The first gold mining claim was made in Telluride in 1875, and settlement of the area quickly followed. The town of Telluride was founded in 1878 and rapidly became a booming mining town — so much, in fact, that more millionaires per capita lived in Telluride than in New York City.
Rich with history, Telluride is home to Butch Cassidy’s first bank robbery. On June 24, 1889, he hit the San Miguel Valley Bank (on the corner of Pine Street and Colorado Avenue), and walked away with more than $20,000. In the late 1800s, Telluride became the first city in the world to have electric streetlights, just a few days before Paris, France.
In the early 1950s, many of the area’s mines began to shut down due to declining silver prices, and by the 1960s Telluride’s population had plummeted from around 5,000 to 600 residents. However, in the 1970s, a new boom resurrected Telluride: skiing. Local Bill Mahoney and Beverly Hills investor Joe Zoline worked together to open Telluride Ski Resort in 1972. In 1978, two Colorado residents, Ron Allred and Jim Wells, purchased the ski resort and added infrastructure, improved operations and started expanding the ski area boundaries.
Today, Telluride Ski Resort is owned by Chuck Horning and partners. Telluride Ski Resort is consistently a top producer in ski industry magazine polls and was recently ranked No. 1 Best Ski Resort by Condé Nast Traveler for the third year in a row.