunt. Guests can strap on snowshoes (included in the tour), follow the lost expedition’s trail of clues, solve the puzzles and then hunt for the buried treasure with a metal detector as part of this new offering at the 5-star rated historic mine attraction.
Restore and Heal through Wellness Offerings
While winter across the country is synonymous with staying inside, Breckenridge’s wellness scene allows unique ways to restore both inside and out.
- Celebrate a Decade with Meta Yoga: Meta Yoga has been the bedrock of the wellness scene in Breckenridge over the past ten years. This winter, not only will they continue to offer indoor classes by reservation and workshops that can be taken from anywhere, but new winter options include sound healing, pranassage, foot reflexology, reiki, and tarot readings. In the face of the pandemic, Meta has been hyper-focused on keeping their community, both locally and globally, mentally well. Meta implemented a Pay it Forward program in order to provide services to those who struggle to pay in a time of need either in person or virtually. This winter, same-household parties can reserve private sessions for those wanting a studio atmosphere and a more personalized touch to their experience.
- Bhava Yoga partners with Gravity Haus on Snowshoe Mediation:While fitness centers across the country are limiting indoor capacity, Bhava Yoga and Gravity Haus have found a way for guests to exercise while also slowing down the typical go, go, go vacation pace with open space. Their outdoor guided snowshoe mediations are perfect for exploring the 60+ miles of town trails, but also give travelers the option to heal and reflect in nature.
- Spa at Beaver Run Boosts Immunity: With flu season approaching and in the midst of COVID-19, The Spa at Beaver Run provides an immunity boost. Guest’s will be greeted with a cup of hot stress-reducing tea from our spa concierge. The Immune Boost treatment begins with a full-body dry brushing to stimulate circulation, oxygen and lymphatic movement, then they use a Hot Steamy towel treatment to warm the whole body, followed by massage therapy (50 or 80 minutes) focusing on areas of specific need utilizing immune-stimulating essential oils. Concentrated Oxygen is included throughout the massage and guests are encouraged to soak in the salt and mineral treatment pool before or after for relaxation enhancement and to promote a feeling of well-being and mental bliss that both contribute to boosted immunity.
Iconic Winter Events
The official Lighting of Breckenridge countdown and the Race of the Santas have been postponed until 2021. Residents and guests can expect that the 250,000 LED holidays hung throughout Breckenridge will turn on gradually within the first week of December and will continue to shine and spread joy all winter long. With the goal of dispersing downtown guests from Main Street’s narrow sidewalks and create some extra outdoor space, a festival of holiday trees, decorated by community businesses, will be added to the Blue River Rec Path and remain on display throughout the month of December.
To comply with regularly evolving state and county public health orders, The Breckenridge Tourism Office, in agreeance with the Breckenridge Event Committee, has postponed Ullr Fest and the International Snow Sculpture Invitational to December 2021 and January 2022, respectively.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
Breckenridge Ski Resort is open for the winter season and plans to operate through Memorial Day. The resort is committed to doing everything they can to keep guests safe this season, and opening all lifts and terrain as soon as conditions permit, so that skiers and riders can focus on having an awesome time on the mountain. There are three priorities at the forefront of the resort’s operating plans for this winter: the safety of guests, employees and the community; ensuring a successful season from start to finish; and prioritizing pass holders. For everyone’s safety, face coverings will be required to access the mountain and in all aspects of operations, including in lift lines, and while loading, unloading and riding in lifts and gondolas. To allow for physical distancing, access to the mountain will be managed through a reservation system that prioritizes pass holders and limits the sale of lift tickets. This system is designed to help ensure guests have the space they need no matter when they visit, and for the vast majority of days, the resort believes it will be able to accommodate everyone who wants to ski and ride. Pass holders will have exclusive early season access, including early access to up to seven advance Priority Reservation Days, all before lift tickets go on sale Dec. 8, and pass holders will also have access to as many week-of reservations as their pass type and availability allow throughout the winter season. Learn more about the resort’s commitment to safety and winter operating plans at Breckenridge.com.
Responsible Physical Distancing
This Summer COVID has propelled Americans into the great outdoors in large numbers. And now, even as the colder weather creeps in, people don’t need to move the fun indoors. Breckenridge offers ample opportunity for getting outside and enjoying the winter months in unexpected ways. In fact, being outdoors in the winter is a celebrated part of the Breckenridge lifestyle. Here are a few unique ways to celebrate the snow:
- Fly Fishing Brings Winter Solitude: The Lower Blue River just outside of Breckenridge is one of the most popular tailwater fisheries in Colorado. Winter fly fishing is one of the best-kept local secrets. Call on Breckenridge experts to guide you to nearby rivers teeming with hungry trout for full- and half-day wade and walk trips.
- Colorado Adventure Guides (CAG) offers up on-snow, full day Introduction to Backcountry Skiing workshops for those interested in getting into backcountry skiing and not sure where to start. Workshop goers will learn what gear to have and how to use it, an intro to avalanche awareness, a demonstration of beacons, shovels, and probes, and much more.
- Once ready, local outfitters like CAG and Backcountry Babes take learning and exploring to the next level with beginner classes and American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) certified training offered throughout the winter. The Backcountry Boom: In light of the pandemic, many skiers and boarders are heading into the backcountry to beat crowds and make their own ski runs. Outfitters of backcountry gear (skis, boots, bindings and skins) across the state are reporting record sales. As a consumer there is a lot to learn before safely setting foot off-piste. Breckenridge offers travelers the opportunity to get educated and find some amazing backcountry powder stashes.
The Rise of Adventure Lodging
Breckenridge’s new accommodations put a twist on under-one-roof amenities. NEW for winter 2020, LOGE Breckenridge completed its final renovations offering a variety of ways to contact-free stay and providing on-site gear rentals all aimed at inspiring people to get out and explore. Gravity Haus debuted in December 2019 and is a boutique property designed to activate a community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts year-round. Also recently opened its doors in December 2019, The Ranahan by Welk Resorts is a ranch-inspired resort set on six acres with a lively pool and outdoor adventure offerings perfect for multigenerational travel. Last winter, Breck’s Peak 8 base area was transformed and includes Breckenridge Grand Vacations’ third and final building of Grand Colorado on Peak 8 complete with a rooftop terrace, a 15-person private movie theater, an escape room, and more.