Publisher’s Notebook: Which mountain town will be my next favorite?

It was all my daughter’s idea — a quick weekend getaway while she was home from college for a couple of weeks. With my son able to get off work a little early on a Friday, a trip to Telluride sounded like just the ticket.

I hadn’t been to Telluride since probably the early ’90s — pre-kids. Back then, we had decided to go to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, even though we had no tickets and no hotel reservations. We wound up sleeping in our 1990 Toyota Corolla — freezing — and listening to Emmylou Harris’ voice from a distance, echoing off the red brick buildings.

Truthfully, I remembered little about the town, and I eagerly planned our little getaway this time, reserving a hotel room and double-checking that we would be OK with a late arrival.

The drive there got a bit of a late start, and we finally arrived at The Victorian Inn downtown about 1 a.m. What followed was a day and a half of hikes, restaurants, shops and just plain fun. We took the easy-to-moderate hike to Bear Creek Falls — it’s worth the three hours or so that it takes, round-trip.

We walked around the town, enjoying the shops. We had breakfast at the New Sheridan Hotel. We walked along the creek path adjacent to downtown. We drove around the beautiful neighborhoods, with not a rundown building in sight. And we marveled at the real estate prices — pretty familiar to anyone who has explored the Boulder market.

Coming back, we avoided Interstate 70 and found our way to U.S. Highway 285, enjoying the Collegiate Peaks. Eventually, we found our way back to Boulder and Greeley, each of us concluding that Telluride was our new favorite Colorado destination.

Although I’ve been to many communities in Colorado, I now lament that I haven’t seen enough. How many other mountain towns would instantly become my new favorite once seen and experienced?

Too often, one tends to overlook those attractions closest to him or her. Many residents of New York have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. Some natives of Washington, D.C., have never visited our nation’s monuments.

And here in Colorado, many natives have never been to some of the state’s most beautiful sites.

So now I’m committed. In addition to camping along the Poudre River in Fort Collins, or along the Peak to Peak Highway west of Boulder — which I try to do at least once a year — I’m determined to spend more time enjoying the mountain towns of Colorado and the many small communities that boast a proud history, a good breakfast spot, a coffee shop and a brewpub.

So look out, Durango. Get ready, Manitou Springs. Come to think of it, it’s been awhile since I’ve been to Steamboat …

Christopher Wood is editor and publisher of BizWest. Reach him at 303-630-1942, 970-232-3133 or


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