Top 5 most-read stories last week: Vehicles towed, winter closures, housing policy, new hotel and legal challenges

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on from April 2-8.

1. Colorado State Patrol tows 25 of about 100 illegally parked vehicles on Loveland Pass amid April 1 festivities

Colorado State Patrol towed 25 vehicles parked illegally on Loveland Pass on Saturday, April 1, as fresh snow, bluebird skies and April Fools’ Day — or Gaper Day — festivities combined to bring a large number of visitors to Summit County.

Trooper Gabriel Moltrer, a spokesperson for State Patrol, said the towed vehicles were among about 100 vehicles that had been illegally parked on the road over the pass along U.S. Highway 6 on Saturday. 

“The ski resort started to get too packed and people started parking on the highway, which does create a serious safety issue,” Moltrer said. “We want people to go and enjoy themselves at places like that ski resort, but parking on the highway like that is unsafe.”

Ryan Spencer

2. Winter conditions close Loveland Pass, I-70 eastbound lanes near Summit County on Tuesday

On Tuesday afternoon Interstate 70 Eastbound was closed from the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels to Silverthorne, and U.S. Highway 6 was closed at Loveland Pass, according to I-70 Eastbound near Georgetown was also closed as Wintry weather closed major highways and mountain passes in Summit County.

Ryan Spencer

3. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, facing opposition from mountain towns, defends sweeping land-use bill that could overhaul local housing policy

After the unveiling of a landmark housing bill by Gov. Jared Polis and Democratic state lawmakers that would overhaul housing policy in cities and towns across Colorado, officials in mountain communities are voicing opposition.

Senate Bill 23-213, is still in its infancy and will likely face a slew of amendments before it has a chance of becoming law. But in its current iteration, it would effectively ban municipalities from limiting development of higher-density housing and hold local governments to a statewide land-use standard. 

Colorado legislators have called the measure a crucial tool to increase housing supply and drive down costs. But in mountain resort areas, some say the bill may not be the best solution to the affordability crisis

Breckenridge Mayor Eric Mamula wants to see language in the bill that gives local governments more teeth to mandate work and income requirements for occupants of new developments. Without those, Mamula is afraid new construction will remain market-rate units which, in Summit County, can be millions of dollars.

Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue says the billrepresents one of the first she’s seen “that really does begin to differentiate between urban and rural-resort dynamic.”

For Silverthorne Assistant Town Manager Mark Leidal, the bill is a “top-down, heavy-handed” approach to how local governments operate.

Robert Tann

4. Newly remodeled hotel opens in Frisco with 133 rooms

Nearly two years after its acquisition by Denver-based hotel company 5 Senses Hospitality Management, a new 133-room hotel has opened in the town of Frisco. 

The new AC Hotel Colorado — part of the sprawling hotel portfolio of Marriott Bonvoy — is located off Interstate 70 at 1202 Summit Boulevard in Frisco. The pet-friendly property boasts a slew of amenities including a fitness room with floor-to-ceiling windows, a game room, private dining and meeting room, locker room, library, business center and a restaurant lounge and buffet lounge offering European-inspired breakfast and charcuterie boards. Additionally, an indoor swimming pool and outdoor hot tub and fire pit will open this summer.

“Summit County is a remarkable, unique location for our expansion of the 5 Senses Hospitality Management portfolio,” stated 5 Senses founder Chris Manley in a March 24 news release. “Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s most stunning landscapes and surrounded by some of the most iconic world-class ski resorts in the Rocky Mountain region, the AC Hotel Frisco Colorado will provide guests with an oasis as they immerse themselves in the great outdoors.”

Robert Tann

5. Summit County prepares for possible legal action against short-term rental regulations

Summit County officials say they are preparing for the possibility of legal action from property owners over recently passed regulations on short-term rentals.

During an April 4 Board of County Commissioners meeting, county officials said they became aware of a March 26 posting in a Facebook group run by property owners that outlines potential litigation against the county on behalf of property owners. Much of the discussion took place during an executive session, which was not open to the public.

Officials are recommending the county halt any further changes to its short-term rental policies, beyond what has already been approved, until any “impending litigation” comes into focus.

If and when litigation is introduced, the county’s attorneys said they are confident the regulations will be upheld.

Robert Tann

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