Telluride Ski Resort

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.”.

Click here to read the entire article.

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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Celebrating Forty Legendary Years at the Telluride Ski Resort

imagesTelluride Ski Resort just announced that it will celebrate its 40th year in operation this spring with forty days of events, contests, scavenger hunts and more. “Forty days of fun events to conclude our 40th season with a bang. With everything from dress up themed days to the famed pond skim, Telluride is where it will be this spring,” said Telluride Ski Resort’s Marketing Manager, Brandy Johnson.

The 2012/2013 season marks the resort’s 40th year in operation in the beautiful San Juan Mountains. Born out of an adventurous desire to immerse in the precious “white gold” or snowy powder that blankets the surrounding peaks, West Coast entrepreneur Joe Zoline opened the Telluride Ski Resort to the public in 1972. The resort has grown immensely in the past forty years and was ranked #1 in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Readers’ Poll for Best Ski Resort in North America.

After a major storm system left Telluride Ski Resort with close to forty inches this past week, the ski resort’s new marketing efforts come at the perfect time for friends and families looking to enjoy great conditions and participate in unique events this spring.

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What’s New at Telluride Ski Resort for 2013-14 Ski Season

ICBR_TSG_1The Watch Newspaper recently released a guide to the updates you can expect at the Telluride Ski Resort during the 2013-2014 season.

Here’s your guide to what’s in store for the 2013-2014 season:

The Telluride Ski Resort is changing its tagline for the upcoming season. The resort chose “The Most Beautiful Place You’ll Ever Ski” as the tagline that encompasses Telluride’s brand, and which will now be used on all marketing materials. The new tagline replaces the previous “Unmatched in North America” slogan.  “This year we are focusing on our natural surroundings, an aspect our guests truly appreciate and value,” said Tom Watkinson, director of the resort’s public relations and communications. The resort considered other taglines, he said, including “Discover the Gold” and “ Discover the Good Life.” “The Most Beautiful Place You’ll Ever Ski” was a marketing tagline used by Telski in the 1990s.

The Telluride Ski Resort, the Telluride Tourism Board and the Colorado Flights Alliance are working together to increase visitors traveling by plane to the Montrose and Telluride airports, long a goal of all three organizations. “A major challenge of being located in the box canyon is that it’s difficult for a lot of Americans to access the ski resort because of its remoteness and long proximity from airport hubs,” said Chuck Horning, president and CEO of the resort. The Colorado Flights Alliance, an organization with a goal of increasing aviation passenger traffic through the Telluride and Montrose airports, recently announced flight service increases for the winter. Montrose will offer direct, round-trip flights from Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Dallas and Houston. Great Lakes Airlines will continue to offer flights to and from Telluride and Denver.

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Telluride Partners With Solitude Mountain Resort

indexTelluride Ski Resort has some of the most spectacular terrain in Colorado for every ability of skier. Amazing views, great dining, and a town with historical character and charm compliment a Telluride experience.

Solitude Mountain Resort boasts over 500 inches of snow annually covering 1,200 acres of incredible terrain on 65 runs and three bowls, making it a Utah must for every ski enthusiast. And let’s not forget Honeycomb Canyon with its off-piste terrain similar to Telluride’s.

These two unique resorts have come together to offer a great opportunity for full season pass holders at each mountain to get out and experience something new and different this season. Telluride Ski Resort full season pass holders will now be able to experience three free days of skiing at Solitude Mountain Resort and the same for Solitude full season pass holders this 2013-14 ski season.

“This opportunity allows Telluride pass holders to check out what’s happening in Utah and Utah skiers to experience the best Colorado has to offer,” said Heidi Lauterbach, Sponsorship Manager for Telluride Ski Resort. “This partnership of two unique resorts brings the best of skiing together.”

Telluride season pass holders will also get the added benefit of being able to get some early season and late season turns in as Solitude opens November 14 and closes April 20. Both resorts will have blackout dates for the exchange during the holiday season, December 26 to 31. Telluride season pass holders will also receive the added benefits of 10 percent off all on-mountain food and beverage and 10 percent off any resort lodging at Solitude.

Click here to read the entire article at Powder Magazine.

2012-13 Skier Visits Creep Up by 4 Percent in Colorado

Arapahoe Basin Ski AreaColorado’s ski areas hosted 11.4 million skier visits last season, a nearly 4 percent increase over the previous season’s 11 million.

The 11.4 million mark, while an increase over the dismal and dry 2011-12 season, is the third-slowest season in the past decade, and the annual increase falls well below the national spike of 11 percent.

Colorado Ski Country USA, the trade group that represents 21 of the state’s 25 ski areas, reported 6.4 million skier visits in 2012-13, an increase of 3.8 percent, or 235,000 skier visits, over 2011-12. Vail Resorts’ four Colorado ski areas — Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone and Beaver Creek — saw about 5 million skier visits.

Colorado’s 2012-13 season started slowly, with weak snow and local skiers staying home. Storms in late December and late spring fueled a rebound in visitation. But it wasn’t enough to pull the state closer to the 12 million-skier-visit benchmark it reached in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011.

Declining skier visits does not necessarily correlate to decreasing revenues, as evidenced by ski areas that saw increased revenues in 2011-12, which saw record declines in visitation.

Telluride: While Skiing is King, Adventures Abound in This Mountain Town

I’m seated at a white-linen covered table in the middle of a meadow at 10,000 feet altitude.

The Rocky Mountains of Telluride serve as the scenic backdrop. I’m among 20 guests about to indulge in a special “foraging dinner,” orchestrated by Telluride’s luxurious Hotel Madeline. An hour earlier, our group had been roaming the lightly wooded forests, searching out mushroom delicacies with our guide, John SirJesse.

With our baskets brimming, we returned to the meadow and delivered the delicacies to our chefs who began incorporating the finds into a delectable, six-course tasting menu. The sun began to lower on the horizon as our sommelier held up a glass of fine wine in a toast: “Many of us live in concrete jungles,” he announced. “Not today.”

Welcome to the wild luxuries of Telluride.

Telluride has long been a favored respite for those drawn to scenic mountain bliss but prefer a laid-back atmosphere rather than one of pretentious airs. Granted, the area draws its fair share of star power — Ralph Lauren’s 29,000-acre ranch is nearby as are the mountain retreats of Tom Cruise, Jerry Seinfeld, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and others.

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Telluride Helitrax Makes Top 4 in Forbes Magazine

With access to the San Juan Mountains—one of the few places to heli-ski in Colorado—TellurideHelitrax takes skiing to new heights, about 13,500 feet up in the air. You’ll have access to more than 200 square miles of some of the best skiable terrain in the country with vertical drops as high as 3,000 feet. If your plans take you to the slopes in Aspen, Vail or Beaver Creek, Helitrax offers chartered flights to Telluride that will have you back before happy hour so you can experience the après ski scene, too.

Click here to read the entire article. 

New Joint Ski Pass Between Crested Butte, Telluride

Winter is on its way and so are some new ticket deals that offer days in both Telluride and Crested Butte — with no blackout dates.

A new pass called the Ultimate 6 Pass offers up to three days in Telluride and three in Crested Butte. The pass has been put together as a promotional effort between Telluride Ski & Golf and the Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The pass is only available in limited numbers, and though the exact number of passes has not been released, they are available now for $399 at Liftopia.

“Basically it’s stemming from Crested Butte participating with the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization,” said Telski Communications Director Tom Watkinson. “It’s helping to bring people to both resorts, and this is a great way to do that.”

The Crested Butte Mountain Resort announced in late October that it will be a private supporter of the TMRAO, namely the organization’s newest airline, Allegiant. As part of the deal, marketing efforts would be aimed at air passengers focusing on Telluride as well as Crested Butte.

Watkinson said the pass also offers a 20 percent discount on tickets at either resort if someone wants to go over the three days offered.

Telluride and Crested Butte are roughly 158 miles apart by road, with Montrose between them.

While the Ultimate 6 Pass is a good deal to hit up both resorts, Telski and Crested Butte are also offering their season pass holders a half-price deal for single-day tickets. If a Crested Butte or Telski season pass holder wants to buy a day ticket at the other resort, they are eligible to get it at half price. However, Watkinson said the half price deal does include some blackout dates, notably around the holidays.

Telski will be selling discount season passes and other passes at the KOTO Ski Swap Saturday at the Wilkinson Public Library.

This year, Telski is also selling a special three-day pass option for those with passes to Powderhorn Mountain Resort near Grand Junction.

“We figure Junction is such a big market for regional skiers, that we’re offering a three-day pass at $169 with the purchase of a Powderhorn pass season,” Watkinson said. “There’s no blackout dates and it’s available immediately.”

Telski plans to open on Thanksgiving.

Film Festival Season in Colorado: Something to Suit Every Taste

Now in its sophomore year, the Crested Butte Film Festival plans to elude any sort of slump, starting with tapping moviemaker Alex Cox as its inaugural guest programmer.

“We’re very lucky to have him here,” said Michael Brody, who, along with wife Jennifer, founded and directs the Western Slope festival. “He wanted to show ‘Walker,’ ” Brody said, adding, “it’s wild, chaotic.”

Last year, the director of “Repo Man” and “Sid & Nancy” joined the University of Colorado at Boulder faculty as an assistant professor.

“Walker,” his 1987 acid Western, stars Ed Harris as the historical figure William Walker, an American adventurer who became president of Nicaragua in 1857, was removed in 1859 and met a bad end in Honduras in 1860. Cox breaks conventional period storytelling. (There’s a helicopter escape!) Reviewing the film in The New York Times, Vincent Canby wrote, “Cox and the writer Rudy Wurlitzer have made ‘Walker’ a hip, cool, political satire that’s almost as lunatic as the title character.”

Wild and chaotic, indeed

Other highlights: Boulder-produced doc and Sundance 2012 victor “Chasing Ice,” by Jeff Orlowski. The wondrous short “One finger, two dots then me,” featuring poet Derrick C. Brown. “Under African Skies,” about Paul Simon’s return to South Africa, the site of his legendary album “Graceland.”

Click here to read about five other film festivals we’re psyched about this fall.