Community Members And Business Owners Launch The Telluride Region Chamber Of Commerce

imagesWith the intent to assist and promote businesses large and small and foster a business culture based on ingenuity and collaboration, community members and business owners have established the Telluride Region Chamber of Commerce. This non-profit organization will offer new and existing businesses tiered and individualized benefit plans to meet their needs in today’s evolving economic landscape.

“We want to meet with business owners and together brainstorm ways in which the Chamber can play a vital role in their day-to-day business,” said Chamber Co-founder and CEO Jim Riley. “With that as our starting point, we hope to make a more significant impact within the business community and on the local economy, and create a chamber that is relevant to our members.”

Beginning in May the Chamber will offer membership tiers, ranging from $300 to $5,000 annually,  and the opportunity for potential members to schedule a meeting with Chamber staff to discuss their individual business needs.

“Each membership tier was created with the basic notion that business owners don’t necessarily have the time to implement a customized chamber experience, but they still want to receive certain chamber benefits. And those benefits range from advocacy to online promotion to member-to-member discounts,” said Riley.

Telluride Plans to Offer $12 Lift Tickets April 3 As It Rolls Back Prices to Its 1st Season

imagesThe Telluride ski area is rolling back its lift ticket prices on April 3 by about 40 years.

The resort says one-day lift tickets at the window will be $12 on April 3, when it rolls back prices to the 1972-1973 winter. Telluride Ski Resort opened in 1972 with five lifts and a day lodge.

Telluride is scheduled to close for the 2012-2013 season on April 7.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Airlines Wrap Up Winter Season in Telluride

imagesWhile it wasn’t the busiest winter season for air traffic in Telluride’s history, airlines were able to keep flights relatively full during the 2012-13 ski season.  Winter got off to a slow start thanks to a lack of snow early on, and some airlines felt the hit with fewer people booking flights to the region. However, by February the snow began to pile up and so did flight bookings. Overall, local officials are saying the season ended with strong flight loads.  Now that the ski resort has closed, the focus has shifted to summer. The region’s major airline carriers will return this summer with their usual routes, but the low-cost Allegiant Air — the region’s newest carrier — will not be landing planes at the Montrose Regional Airport.

Allegiant’s contract ended on April 3, but the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization is in talks to bring the carrier back next winter. “Allegiant got off to a slow start, but they were very strong in February and March and overall had a solid season,” said TMRAO COO Matt Skinner. “We also had very strong load factors on the legacy flights for winter.”

Most air service to the region ended April 3, including direct flights to cities such as Oakland, Calif., Phoenix, Ariz., Houston and Dallas, Texas. Two airlines, Great Lakes and United, will continue through off-season.   Skinner said TMRAO hopes Allegiant will return for next winter season, and talks are taking place to try and get a deal together.

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Colorado Fun!

Alpine Slide-LEADWhen it comes to winter thrills, Colorado ski resorts offer nearly everything snow lovers crave. But just because skis and boards have been mothballed for the summer doesn’t eliminate reasons for visiting slope-side resorts.

Here are 33 summer adventures to be found around Colorado’s top ski communities. Like the trails and terrain, we’ve categorized activities by difficulty—family-friendly easy greens, more-challenging intermediate blues and adrenaline-infused advanced black-diamonds. Pick a pursuit and have some fun.

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Airports Near Aspen, Colorado

jet_slopesWhile Denver International Airport is Colorado’s largest airport and is generally the easiest and cheapest to fly into, it is a four-hour mountain drive to Aspen, and even farther from the western ski resorts of Telluride and Durango. Colorado High Country has a variety of airports that are closer to its world-class ski resorts, allowing for more direct, quicker travel.

The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport ( is Aspen’s regional airport, just five minutes from the resort area. Take a morning flight and be skiing by afternoon. Two airlines service the airport: United Express, operated by SkyWest, and Republic, operated by Frontier. Direct flights are available from cities including Denver, Los Angeles and Chicago.

While Aspen/Pitkin County Airport is the most convenient airport to Aspen travel, there are other airports in the surrounding ski country that are much closer to Aspen than Denver. Further, so long as you don’t mind car travel, these airports will allow you to piece together trips with other famous Colorado ski resorts. Eagle County Regional Airport ( is about an hour and a half north of Aspen and is located conveniently to Vail and Beaver Creek. To the south, Gunnison airport ( is not much closer than Denver, but would allow you to combine a trip to Crested Butte, one of Colorado’s most challenging ski areas, with a trip to Aspen.

Colorado Ski Visits Down 11%

colorado-ski-map-620x406According to The Colorado Springs Business Journal ski visits across the state of Colorado are down 11.5% so far this season, compared to the same period last year. The Journal sites the lack of snow and late openings for many Colorado resorts as major factors in the drop of skier traffic.

“First period is largely fueled by in-state visitors, and an unseasonably warm October and November kept many Coloradans from tallying lots of ski days” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA, a nonprofit industry group that represents several of the state’s largest ski resorts. “Snow did not arrive in earnest until mid-December.”

Despite the slow start, ski areas saw a strong holiday period with conditions more in line with an average year. The New Year started with storms, which bodes well for the rest of the season, she said.

“There is some real buoyancy in the indicators for the months ahead. February and March hotel bookings are pacing ahead of last year by 3.5 percent and 8.6 percent respectively,” Mills said. “Carnival and Easter are well-timed for ski visitation this year and Colorado’s traditional snowier months lie ahead.”.

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A New Ski Area in Bear Creek?

Photo by Katie Klingsporn

Photo by Katie Klingsporn

Ron Curry and Thomas Chapman of Gold Hill Development Company have unveiled plans to develop a ski area in Upper Bear Creek, Telluride’s legendary side-country playground.
Bear Creek at Telluride Ski Resort is being touted as a rugged, expert ski area accessed by human-powered traffic, helicopter or access gates, according to materials from “The Creek” Associates. The area would encompass 1,300 acres of land and would feature nearly 2,000 feet of vertical elevation and no permanent infrastructure. Though there would be avalanche control and patrollers, traditional resort trappings like lifts, groomers and restaurants would not exist.
“Deep powder snow, no grooming, no trees, no clear-cut trails,” reads a release from the company. “No lift towers, no permanent structures, no trace of wintertime skiing to the summer use of Bear Creek.”
The resort’s terrain would stretch from a high point of 13,555 feet on Wasatch Mountain to 11,562 feet on private lands in the West Fork of Bear Creek, according to the company. A warming hut yurt would be placed on a temporary deck and removed each June.

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Your Guide to Buying a Rural Property in the Rocky Mountains

imagesThe Rocky Mountains offer many pristine, rural properties, ranches and farm houses for sale.  Here are ten pieces of advice to keep in mind before buying:

  1. Is the water supply public or private? If it’s well water, you should have it tested to check for chemicals or other harmful components.
  2. Does the house have adequate septic? When a house is constructed in a rural area, a leach field is built to collect sewage and water waste. Make sure the leach field is the proper size to avoid costly construction bills down the road.
  3. Is the house on a private road? If so, you could be facing thousands of dollars in extra expenses each year, as you’ll be forced to split the bill with your fellow residents for plowing, maintenance and paving.
  4. Has the area ever experienced a major power outage? If so, how long was the power out?
  5. How is the air quality? Ask about radon levels and smog levels from any nearby manufacturing plants.
  6. What is the average snowfall? How does the town handle major snowstorms?
  7. Where are the boundary lines? Make sure the property divisions are clear and established.
  8. Who handles trash pickup? Is there a nearby dumping ground?
  9. Are there any deed and zoning restrictions?
  10. How difficult is it to maintain the property?

Colorado Revenue Continues to Grow, Economists Say

imagesColorado’s economy continues to outperform expectations, spurred on by tax revenue from stock sales, although unemployment remains high, state economists told lawmakers Monday.  The state’s tax receipts are expected to be $548.2 million, or 7.1 percent higher, this budget year than the prior year, according to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s economists. The latest quarterly forecast from state economists touched on familiar trends of past reports: Colorado’s economy is outperforming the national economy, but there remains caution because of the revenue growth is driven by taxes on one-time stock sales.  “We have clue after clue that what we’re dealing with is volatile revenue stream,” said Henry Sobanet, Hickenlooper’s budget director.  With the adjusted revenue numbers from December, the state’s general fund is expected to be $8.3 billion for the fiscal year that began in July. The general fund now exceeds the pre-Great Recession peak of $7.7 billion in 2007. The quarterly forecast released Monday afternoon will play a key role in the upcoming debate over the budget, especially as lawmakers debate an overhaul of the state’s system to fund schools. Lawmakers typically give final approval to the budget next month.  State legislative economists also delivered a separate forecast to lawmakers Monday with a similar outlook of cautious optimism for the state.  “I believe it is the spring of this recovery. However, know that storms can still happen in the spring,” said Natalie Mullis, the Legislature’s chief economist.

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Telluride’s Work Out Weekend

imagesThe many colorful festivals that pack into Telluride’s summer and fall calendar celebrate everything from jazz music to documentary films, fine wine, bluegrass and mushrooms.

Add to that: fitness.

Two Telluride locals are launching a new festival in late September that will focus on health, wellness and working out. Telluride WOW … Work Out Weekend will bring world-class fitness gurus, local instructors and a full weekend of classes to Mountain Village from Sept. 19-22.  The idea behind the festival is to bring together like-minded people for a spectrum of fitness sessions, along with presentations and lectures on nutrition, wellness and medical trends.

“It’s a health, fitness and wellness festival offering something for everybody, in that it is all modalities,” said Becca Tudor, a local Pilates and fitness instructor who is organizing the festival along with Albert Roer. “Our goal is to create an exceptional weekend for people who want to either get started on a new fitness program or advance their skills in a variety of activities.”

The festival will offer classes in cross fit, P90X, adventure racing, yoga, Zumba, boot camp, cycling, Pilates and more, as well as appearances by instructors like P90X creator Tony Horton, personal trainer Jonathan Ross and POUND founders Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom. Telluride and Aspen instructors, meanwhile, will include Alyssa Saunders, Tudor, Megan Heller and Sharon Caplan.

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