Q: What’s the elevation of Telluride?

A: The town sits in a box canyon at 8,750 feet surrounded by steep and breathtaking 14,000-foot peaks. While Mountain Village’s elevation is at 9,545 feet and is the base of the ski resort.

Q: When was Telluride founded?

A: The town was founded as Columbia in 1878, but a town in California had already established this designation, and the U.S. Postal Service forced a change in 1887 to end the confusion between the two.

Q: What’s the population of the town?

A: The town itself–not including the surrounding area and Mountain Village–population was 2,221 in the 2000 United States Census.

Q: Where does the name “Telluride” come from?

A: No one is sure exactly how the distinctive name of Telluride came about, but it can be speculated that the name came from the chemical compounds known as tellurides. A telluride is a combination of metals or minerals such as gold, silver, zinc, lead, etc. and that of tellurium. One local legend has the name’s origination from the send-off phrase “to-hell-you-ride” in reference to the town’s once rough and tumble reputation as a Wild West town, but there is little credence to this.

Q: Did Butch Cassidy rob his first bank in Telluride?

A: Yes, Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy, robbed his first bank in Telluride in June 1889. Cassidy was a sometimes resident of Telluride from 1884 to 1889. Along with three other accomplices, the robbers made off with approximately $21,000 from the San Miguel Valley Bank.

Q: Was Telluride the first place to use AC electricity?

A: Yes, entrepreneur L.L. Nunn and George Westinghouse built the first AC generator, based off Nikola Tesla’s patented work, in Ames Colorado near Telluride. The power plant produced power for the Gold King mine 3.5 miles away. The Brown Dog is located in the L.L. Nunn building that used to house his offices for a burgeoning business empire.

Q: When did the Telluride Ski Resort open?

A: Entrepreneur Joe Zoline envisioned a ski resort on the slopes of the mountains surrounding Telluride. Five lifts and a day lodge opened in winter of 1972.

Q: How much does it cost to ride the Gondola?

A: The Gondola is FREE and is open from 7am to 12pm, seven days a week, most days of the year. The Gondola does close one month in the spring mid-April to mid-May and fall mid-October to mid-November.

Q: Where do they store the ski moguls in the summer?

A: The moguls are stored in super-secret warehouse underneath Gold Hill. Every spring when the snow melts, mountain operations pick up the moguls for their summer storage. The moguls are repaired and some replaced. Then as fall comes the moguls are dusted off and placed around the mountain. And if you believe that, do we have a gold mine to sell you 😉

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