The Faces of Breck: Community Edition

Posted on December 16, 2021

Breck Peak 8

At Breck, you don’t come to get away from it all, you come here to be a part of it all. The energy, the adventureand the spirit of a community that is stoked on life in the mountains.

   

In honor of our 60th anniversary this year, we are celebrating some of the people that make Breck, Breck.

 

Meet Butch Peel: Ski Patrol and Summer Trails

  • Years in Breck: 49

  • What first brought you here? I had finished a seasonal job as a lifeguard back in Rome, NY and had never been out west. I came with a friend who had also never been out here, and we had a friend in Golden, CO. We both had learned to ski back in Upstate NY. Once in Golden, we started looking for work and a place to stay, and ultimately found both in Breckenridge.

  • What is your favorite run, peak or lift? My favorite run depends on weather and snow conditions, but the middle of Horseshoe Bowl sometimes gets a wind loaded surface that is firm so you stay on top, but soft like cream cheese. It is somewhat unique to Breckenridge, I think. That is my favorite, after fresh powder, turning down Brill’s Thrill in Horseshoe on buff cream cheese.

  • Favorite memory at BreckMy favorite memory at Breck is my wedding day, Aug. 16, 1986. Married at Father Dyer Church, with reception at the Maggie. My whole family came here for it, from as far away as Hawaii!

  • Favorite spot in townMy favorite spots have been Fatty’s and Mi Casa.

  • What advice do you have for someone who has never been here before? If they are skiing, start on Peak 9 and work north, conditions dependent of course. For easy intermediate stuff, Peak 7 can’t be beat, especially with a new lift (Freedom SuperChair) this season.

  • Breck is turning 60 this year – what is your favorite decade & why? I think my favorite decade at Breckenridge was the 80s, when so many things happened: T Bar-1984. Peak 10- 1985, Colorado Chair 1986. Although, much to my chagrin, the first traffic light went in the summer of 1980 at Lincoln and Main.

  • I love Breckenridge because: I have spent most of my adult life working here and have made many lifelong friends. I have seen the town and the ski area grow from a sleepy hippy town to the bustling year-round resort destination it is today.

 

Meet Randy Veeneman (AKA Rando as his friends call him): Grooming Supervisor

  • Years in Breck: 52
  • What first brought you here? My parents when I was 7 years old
  • What is your favorite run, peak or lift? Any chute from top of Peak 7 and the Tbar
  • Favorite memory at Breck: Meeting my wife and starting a family with two awesome boys, who are growing up in this town as well.
  • Favorite spot in townThe Whale's Tail which is now the Blue Stag in town - perfect view of the mountains. 
  • What advice do you have for someone who has never been here before? Check out the summertime too!
  • Breck is turning 60 this year – what is your favorite decade & why? Late 80 s early 90s. The music, beer in locker room, small town and resort feel.
  • I love Breck because: It’s my home town that I grew up in and a great community to raise a family!!!!
"It might really just boil down to this: the altitude and great friends."

 

 

 

 

Meet CJ Mueller: AKA Crazy John (CJ), Fastest Man on Skis and Local Legend

  • Years in Breck: 51

  • First memory of BreckenridgeWhen my brother attended the Rocky Mountain Baseball Camp at the Hi Tor off Tiger Road in the early 60s. Skied here a few times while in high school. Got a job at the Hi Tor Lodge in 1970.

  • What is your favorite run, peak and/or lift? If there was a foot of new snow and I could ski one run before anyone else, I would ride the TBar and ski Eagle's Nest on Peak 8. I love riding Imperial Chair every chance I get.

  • Favorite memory at Breck: Can't pick just one - Seeing Trygve do his flip at the base of Peak 8, a somewhat regular occurrence many years ago. Skiing thigh-deep powder on Imperial before the chair was there then hiking back and doing it again. Any wind buff day in Horseshoe Bowl. My first-ever steep and deep powder run, Joker, in spring of 1973, I think... Riding lifts (for skiing) in June at Breckenridge, first time ever just 3 years ago.

  • Favorite spot in town: Fatty's and Empire Burger. Carter Park.

  • What advice do you have for someone who has never been here before? Use your turn signal. Look where you're going. Don't jaywalk. Smile and enjoy!

  • Breck is turning 60 this year – what is your favorite decade & why? The 80s. Young, strong, living the good life. 1987 was my favorite year.

  • I love Breckenridge because: It might really just boil down to this: the altitude. And great friends.

 

 

Meet Trygve Berge: Co-Founder of Breckenridge Ski Resort

  • Years in Breck: 61

  • What first brought you here? Building a lumber yard

  • What is your favorite run, peak or lift? It depends on the conditions

  • Favorite memory at Breck: Great people

  • Favorite spot in town: Gold Pan

  • What advice do you have for someone who has never been here before? Have fun!

  • Breck is turning 60 this year – what is your favorite decade & why? The 60s!

  • I love Breck because: It is beautiful

Outside Apres Ski at T-Bar at Breck

Meet Sara Cox: Owner of The Crown coffee shop

  • Years in Breck? 13 

  • What first brought you here? I graduated college in 2008 when the economy crashed so I decided to postpone a grown up job until things leveled out. Came for the winter, stayed for the summer. 

  • What is your favorite run, peak or lift? On a pow day, my favorite is south side of Peak 10 or Whale's Tail. 

  • Favorite memory at Breck: I got engaged at the top of the mountain on Thanksgiving 2012 and the photo was caught by EpicMix!

  • Favorite spot in town: Riverwalk Center lawn. I got married there and itright behind my business, so I get to walk past it every day

  • What advice do you have for someone who has never been here before? Allow yourself a few hours to get lost. The mountain and the town have a charm that is special and unique. Wander into the small boutiques, take photos with the troll, and ski a run you’ve never skied. 

  • What is your favorite decade & why? We live in a ski town so it has to be the 80’s! I have a costume box dedicated to just this decade.

  • I love Breckenridge because: of the community. I am choosing to raise my children here to show them the importance of the outdoors in your life. 

 

 

Meet Jessie Unruh-Brossman: Director of Marketing at Breckenridge Distillery

  • Years in Breck: 12
  • What first brought you here? I have been visiting Breckenridge since I was 4 years old. My parents would bring us out for ski trips and summer vacations. I moved to Keystone for holiday help in 2005 and worked at The Mountain House and Last Lift Bar, then again for the 2006/2007 season after graduating from college. I traveled most summers and spent winters in Summit County. I moved to Breckenridge 3 seasons later and became a year-round resident after realizing how amazing the summers were. I worked at Downstairs at Eric's and The Motherloaded Tavern before starting my career in Marketing at the Breckenridge Tourism Office as their Content Manager, which has led me here to the Breckenridge Distillery.
  • What is your favorite run, peak and/or lift? My favorite peak is Peak 9. There are so many hidden gems on this peak; great powder, trees and of course, the mini terrain park. It keeps me young ;-) My favorite lift is 6 chair. I'd share why but then I would give away all the secrets.
  • Favorite memory at Breck: A snowboard trip back in 2004 (I think) with the University of Kansas Waterski Team. We snowboarded all day, hit the bars that night and the next day found out there was this thing call Ullr Fest happening. After finding out that it was a crazy parade with floats and people wearing gold underwear, we bought a keg, grabbed a shopping cart and snuck into the parade. The best part was Ullr himself doing a keg stand in the middle of the parade. I thought, what the heck just happened, this is my kinda place. It was one of the best ski trips I've taken.
  • Favorite spot in town: Gosh, the town is so amazing. This may seem like a silly favorite place but I love the charm of this town so my favorite spot is the Blue River Plaza. I like walking downtown and seeing people smile and laugh. The view is one of the best. I used to sit in the lawn before going into work and think to myself how beautiful my home is.
  • What advice do you have for someone who has never been here before? Go outside your comfort zone and explore the town and the mountain. There are so many cool things to do and see. From the locally owned restaurants and the unique adventures like summer dog sledding to the amazing terrain on the mountain and surrounding the town...this place is surprising if you let it be. Lastly, talk to the locals. They know where to go and what to do. After all, we live here for a reason.
  • Breck is turning 60 this year – what is your favorite decade & why? Honestly, I am not really one that follows decade trends or styles from different decades. So, I would have to say 2000's. It was some of the best years of my life. I graduated college, moved to Breck and traveled the world.
  • I love Breck because: of the authentic character of this place. Its charm, its people and the lifestyle...it's truly a special community.

Young and Independents enjoy skiing on Peak 6 in Breckenridge, CO.

Meet Eric Mamula: Mayor of Breckenridge & Owner of Downstairs at Eric’s

  • Years in Breck: 35
  • What first brought you here? I moved here for a month in 1986 between college and law school... and never left..
  • What is your favorite run, peak or lift? I love the hike-to terrain on Peak 6
  • Favorite memory at Breck: There are so many, but big powder days always come to mind first
  • What advice do you have for someone who has never been here before? Try a bit of everything!
  • What is your favorite decade & why? I loved the late 80’s to early 90’s, mainly because I was in my twenties, but I’m also really happy today with an amazing family and friends.
  • I love Breckenridge because: it’s still a real town! 
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Meet Austyn Dineen: Child Care and Housing Administrator for Town of Breckenridge

  • Years in Breck: 14
  • What first brought you here? When I was attending CSU someone told me about holiday help positions that the ski resort offered during the winter. At the time, you had to commit to working over holiday break – something like 17 days - AND you got paid AND got a ski pass. I think I called the lift operations manager every day for two weeks straight leading up to the winter and when they got back to me and said I was in, I thought I hit the jackpot! After finishing up college, I was trying to figure out what was next and heard a stat that the male:female ratio was something like 12:1 in Breckenridge – I figured that was pretty good odds and moved up full time. 
  • What is your favorite run, peak and/or lift? I love skinning up in the morning on peak 8 or 9 to catch sunrise, but Art’s bowl is still my favorite spot on a powder day. Most recently, you’ll find our family on the Peak 9 carpets with LOTS of gummy bears. 
  • Favorite memory at Breck: The years all blend together, but it’s crazy how much the 22” powder days of 2010 and getting looped in to riding a dragon down Main Street for the Ullr Fest parade can easily get taken over by hearing your son say, “Momma I’m doing it!” on the magic carpets. 
  • Favorite spot in town: Obviously this has changed over the years, but today after morning runs at the resort or a bike ride in the summer, a croissant and a cappuccino from La Française Bakery will always motivate me! 
  • What advice do you have for someone who has never been here before? DRINK THE WATER! Breckenridge has some the purest, freshest, most delicious water that comes straight out of the tap. I forget how lucky we are here but am reminded when I see guests buying cases of water at the grocery stores. Skip the expense, bring a bottle and it fill it up over and over. Also, drink a lot – it’s high here. 
  • Breck is turning 60 this year – what is your favorite decade & why? I would have loved to see Breckenridge in the 80s – start of the T-bar, E Chair, Peak 10 – at least now-a-days neon is coming back in style!
  • I love Breck because: It feels like home no matter if you live here or are just visiting.