Accessible winter in Breckenridge
Over the last five seasons, Breckenridge has become my winter home. With a blanket of snow covering the streets more or less from November to April and Christmas lights adorning many buildings and trees, winter is an amazing and magical place in Breckenridge! However, sometimes this wonderful place can be a bit intimidating at first sight to those with mobility issues. This winter a family member who uses a wheelchair visited, and we found plenty of ways to enjoy the Breckenridge winter wonderland together! Here are some tips as well as some useful and fun things we found out:
This is one of the most inspiring organizations in the county! The mission of Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) is “to expand the potential of people of all abilities through meaningful, educational, and inspiring outdoor experiences, with a specialized focus on serving those with different abilities and special needs.” The BOEC provides customized skiing and riding experiences for individuals with a disability or special need. Their staff is friendly and fun, and they use the latest equipment and technology in adaptive skiing. They offer lessons in alpine skiing, cross country skiing, and snowboarding.
Accessible and ADA Lodging
Breckenridge is an older town, with some beautiful historical buildings, although some businesses, restaurants, and rooms are not accessible, many are. Most of the condos are accessible, and easy to access without any stairs, but make sure to talk to the front desk of any hotel you consider to make sure that it is up to ADA or the standards that you require, i.g. roll in shower, handlebars, and ramps.
The BreckConnect Gondola can be a really neat way to get to the base of Peak 7 or Peak 8. The gondola can be slowed down so that a wheelchair can be rolled into the gondola. This can be a great way to get some beautiful views of the town, surrounding mountains, and a bird’s eye view of some of the terrain. Not to mention that the BreckConnect Gondola is a great way to get to some delicious restaurants for lunch, like Sevens Restaurant or the T-Bar.
Restaurants and Shops
The Town of Breck does a wonderful job maintaining the sidewalks and streets and keeping them shoveled from snow. After a storm, or in places that do not receive a lot of sunlight, the sidewalks can be icy, it is the nature of a high alpine snowy environment, so just be careful! Many of the shops on Main Street can be accessed at ground level or there may be a back entrance. Don’t be afraid to ask the friendly shopkeepers. Same goes for the restaurants, if the main entrance does not seem to be accessible, many times there is a back entrance that is, just call and ask. Breckenridge if full of friendly people that can offer a solution if there is not an apparent one.