For more than 40 years, Crested Butte has been synonymous with powder, peace, and quiet. The ski resort has attracted an international following of travelers and locals looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. With only around 3,000 permanent residents and a population of around 18,000 during the peak season, it’s easy to understand why so many people choose to vacation at Crested Butte. The snowfall, panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, and the resort’s cozy atmosphere make it a Mecca for skiers and snowboarders.
Ownership: What’s Been Going On?
As we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, nothing is guaranteed in life. Even before the pandemic, Crested Butte’s ski industry was going through tough times, and the ownership of the resort was changing hands.
In October 2019, the Anschutz Company—which acquired Crested Butte in 2005—announced a plan to sell off a number of its US properties, including its flagship resort, as part of a liquidation process. This sparked a wave of speculation that the resort was for sale. In fact, the resort’s website was hacked, and fake classifieds were posted, offering ‘prime real estate’ in and around Crested Butte for sale. The rumours were false, but it didn’t take long for them to gain traction. Rumors turned into reality when, in early 2021, it was officially announced that the Mountain Village, North Park, and Pioneer Workshops would be auctioned off as part of a foreclosure action.
The Future Of The Resort?
Even before the pandemic, uncertainty loomed over the future of the resort. The liquidation of the Anschutz Company’s properties meant that not all was well at Crested Butte. The resort’s future was placed in serious jeopardy. Those concerned about the resort’s future lobbied the US Congress, seeking financial relief and maintenance funds for the ski resort. The lobbying eventually paid off, and in December 2021, Congress allocated $25 million for the Crested Butte ski resort, as well as $7.5 million for other Anschutz Company properties. This is an important legislative win for the future of the resort.
Why Should You Visit Crested Butte?
Crested Butte is located in Colorado, one of the United States’ most beautiful and popular ski resort destinations. It is close to Aspen, but offers a totally different atmosphere. There is no doubt that the combination of superb skiing and picturesque mountain village provide an unrivalled travel experience. It is always sunny and dry, so you won’t get wet feet even if you fall down.
The snowfall at Crested Butte is some of the best in North America. There are 33 trails spanning 2,700 acres, with 20 more trails and a double chairlift waiting to be built. Between the impressive snowfall and the impressive setting, there is plenty to keep an enthusiast busy throughout the year. Winter is a very good time to visit, as there are lots of daytime activities, and the skiing is fantastic. Summer is a different story, as there are very few attractions and no luxury hotels, which draw fewer tourists to the area. However, with the rise of virtual reality, this year’s summer holidays look different than previous years.
What Are The Best Seasons To Visit?
The best time to visit Crested Butte is definitely between October and April, when the snowfall is at its prime. The snow makes for some great skiing and snowboarding, and there is rarely any need for snow machines, which makes the experience more intimate. Another perk of this time period is that the temperature is more pleasant, so you don’t have to adjust as much to the cold. Traveling during the off-season isn’t advisable, as there aren’t many attractions, and the staff at the resort are less engaged in offering services and more concerned with getting through the season.
How Is The Ecosystem Around Crested Butte?
The ecosystem around Crested Butte is important, not only to the wildlife that calls it home, but also to the humans that visit it. It is widely known that the food chain in the area is quite sophisticated, with numerous species of animals living off the land. Among these species are bald eagles, peregrine falcons, grizzly bears, and lynx. Each year, up to 600 bears come down from the mountains to look for food. It is important to remember that between October and April, when the snowfall is at its prime, be careful not to approach or feed the bears, as there are numerous studies that have shown that this can lead to problems. It is also important to note that the larger the group, the more chance there is of an altercation. These studies suggest that there is not much of an appetite for human-wildlife conflict, especially when it comes to viewing large mammals as food sources. For this reason, feeding the animals in captivity is not permitted, and there are strict laws in place to prevent anyone from doing this. This is different from most other ski resorts, where feeding the animals is commonplace and accepted, and is often done as a form of self-expression or as a way of thanking the gods of snow and ice after a successful day on the slopes.
What Amenities Does Crested Butte Have To Offer?
Many people will argue that the best thing about Crested Butte is its amenities. After all, it has a 9-hole golf course, a tennis courts, an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a spa, and a fully equipped fitness center. During the day, the village teems with life, as the locals flock to the slopes to catch a glimpse of the snow or to take a walk along the ridge. At night, the lights along the mountain shimmer in the distance, creating a magical atmosphere that draws international attention and fosters a community that cherishes privacy and still wants to be part of the action.
This is one of the reasons why Crested Butte is considered a premiere ski resort. It doesn’t try and hide what it is; the entire village is lined with billboards and colorful banners that welcome visitors with the hashtag #CBenefit. It embraces its motto, ‘Location, Location, Location’, creating an unforgettable destination that draws huge numbers of tourists and locals alike. It also encourages people to visit during the off-season, when there aren’t many other visitors, making it easier to access the trails and enjoy a secluded vacation. With only a small population, the locals at Crested Butte know how to have fun, but also keep a close eye on protecting the wilderness that provides such a unique and wonderful experience to those that visit.