Breckenridge wins historic preservation award |

Breckenridge wins historic preservation award

Sean Egan
Summit Daily News
Summit County, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado ” The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance won a statewide historic-preservation award at a conference on Wednesday, celebrating the town’s success in combining its original character with modern-day tourism.

“We have one of the most prominent historic districts in the state,” said Larissa Enns of the heritage organization. “We are trying to maintain the character so none is being lost.”

During the Colorado Historical Society’s 2009 award program Wednesday, the town received one of eight Stephen H. Hart awards from First Lady Jeannie Ritter for the restoration work on the Fuqua Stables.

Earlier in the day, Enns and other representatives from four other ski towns ” Aspen, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs and Telluride ” highlighted their efforts at the 12th annual Saving Places Conference hosted by Colorado Preservation, Inc.

The forum is designed to bring ski communities together to discuss pressing issues related to historical preservation and community character.

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Aside from any intrinsic value that historical sites have for Breckenridge, they also bring much-needed revenue.

“It’s important to promote the historic value for the economic vitality of the town,” Enns said.

Breckenridge’s historical alliance, chamber of commerce, town council and ski resort aim to bring in tourist dollars through their latest collaborative effort, celebrating the town’s 150th anniversary by highlighting several preservation projects and events to draw visitors and locals to share in the town’s charm.

Breck 150 events include anniversary celebrations in August.

Aside from the festivities, Breck 150 highlights two key preservation projects. The Washington Mine Site has been restored, offering modern-day prospectors a chance at fortune through its new gold-panning exhibit.

And the Edwin Carter Museum, named after a local pioneering naturalist, is slated to open this April complete with a do-it-yourself taxidermy workbench.

Unlike the other ski towns involved in the forum, Breckenridge representatives said they did not lose a single historic building in the past year.

Steamboat Springs and Telluride representatives claimed their communities lose several every year.

However, recent economic concerns have added new challenges for Breckenridge’s preservation efforts.

“The town has frozen capital improvements,” said planning commissioner Matt Thompson.

Though capital improvements have been put on hold, just as in Aspen and Telluride, the Breckenridge Historical Alliance has a full wish list.

“We’ve scaled back a couple of projects,” Enns said, “But we’re still moving forward on everything we’ve planned.”

Enns explained that since the alliance received funding for current projects in 2007, it is future aspirations that come into question.

The alliance also will explore alternative funding through state and national grants.

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