or call 866-888-7197
Newsletter & Snow Report Signup
The Mountain
Unmatched in North America

    About Telluride

    History of Telluride and the Ski Resort

    Founded in 1878, Telluride’s history is as colorful as the Victorian homes lining the streets. Originally named Columbia, the fledgling town was forced to change its name in 1887 due to post office confusion with Columbia, California. From 1887 on, Telluride began to earn its place on the map as a budding mining town.

    Most say Telluride is named after tellurium, a nonmetallic element associated with rich mineral deposits of gold and silver. Others say it originated from the castaway call "To-Hell-You-Ride" shouted by loved ones who knew of the town's boisterousness. Either way, folks were attracted to the young town full of promise and opportunity.

    At the height of the gold rush, nearly 5,000 people inhabited Telluride, referred to as the "town without a bellyache." In fact, at the turn of the century, more millionaires (per capita) lived in Telluride than in New York City. The Tomboy Mine was one of the world's greatest gold producers and contributed to more than $360 million dollars of gold pulled out of the area. The wealth of Telluride attracted the likes of Butch Cassidy, who began his illustrious bank robbing career in town. In 1889, Butch walked away from his first heist at the San Miguel Valley Bank with $24,580, never to be recovered.

    Miners traveling from Tomboy Mine; site of Butch Cassidy's first bank robbery; Main Street Telluride; Tomboy Mine.

    All good things came to an end when Telluride's boom days started moving toward bust. The final blow came when many of the area's mines shut down in 1953. Families left town in droves and those who stayed realized Telluride's heyday was a thing of the past. After the 1950’s mining bust, Telluride faded into a sleepy ghost town.

    Snow--once despised by the miners, falls in glorious abundance on the tops of mountains and covers the ski trails. It also put Telluride back on the map. The Scandinavian sport of skiing was introduced to Telluride by Swedes and Finns, maybe for the sheer joy, but more for the quick means of transportation.

    Nearly 40 years later, Joe Zoline, a wealthy entrepreneur from Beverly Hills, envisioned how snow could transform Telluride. His dream of building a ski area came to fruition in 1972 when the Telluride Ski Resort opened with five lifts and a day lodge. Six years later, two Colorado natives, Ron Allred and Jim Wells, purchased the ski area and transformed Telluride into a world class resort through  mountain and lift upgrades, construction of on-mountain restaurants and trails, development of Mountain Village (in 1985), and the creation of innovative public transportation systems – the gondola and chondola. In 2004, Chuck Horning and partners purchased the resort and have since facilitated the expansion into Black Iron Bowl, Palmyra Peak and Revelation Bowl.

    Today in Telluride and Mountain Village

    Clapboard signs and colorful murals decorate Main Street storefronts while alpine elegance surrounds the Mountain Village shops. Items from around the world include jewelry from China, India and Japan, furniture from Mexico and Guatemala and rugs from Persia. Toys, antiques, and ice climbing gear please the young, the extreme or the sophisticated world traveler.

    Food aficionados from across the country delight in the chef innovation and quality in this small resort boasting over 60 restaurants, coffee shops and bars. New approaches in American cuisine, wine cellars to rival those found on either coast and tasting menus prepared by seasoned chefs create the perfect atmosphere to match any mood.

    A Modern European Alpine Village

    Perched at 9,500 feet, Mountain Village is an intimate alpine enclave with luxury hotels and condominiums, stylish boutiques and innovative dining. Home to the state-of-the-art Telluride Conference Center, and world renowned hotels lumiere and Capella Telluride, this European-styled alpine village provides unsurpassable scenic ambiance with an emphasis on guest service. Ski runs meander through the town, giving many homes, condominiums, and hotels direct ski access to the slopes. All elements combine to create a modern alpine elegance to complement the rustic charm of Telluride.

    Today, the population teeters around 2,500 in the town of Telluride and 1,400 year round in Mountain Village. Skis, boots and snowboards have replaced the pick, shovel and hammer. Few predicted the incredible impact snow would have on this once sleepy town as Telluride is again the desirable, energetic community of a century ago. Mention Telluride and those who know this authentic mountain gem grin in appreciation of its sheer beauty and charm.

    To learn more visit our Press page.

    Frequently Asked Questions


    About Telluride

    US Forest Service Telluride Ski Resort is a world-class Colorado ski resort and summer vacation destination located in the beautiful San Juan Mountains in Telluride, Colorado. In the summer, golfers and festivarians enjoy a beautiful mountain setting full of exciting activities and high-end amenities. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders have access to over 2,000 acres of beginner, intermediate and advanced skiing terrain with a vertical drop of 4,000 feet. Non-stop flights to Telluride Airport (TEX) and Montrose/Telluride Airport (MTJ) are available from major cities throughout the United States and, once you're here, Telluride's free gondola is the main source of transportation - no traffic or long lift lines, and no driving once you've arrived. Experience Telluride - plan your visit today!

    (800) 778-8581 | Telluride Ski Resort, 565 Mountain Village Boulevard, Telluride, Colorado 81435

    Copyright © 2014 Telluride Ski & Golf Resort. All Rights Reserved.

    Canada - English Brazil - Portuguese Australia - English Argentina - Spanish

    New Zealand - English Mexico - Spanish Great Britain - English Germany - German