Trail Troll Finds New Home In Breckenridge

<p>Stephanie Wolf/CPR News</p>
<p>A public artwork called “Isak Heartstone” along Breckenridge&#039;s Wellington Trail on Oct. 23, 2018.</p>
Photo: Breck Troll | Isak Heartstone - SWolf
A public artwork called "Isak Heartstone" along Breckenridge's Wellington Trail on Oct. 23, 2018.

​Isak Heartstone will have a new home this spring.

Town officials chose Illinois Gulch as the new spot for Breckenridge's popular 15-foot-tall trail troll Monday after nearby residents expressed concerns over traffic and safety at the old site on Wellington Trail, the Summit Daily reports.

The troll was so popular that the increased foot and car traffic led to illegal parking, noise and trash left from Isak’s many visitors, officials say.

In contrast, Illinois Gulch typically has ample parking at the nearby Stephen C. West Ice Arena and is not near any residential neighborhoods, according to the Summit Daily. Plus, the ice rink sits on several free bus routes.

Thomas Dambo, the Danish artist who created the troll sculpture out of reclaimed wood, will return to relocate it.

Breckenridge Creative Arts commissioned Dambo to create the $40,000 temporary public art installation for the 2018 Breckenridge International Festival of Arts in August.

But after the problems at the site, Breckenridge formed a “troll task force,” recruiting employees from different town departments to work with Breckenridge Creative Arts on how to lessen the impact of the troll and ultimately, after they decided to disassemble it, to find it a new home.

Discussion of Isak’s future began in October 2018, when the town council decided to leave it on Wellington Trail. The majority of the council felt the positive impacts, primarily increased tourism, outweighed the negative ones.

The city added trash cans, signage and additional fencing to keep people on the trail and out of neighborhoods. It also increased police presence in the area.

Then in mid-November, the council decided to disassemble the trail troll, but left the door open to relocation in the future. The council said winter weather conditions had affected the troll’s “structural and aesthetic integrity” leading to increased concerns about public safety.

It is still unclear when the new version of the sculpture will be completed.

CPR arts reporter Stephanie Wolf contributed to this report.