Breckenridge softens stance on event camping
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. ” Camping may soon be allowed in the town of Breckenridge for organizations boosting the local economy or providing other benefits.
Town spokeswoman Kim DiLallo said only “very special types of events” would qualify for camping, and a committee’s approval would be required before a permit is issued.
“In years past, when we have said ‘no’ to events that require camping, they go to other communities,” she said. “So there’s an economic impact when we say ‘no’ to those events.”
The proposal, which received council’s preliminary approval Tuesday, would require applicants for camping permits to provide a range of details, including expected number of participants, a site map, trash-removal plans, a security plan and more.
The existing code was adopted in 1998 and doesn’t allow camping in town. DiLallo said the prohibition was made as a courtesy to lodging businesses and the town’s appearance.
However, an exception has been made in two of the past three summers to allow Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado to camp in 75 to 100 tents near the Stephen C. West Ice Arena.
The VOC members aid the town’s trail system and have not caused any complaints or challenges from the public, according to a staff memo regarding the camping ordinance.
Organizers of a bicycle tour a couple years ago had considered adding Breckenridge to their loop, but “unfortunately the issue at that point is that we don’t allow camping,” DiLallo said.
“What we were finding is really great events were being presented to us as a town, and we’re having to turn them down because of the camping element,” she said.
Town staff shared the proposed camping ordinance with officials at Beaver Run Resort, who were neutral on the issue.
“They believe certain events are beneficial for the community and would look to staff to ensure the lodging community has the opportunity to work with the organizer,” according to the staff memo.
The Town Council is expected to approve the proposal on second reading Jan. 27.
Mayor John Warner said at Tuesday’s work session that the proposed change “gives us some flexibility to say ‘yes,'” and may attract business from cyclists who otherwise wouldn’t ride from nearby towns for dinner in Breckenridge.
DiLallo said potential camping locations would vary with each event.
Organizations applying for camping permits may be required to provide proof of insurance and would need to pay for use of town property and services, such as rental fees and traffic assistance.
The town’s Events Review Committee, comprised of police, public works, recreation and other department representatives, would review applications, according to the staff memo.
“We take a very hard look at the time of year they are asking for it,” DiLallo said, adding that July 4 weekend likely would be unfeasible, but slower periods could be beneficial.
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