5280 Magazine Covers the Breckenridge Vipers


Inside The Raucous, Fiery, and Little-Known World of Mountain Town Hockey

How a Denver venture capitalist founded a top-level amateur team so he’d always have a place to play—and took 22 of his teammates along for the ride.

November 17, an hour before the puck is scheduled to drop, and a crowd has already formed outside of Breckenridge’s Stephen C. West Ice Arena. Inside, the home team’s staff rushes to finish setting up for the first game of the season. Ice skating lessons and youth leagues take precedence at the venue, so the Breckenridge Vipers, an independent outfit that plays in Senior A, amateur hockey’s highest level of competition, couldn’t access the arena until 5:30 p.m. That gave them only 90 minutes to hang sponsorship banners, place cameras for the YouTube livestream, and stock the bars (as the liquor license holder, the squad provides its own booze and bartenders). It feels like the first day of school after summer break: Concessions staff who haven’t seen one another in months hug and catch up while they try to figure out the Vipers’ new point-of-sale system. Click the link to continue reading on 5280.com