IN THE GAME // A multi-day event featuring smart people, pioneering research, powerful ideas and placed-based strategies designed to make our Colorado downtowns better. This year we’re moving beyond the traditional “talking heads” conference. Instead, we’re transforming the event into a tool to help communities solve the difficult challenges they face right now. Participants will leave feeling inspired and equipped with a tangible plan to make change happen. We’ll also partake in some amateur singing and have a little fun, too.


CHALLENGE STUDIO // These workshops are designed to transform the community’s difficult challenges and problems into promising opportunities. Participants will work side-by-side with leading industry experts and local peer networks to craft problem-solving plans that result in improved futures for all. In the process, the participating communities will be connected into supporting resources and networks; helping them to get the job done. 

Featuring Keynotes From:



Julie Burros is the Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston, a cabinet level position reporting directly to Mayor Martin J. Walsh. She leads Boston Creates, the City’s cultural plan, and Boston AIR, a program that positions artists as leaders of system-wide change. Burros trained as an urban planner and is a 20-year veteran of municipal government public service.


Vince Kadlubek is the Co-founder and CEO of Meow Wolf, the arts collective behind the award-winning art experience “House of Eternal Return” in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Backed by “Game of Thrones” creator, George R.R. Martin, this immersive art experience has generated a remarkable positive economic impact while supporting local growth and emerging talent. Kadlubek is the chairman of the City’s Planning Commission and redefining the role of the artist in the community.


Steven Thomson is the Program and Communications Manager at the Van Alen Institute. Van Alen believes that all aspects of our lives are shaped by our environment. Their work is inspired by two fundamental questions: How do cities impact our minds and bodies? And in turn, how do we impact the environment? Their goal is to develop a better understanding of these complex relationships through the lens of design. In his position, Thomson works at the intersection of media and the built environment.

Additional Presentations By:


Heritage Tour | Breckenridge Heritage Alliance

The Historic Walking Tour of Breckenridge (a great overview of the town’s history) and Behind Swinging Doors Saloon Tour (an interesting history of the town’s saloons and pre-dinner happy hour).

Craft Industry Tour | Broken Compass Brewing

Tour Breck’s growing craft brewery, distillery and local ski manufacturing scene and learn about the grass roots efforts entrepreneurs have gone through to grow their businesses and gain momentum with both the local community and visitors.

Affordable Housing Partnerships | Town of Breckenridge

Summit County faces a severe shortage of affordable housing, with most recent studies indicating a need for nearly 1,700 homes for the local workforce. The Town of Breckenridge has been a leader in creating new neighborhoods for the community and has created partnerships with multiple agencies, developers and jurisdictions to develop housing.

Main Street Improvements | Town of Breckenridge

Tour Breckenridge Main Street Improvement project (blub outs, pavers, landscaping, flowers, grading, drainage, way finding signage, parking meters, signage, street furniture etc). The Town has spent more than $6-8 million over the last few years to accomplish all of this and will be the source of much inspiration.

Wednesday Sponsored Lunch Sessions:

Orton Family Foundation Lunch | Breckenridge Heritage Alliance

The Orton Family Foundation will be hosting a meet and greet luncheon on Wednesday, May 3rd in Breckenridge for towns who are interested in learning more about Heart & Soul.

The Rise of 3D Visualization in Placemaking | DHM Design

Developing a collective stakeholder vision often starts with a picture of “what could be”. How that picture takes shape, what story it tells and what reactions it inspires can either help or hinder the placemaking process. Daniel Tal with DHM Design will present the latest cutting-edge tools available to communities of all sizes to help jumpstart projects and clear obstacles to improving their downtowns. Through case studies, participants will learn about data driven tools that create clarity around a community’s vision and decision-making challenges. The flexible process is collaborative and transparent, generating a wide range of studies and results that align visions and bolster community support.

How to Jump Start Downtown Projectts in Rural Communities | Studio InSite

How to jump start small implementable and affordable downtown projects in rural communities that have high impact. Creative ideas that can be realized in short 1-3 year time frames. How to find funding, inspire citizen participation and local leadership support.

How to Ask the Right Survey Questions | National Research Center

To get to the top of your game and truly create a stellar Downtown experience for residents and guests, your community needs solid data to take smart action. Most municipalities, planners and contractors will look to public input to help them understand what people actually ​want in their downtown. But getting responses that will truly be useful is easier said than done. National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) Survey Research Consultant Jade Arocha will reveal what you need to know to ask the right survey questions and lead a workshop discussion to help you get the very best results on your next survey project.

Thursday Sponsored Lunch Sessions:

Sustainable Cultural Amenities Lunch | Arts Management & Planning Associates, Inc.

Consider the cultural amenities in your community, whether museums, galleries, or theaters. Regardless of public or private ownership, it is important to link these community assets, find sustainable organizational models, and establish a draw for both locals and tourists to visit more than once!!

Employee Ownership and Cooperatives | Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

Cooperatives present a great opportunity to create and sustain local businesses in your community. Consider how to form a cooperative or how to transfer an existing business to an employee-owned model.


+ Theater Performance by DCPA Off Center’s Cult Following

+ Adventures in Breckenridge’s Creative District

+ Latenight Karaoke


Join us for special pre-event programming featuring a live performance of “Map of My Kingdom,” a one act play commissioned to spur dialogue around rural land ownership and succession. 

Location | Mountain Thunder Lodge, Breckenridge, CO

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