Located in North Central Colorado, Summit County is also referred to as “Colorado’s Playground.” With an elevation ranging between 8,000 and over 14,000 feet above sea level, Summit County boasts spectacular mountain scenery and four renowned ski resorts: Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Copper Mountain, and Keystone Resort. So it’s not surprising to find out that winter homes in the areas where most visitors go, like Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Dillon, Frisco, Keystone, and Silverthorne, are highly sought after properties by homebuyers and investors.
Breckenridge offers cozy homes near the quaint Main Street downtown area, along with luxurious mountainside chalets with oversized windows that overlook Breckenridge Ski Resort. There are also golf course homes as well as rustic log and timber ski-in/ski-out homes that are convenient for skiing enthusiasts, as you can practically be on the slopes just minutes from your front door. Copper Mountain has mostly condominiums at the East and Center Villages, while the secluded Union Creek and Lewis Ranch areas provide private living in close proximity to a world-class ski resort with its luxury ski-in/ski-out homes or mountain homes next to trail systems that take you through alpine terrain. Owning homes in Breckenridge and Copper Mountain will also give you opportunities for short- or long-term rental income should you wish to rent them out, and their value will increase through the years.
Real estate options in Dillon are either those homes near the edge of town with scenic mountain views, or homes providing lovely views of Lake Dillon. Like most waterfront properties, the closer you are to water, the higher the price, and Dillon homes are no exception, with highly sought after residences near the lake area. The family-friendly town of Frisco also has a thriving Main Street, and homes here range from older properties built during the 1960s to newer, luxury log homes priced over a million dollars. Other more recently built homes offer lovely mountain views and are right next to established hiking and biking paths.
The renowned world-class ski resort in Keystone attracts a large share of seasonal residents and visitors who mostly reside in condominiums around Keystone Lake and River Run Village. Single-family residences, particularly luxury mountain homes in the quiet wooded areas, are high in demand because they provide privacy and the added convenience of being near the main ski area and golf courses. Silverthorne homes offer a mix of the old and new, ranging from classic vacation cabins built during the 1960s and 1970s, to multi-million-dollar luxury homes lining the fairways at the Raven Golf Club. Most homes provide breathtaking views of Buffalo Mountain and the neighboring peaks, or the waters of the Blue River right in their own backyards.
The home of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is truly a place filled with things to do all year round, whether it’s fly-fishing, river rafting, rock climbing, and vibrant country festivals in the summer, or cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and ice climbing in the winter.
With a steady influx of tourists and visitors, coupled with the demands of population growth, there is no actual real shortage of employment opportunities in Colorado, either for full time or seasonal workers. Summit County, with its prime location in between popular destinations like Denver to the east and Vail to the west, has its own share of communities like Breckenridge, Keystone, Frisco, Copper Mountain, and Silverthorne that attract numerous travelers. These account for nearly one-third of the total number of visitors to the state of Colorado and the area offers jobs that cater to the ever growing needs of tourists and new residents.
Among the communities of Summit County, the town of Breckenridge, with its many public events and sports activities throughout the seasons, has nearly about 31% of all new jobs offered in Colorado. These are mainly related to ski areas, recreation, and construction, as well as professional services that also include full-time medical and legal fields.
Ski jobs in Summit County include working on the slopes, like giving ski lessons, manning the ski lift, and acting as part of the ski rangers and ski rescue squads, or indoor jobs like on/offsite sales at a ski resort or employment at a ski lodge. While they are mostly seasonal jobs that involve dealing with a majority of people who are not residents, ski jobs can be very challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling.
Other employment opportunities in Summit County include professional services that are mostly retail or commercial related. Summit County has a growing number of retail businesses that not only cater to its residents, but to visitors as well, particularly to an increasing number of international tourists. There’s a variety of jobs available, ranging from managing shops and retail outlets, to working as staff in restaurants, bars, and resorts.
Winter is a busy season for Summit County as tourists and visitors flock to the ski slopes, but the crowds tend to dwindle as the weather gets warmer. Contrary to popular opinion, the various towns in Summit County like Breckenridge do not transform into ghost towns during the summer. In fact, as the locals put it, “Winter is great, but summer is why we live here.”
Here are the top 5 reasons why Breckenridge locals love summer:
1. Hiking and Biking – There is truly nothing to compare with exploring the scenic beauty of Breckenridge’s natural setting. Hiking involves venturing into unfamiliar landscapes and taking in the smells of pine and wildflowers until you’re eventually rewarded with a breathtaking view. Breckenridge has numerous hiking trails that provide excellent views, including the ones at Mohawk Lakes, Black Powder Pass, and Quandary Peak.
Climbing a mountain might be hard work, but try doing it while riding a bicycle. You might have to exert some extra effort when defying gravity and going upwards, but it’s pure unbridled fun when you start coasting downhill and snaking over rocks. Among the recommended biking trails with varying degrees of difficulty to try out in Breckenridge include the dirt road with slight gradients at Boreas Pass Road, the rolling terrain at Flume Trails, and the rock-laden paths at Gold Hill to Peaks Trail.
2. The peace and quiet – The absence of crowds will let you enjoy the beauty of the high country in a deeper, more tranquil way. It’s absolutely refreshing to explore Main Street without having to contend with throngs of people and to enjoy the trails with only birdsong as company.
3. The views – The mountains look serene and imposing when they’re covered in snow, but they’re something else entirely when covered in colorful flowers and crisscrossed with gurgling streams and waterfalls. Add a striking blue sky in the background plus dark green pines in the foreground, and you’ve got yourself a cheerful and welcoming scenic vista.
4. Dining al fresco – It’s quite difficult to enjoy yourself on a deck during freezing temperatures, but it’s ideal to do it during the summer, particularly when the late afternoon sun is casting a warm glow on the mountains, and when you’re in good company. The Traverse Bar and Restaurant at the Lodge in Breckenridge has got to have the best deck view in town and possibly the entire state of Colorado; other recommended outdoor spots with decks include Kenosha Steakhouse and Quandary Grill.
5. Events – Summer is festival time in most of Summit County, and Breckenridge is no exception. Among the best Summer festivals to attend are Kingdom Days in June, the Fourth of July celebrations, and the Breckenridge Beer Festival in August. With parades, food, drinks, music, and fireworks – what’s not to like about Summer?
Moving to a new location can often be a headache-inducing experience, but if you take the steps to organize and plan accordingly, you can reduce the amount of stress involved and it might actually turn out to be a worry-free experience. Here’s a simple checklist to prepare for your move to Summit County:
- Decide what to take along and what you don’t really need; sell extra stuff if you must, and this is also a good time to finally get rid of some things and maybe even make some money (via a garage sale).
- Contact moving companies to get estimates, paying close attention to cost.
- Make arrangements for transporting your pets and any house plants, because movers can’t take them in the van.
- Plan in advance where certain furniture is going to be placed in your new home. Use a floor plan, marking and labelling where each specific piece of furniture should go.
- Notify the post office, utility companies, credit card companies, banks, family and friends, etc. of your address change
- Schedule a disconnection of services to the day after your move (gas, water, electricity, telephone, cable TV).
- Schedule services to start the day before your move in your new neighborhood. This way your first night in your new home will be comfortable.
- During packing, remember not to overload. Each box should be light enough that it can be handled by family members helping with the move; place heavier items in smaller boxes, and lighter items in bigger boxes.
- Always label the contents of all boxes; write “open first/load last” on boxes with essential or seldom used items.
- Get copies of medical records from your doctors, dentist and veterinarian.
- Cancel any delivery services such as newspapers and magazine subscriptions.
- Check with your insurance company to transfer coverage to your new home.
- If you’re traveling by car, have your auto serviced to check and avoid problems on the road.
- Ensure that you have all of your important documents such as your insurance records, auto registration and driver’s license.
- Plan your meals. You don’t want to deal with a lot of food in the refrigerator when it’s time to move.
- Have your children’s schools forward their records to their new school district.
- Have your current prescriptions transferred to the new drug store in your new neighborhood.
- Make sure to keep all your important items with you. These include your medications, important documents, checkbook, cash, essential toiletries, pet food, and so on.
- Don’t forget to give your forwarding address and contact information to your old home’s new owners.
- Remember that you don’t need to unpack everything all at once. Take time to get better acquainted with your new home first.
Welcome to Summit County!
From a makeshift construction camp for workers into a full-service, well-balanced community, Silverthorne has seen its share of rapid progress. And where dining is concerned, the town offers a wide variety of restaurants, ranging from well-known fastfood franchises to upscale fine dining. Here’s a sampling of the best restaurants found in Silverthorne:
Blue Moon Bakery – A full-service bakery making bread and pastries since 2004, Blue Moon Bakery at the Summit Place Shopping Center has become a Summit County favorite for both locals and visitors due to its focus on high quality, freshly baked products and friendly service. They also serve breakfast and lunch, including beverages like espresso drinks, chai, and smoothies. Owner and pastry chef Ben Reil specializes in making elegant custom cakes as well.
Mountain Lyon Cafe – Another local favorite, Mountain Lyon Cafe is where you can get hearty comfort food for breakfast or lunch at affordable prices. The place is well-known for their biscuits and gravy, delicious green chili that goes well on omelettes, and the homemade fries that come with their big, juicy burgers. A variety of truly appetizing fare graces their menu, with items ranging from adult grilled cheese and breakfast tacos, to chicken fried steak and the ultimate skillet. Pair your food with good tasting coffee and you’ll always return to their place located at the Blue River Parkway for more.
Red Buffalo Coffee & Tea – An extensive selection of specialty teas and coffees is yours to enjoy amidst the spectacular backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. This green and zero-waste coffee shop located just a half mile off the I-70 Silverthorne exit has friendly baristas, cozy interiors, and unique wall art that add a special kind of rustic charm to your coffee drinking experience, and the views of the Gore Range just outside their front doors and the Blue River in the back makes it the perfect place for your perfect cup.
Sunshine Cafe – This small, casual eatery at the Summit Place serves breakfast and lunch with hearty food at reasonable prices. Their menu features staples like 3-egg omelettes, eggs benedict, huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, and pancakes. They also offer spicy chili bowls that will surely give you that extra kick as you hit the slopes, an assortment of burgers, and some tried and tested pasta dishes.
The Historic Mint – Located in the oldest building in Summit County that dates back to 1862, The Historic Mint is the locals’ choice for steaks and seafood, where you prepare the steak and actually flame-broil it yourself on their specially seasoned lava rock grills that leaves no charcoal aftertaste. The Mint uses steaks from USDA choice graded beef, from three-year old grain-fed steers. The meat is aged for a few weeks for better tenderness and flavor.