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Breckenridge Neighborhoods

Breckenridge is a small resort town, seven miles long and two miles wide, at 9600 feet above sea level in Summit County, Colorado. Permanent residents total approximately 3,400, but during peak seasons that number swells to more than 30,000 on a busy day. The town can be divided loosely into three Breckenridge neighborhoods for visitors: Downtown, the Arts District that is part of downtown, and Main Street Station/Peak 9, also partly belonging to downtown. A fourth, distinctly separate neighborhood is up on the mountain at the bases of Peaks 7 and 8.

Main Street Station/Peak 9

At the very south end of town, the plaza called Main Street Station anchors the Hyatt Hotel and serves as a portal to the base of Peak 9 and the Quicksilver chairlift. When it opened in 2001, it was billed as "Where Main Street Meets the Mountain." Developers hoped it would be a vibrant mall, alive with dining and shopping. It was, at the beginning. But lately, we've noticed a lack of activity, though the outdoor World Market draws a big crowd on Sundays during the summer. We hope new shops and restaurants will take hold here, as the space is a beautiful, functional addition to the town.

Peaks 7 & 8

Up on the mountain, the bases of Peaks 7 & 8 are forming a new neighborhood in progress. Peak 8, the site of the ski area's beginnings, is undergoing a complete transformation, with the old buildings soon to be demolished. The upscale lodge One Ski Hill Place debuted in June 2010, setting a new standard of luxury for more buildings that will house retail shops, restaurants and skier services to complete the renaissance of Peak 8. Meanwhile, Peak 7 base—a brand new development just to the north—is taking shape with the chi-chi Crystal Peaks Lodge and Grand Lodge on Peak 7. Skier services with ski school, ticket sales and rentals, as well as Sevens restaurant are operating now. Connecting these areas with the town is the BreckConnect Gondola, a free mass-transit system starting at the Breckenridge Station.

Arts District

Between South Ridge Street and Washington Avenue, the town has transformed a cluster of historic buildings into a year-round arts campus. Here, resident and visiting artists from around the world offer workshops, demos and lectures in a variety of mediums. Juried outdoor art shows and other artsy events also are held here, and it's home to the Barney Ford House Museum (Ford, a runaway slave turned restaurateur and one of Colorado's most influential political figures, is one of the many characters that shaped Breckenridge.) On the eastern border of the arts district, the award-winning Backstage Theatre performs in The Breckenridge Theatre, a repurposed old saloon made into a cozy black-box venue. Call or go online to reserve space as the theatre has only about 100 seats (970-453-0199). At the western edge of the district is the Riverwalk Center for performing arts.

Downtown

The heart of town is Main Street in downtown Breck, one of the largest historic districts in the state. Lined with colorful restored Victorian buildings and homes, it's a delightful street to stroll. Though it's not a pedestrian mall, walkers have the right-of-way when crossing the street according to state law. Lincoln Avenue (Ski Hill Road on the mountain side) divides North and South Main Street. Midway on South Main sits the Blue River Plaza, a gathering place with access to the Blue River that runs through the west side of town. Downtown has the largest collection of shops, restaurants, bars, galleries, museums and lodging. Ridge Street one block east of Main also has shops and restaurants as do side streets that intersect with Main Street.   
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