July Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Community, Government, Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council meeting highlights from last month and some upcoming topics. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

June 14 Meeting Highlights

July 19 Agenda Topics

  • We will appoint one residential representative to each of the following two boards:
    o    Ethics Commission
    o    Community Grant Committee
  • Town Council will consider a resolution to sell an affordable housing unit, Cassidy Ridge Unit C201, to a town employee via a weighted lottery system and based on ongoing town-employment requirements. The Town Charter requires that Town Council approves any sale of town-owned property. The town has gone through the lottery system and is set to sell the unit to an employee with a closing date of August 7. All proceeds from the sale go back into the Affordable Housing Fund.
  • After months of direct negotiation between principal-designated representatives, in April Town Council approved a term sheet regarding settlement of the 161C-R and Ridge at Telluride litigation. Per the terms of the settlement, the Ridge Development is submitting an Alternative Parking Requirements Application with a request to reduce the required parking to one parking space per condominium unit from the two parking spaces required by the Community Development Code.
  • Finance Director Kevin Swain will present the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and 2017 Audit Report for Council approval. A few highlights from the report:
    o    The town’s net position increased $4.2 million – up from $52.6 to $56.8 million.
    o    Sales tax collections continue to establish new record levels – exceeding $4.26 million for the first time.
    o    Development-related revenues exceeded prior year by over 100%  – contributing to surpluses building the town’s General Fund reserves to $10.9 million.
  • Due to recent staffing changes, Town Council will consider short- and long-term options to support forest health and mitigation program administration. To continue offering these programs, we will be considering a proposal to move forward in the short-term by contracting for the necessary tree-marking services while a Request for Proposals (RFP) for longer-term services is in the works. I am hopeful we can find a solution that allows us to continue offering the Defensible Space Initiative Program and the Cedar Shake Incentive Program to property owners without interruption during the program’s busiest season.
  • Public Works Director Finn Kjome will update us on the current drought status and ongoing water restrictions.
  • Lastly, we will receive reports from EcoAction Partners, Telluride Ski & Golf, and the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committees.

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can review minutes from the meeting or watch the video on the town website.

A full agenda has been posted on our website; we welcome your input and hope to see you at the meeting.

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

The Telluride Art + Architecture Weekend

Telluride A and A 2018 Blog

Words by Special Contributor / Community, Event

Quite simply, the Telluride Art + Architecture Weekend is the ultimate art + design experience, set in beautiful Telluride, Colorado. A week of free events that celebrate art, food, architecture, and design culminates in the ticketed main event, a spectacular home tour on Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22. This year the event has grown in quality and scope, with more local and visiting artists, designers, and architects participating, and the expansion into Mountain Village for the Sunday tour and a handful of special events. This summer, homes on the tour provide plenty of inspiration from historic to contemporary and feature exquisite views and elegant touches throughout.

The week kicks off on Monday, July 16 with a Vaudeville show at the roofless Telluride Transfer Warehouse in collaboration with the Wilkinson Public Library. On Tuesday, July 19, our signature Twenty(by)Telluride event, which provides insight into what drives artists’ creativity through fun, fast-paced slide presentations, will be held at the charming M Lounge at the Madeline Hotel in Mountain Village. On Thursday, July 19 from 6-9 Patrons are invited to join us for a special evening with guest architect David Lewis and caterer Angelee Aurillo for a party at a stunning private home on the east end of Telluride.

On Friday, guest artist Rose Jaffe, from Washington DC, will begin a live mural at the Gondola Plaza in Telluride that will continue throughout the weekend. Rose illustrates, paints and carves images of women activists through a prolific body of multimedia works in bold colors, overlapping lines, and feminine bodies.  Also on Friday, Jason Hackenwerth, from Florida, will lead a community balloon installation at the Transfer Warehouse. Jason is part of a growing dialogue of artists exploring experiential art and uses latex balloons as an alternative medium to create massive forms that are both extraordinary yet simple. At 3 pm, join us at Telluride Arts HQ for an Industry Meet and Greet to network with peers and weekend participants over a glass of wine. Then from 5-7 on Friday,  join us for a special progressive presentation about the Manual of Section exhibit in Gallery 81435, then walk over to the Telluride Transfer Warehouse to learn about the plans with David J Lewis. David is a principal at LTL Architects, from NYC, who in addition to winning numerous awards for their Manual of Section book and architecture, has created a design for the Warehouse that transforms the space through a creative engagement between old and new, past, present, and future, between flexible and highly calibrated spaces.

Throughout the weekend, pop into the Telluride Transfer Warehouse to meet local artist Katy Parnello, and enjoy her newest installation, an

electrolier light house which acts as a lookout tower into the future of the Warehouse.  The tower’s height mimics the rooftop deck of the new building and provides a unique view into the box canyon. The light house is a negative space structure which will light up at sunset, creating a beacon to attract attention to the project.  One to two viewers are allowed at a time to personally experience the height and magnitude of the structure. Complete with bed and record player, the tower is a private sanctuary for one to connect with the past and contemplate the future.

Throughout the weekend, listen to a live broadcast on KOTO with Debbie Millman, the host of Design Matters, an acclaimed podcast about design and an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations with designers, writers, artists, curators, musicians, and other luminaries of contemporary thought.

Also, be sure to keep an eye out for a surprise installation on the Gondola by the Ladies Fancywork Society from Denver.

The penultimate highlight of the weekend is the self-guided tour spanning five different stops per day, ten total, with transportation between provided by Telluride Express. On Saturday, the tour takes place in historic Telluride, and on Sunday will take place in Mountain Village.  The tour features new and historic homes, and one specially curated alternative stop on Sunday, the Wagner Ski Factory, that includes a site-specific installation by local artist Danielle DeRoberts, that is not to be missed. Each venue will feature site tours with architects and designers, tastings by local chefs with wine and cocktail pairings, and rooms featuring the works of deeply talented local artists, dancers, musicians. For more details on each stop and the creative teams involved, please visit us on our website and on Instagram and Facebook.

Tickets for the weekend home tours include a required wristband, bag, wine glass, and the tour guidebook, and are available online, and can be picked up beginning on Monday, July 16 between 12pm-6pm at Telluride Arts’ HQ.

On Saturday night, Art + Architecture weekend pass holders receive discounted admission to the Art + Science of Cocktails event at the Telluride Transfer Warehouse, followed by a concert with the adventurous Colorado native band SHEL, an eclectic collaboration between the Pinhead Institute and Telluride Arts.

The full event schedule and tickets for the weekend and the Science of Cocktails and SHEL are available online at www.TellurideArtandArchitecture.org.


  • Monday, July 16, 7-10pm: Vaudeville Show with Wilkinson Library, Transfer Warehouse FREE
  • Tuesday, July 17, 7-9pm: Twenty(by)Telluride, Madeline Residences M Lounge in Mountain Village FREE
  • Thursday, July 19, 6-9pm: Patron Party with guest David J Lewis LTL Architects, at Private Home, catered by Angelee Aurillo
  • Friday, July 20-22, 10am-5pm: Rose Jaffe begins Live Mural, Gondola Plaza FREE
  • Friday, July 20, 10am-5pm: Special installation with visiting artist, Jason Hackenwerth, Transfer Warehouse FREE
  • Friday, July 20, 3pm: Industry Meet + Greet, Telluride Arts Headquarters FREE
  • Friday, July 20, 5-7pm: Gallery opening for David J Lewis, LTL Architects FREE
  • Saturday, July 21, 9am: Guest Designer Presentation with Marie Flanigan Telluride Arts HQ FREE
  • Saturday, July 21, 10am: Historic Walking Tour of Telluride Historic Landmark District, depart Transfer Warehouse
  • Saturday, July 21, 12pm: Debbie Millman from Design Matters interviews Rose Jaffe live on KOTO FREE
  • Saturday, July 21, 12-5pm: A+A Telluride Home TOUR
  • Saturday, July 21, 12-5pm: Kids Build! Workshop for Ages 5-14, in partnership with Wilkinson Public Library & Pinhead Institute, Elks Park
  • Saturday, July 21, 6-1130pm: Art + Science of Cocktails and live music with SHEL, partnered with Pinhead Institute, Transfer Warehouse
  • Sunday, July 22, 9-11am: Transfer Warehouse Project Presentation, Library Program Room FREE
  • Sunday, July 22, 11am: Debbie Millman from Design Matters interviews Jason Hackenwerth on KOTO FREE
  • Sunday, July 22, 12-5pm: A+A Mountain Village Home TOUR
  • Sunday, July 22, 12-5pm: Kids Build! Workshop for Ages 5-14, in partnership with Wilkinson Public Library & Pinhead Institute, Elks Park
  • Sunday, July 22, 5:30-7:30pm: Closing Party, Scratch @ Lumiére Hotel in Mountain Village



A total of $5000 in prizes will be awarded for the most stellar projects of the weekend. All 10 teams showcased during the tour will be eligible.



Pass Cost + Perks:

  • Weekend TOUR Pass $195
  • Saturday Telluride TOUR Pass $105
  • Sunday Mountain Village TOUR Pass $105
  • Patron Pass $600


Weekend Pass includes:

  • Entrance into all 10 venues which include art + food and wine tastings
  • The Historic Walking Tour
  • The Closing Party
  • A guidebook with information on all the teams and venues with a map for the weekend
  • A wine glass
  • The ability to vote


Single Day Pass includes:

  • Entrance into venues that include art + food and wine tastings
  • The closing party
  • A guidebook with information on all the teams and venues with a map for the weekend
  • A wine glass


Patron Pass includes:

  • Two VIP Weekend Tickets
  • VIP Goodie Bag
  • Industry Meet + Greet Party
  • Entry into Art + Science of Cocktails Party on Saturday night
  • Invitation + 1 to the Patron Party Thursday Night


* Tours and Closing Party require a wristband that must be visible throughout the event.

Other events occurring this week in Telluride include:


  • Wednesday, July 18, 6-8pm, Mountain Village’s Sunset Series Presents Ally Venable Band
  • Friday, July 20, 5-7pm, Music on the Green at Reflection Plaza in Mountain Village
  • Friday, July 20, 7pm, Ah Haa School for the Arts Art Auction
  • Saturday, July 21-28 8pm, Telluride Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park


For more information:  www.tellurideartandarchitecture.com

For questions or to volunteer, email [email protected]

Telluride Ski & Golf to invest one million dollars into new and enhanced network of Freestyle, Technical & Cross-Country Trails

Bike Park Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Recreation

Telluride Ski Resort (TSG) has started construction of the new Telluride Bike Park with an anticipated opening in June 2019. The park has been designed by, and is being constructed in partnership with Gravity Logic, the Whistler, British Columbia-based industry leader in the design, development and construction of bike parks in North America.

Mountain biking has become a booming global trend. Not only will this park attract more visitors and provide more opportunities and activities for them, it will help stimulate the local economy. Upon its opening in June 2019, the Telluride Bike Park will encompass approximately 15 trails and 17 miles of terrain, designed to appeal to riders and resort guests of a wide variety of ages, skill and interests. The park will also provide lift-serviced access from Mountain Village on the Village Express chairlift (Lift 4).

The terrain will include new Freestyle trails (commonly known as “flow” trails), enhancements to the existing Technical trails (currently managed as the Mountain Village Bike Park), and existing Cross-Country trails within Telluride Ski Resort’s permit boundary (e.g. Prospect Trail, Prospect Loop, Village Trail, Basin Trail, etc.).

In addition, the park will offer lift service, pass sales, guides, clinics and camps from the Telluride Adventure Center in Mountain Village and pass sales location at Oak Street in Telluride.

Additional Facts & Information:

  1. Anticipated opening on the 3rd Saturday in June with daily operation through Monday Labor Day. Saturday, Sunday operations through the 2nd Sunday in October. Weather Permitting.
  2. The cross-country (XC) trails will open at 6:30 a.m. daily, and all access will close 30 minutes before sunset. Before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m., XC trails will be accessible via the gondola at San Sophia Station and will not require an access pass.
    1. The FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails in the Bike Park (including lift access via Village Express – Lift 4) will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily.
  3. From 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Telluride Ski Resort will provide the following services across the trail network:
    1. Bike Patrol & Emergency Response Services
    2. Pass sales in Mountain Village and at Oak Street
    3. Pass scanning at Village Express and gondola mid-station
    4. Lessons, instructions, and guides
  4. During operating hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., lift access to the Mountain Bike Trail Network will require an access pass.
    1. Before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. the FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails in the Bike Park are closed, but riders can access the XC trails for free.

Single-Day Trail Access Pass:

Single-Day Mountain Bike Pass: single-day access to all XC, FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails, and Village Express (Lift 4). $36/day, which includes a $1 donation to the National Forest Foundation (NFF).

Season Pass Access Products:

  1. TSG Winter Season Pass-holders: Unlimited Mountain Bike Trail Season Pass with access to all XC, FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails, and Village Express (Lift 4). $25 NFF Donation.
  2. Non-Winter Season Pass-holders: Unlimited Mountain Bike Trail Season Pass with access to all XC, FREESTYLE and TECHNICAL trails, and Village Express (Lift 4). $199, which includes a $25 donation to the NFF.
  3. XC Trail Season Pass: unlimited access to XC trails, NO Bike Park, FREESTYLE or TECHNICAL trail, or Village Express (Lift 4) access. $25 NFF Donation.

For more information please contact Scott Pittenger, Director of Mountain Operations at Telluride Ski Resort by email.

2018 Red, White and Blues Celebration Expands to Two Days with More Events


Words by Bill Kight / Community, Event

The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association presents the 2018 Red, White and Blues Celebration taking place July 3-4, 2018 at Sunset Plaza, on the lawn near Lift 1 and at Heritage Plaza near the base of Lift 4.

This two-day event in Mountain Village offers music, kids activities, ice cream social, merchant discounts, food and drink specials, and much more.

“TMVOA is excited to expand our mainstay Red, White & Blues event from one to two days with more music, events and kids activities in Mountain Village,” said Heidi Stenhammer, TMVOA Operations Manager. “We look forward to having our members, guests, and visitors attend this entertaining holiday event.”

Each day will feature children’s activities and entertainment from 1 to 5 p.m., along with music on the Sunset Plaza Stage from 2 to 5:30 p.m. The Red, White & Blues Celebration concert will kick off at 2 p.m. with Boulder, Colorado’s Foxfeather, featuring an Alt-Americana sound bolstered by strong blues-rock. From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. gospel and blues singer Paul Thorn will take the stage.

On July 4 in Heritage Plaza, the talented Trombonist and New Orleans native, Glen David Andrews, brings his funk, soul, gospel and rock sound with a robust new project that correlates his own reclaimed life to his reclaimed city of New Orleans. Dave Jordan and the NIA, also from New Orleans and Telluride’s own Porch Couch will kick off the day of music in Mountain Village, and rounding out the day of music will be a dance party featuring DJ Kat V from 7 to 9 p.m.

Additional 4th of July events feature a light installation art show in Mountain Village’s Heritage Plaza with Electroliers Light Show’ by local Artist, Katy Parnello. The installation will be on display July 3-6, starting at 9 p.m. each evening. To learn more about the artist, please visit electroliers.com

The Red, White & Blues Celebration is provided free of charge by TMVOA and the Telluride Society for Music. This event is sponsored by Alpine Bank, Madeline Hotel & Residences, Rodney Strong Vineyards, KOTO FM Radio, Telluride Resort Lodging, Telluride Ski & Golf, the Town of Mountain Village, The Peaks Resort & Spa, Telluride Express, and The Market at Mountain Village. The event is rain or shine.

The Common Consumption Area is in effect during the weekend celebrations at Sunset Plaza on July 3 and Heritage Plaza on July 4, allowing patrons to purchase alcoholic beverages from participating licensed establishments attached to the Common Consumption Area and move freely with beverages within the defined boundary of the concert area. Only alcohol from the participating establishments is permitted in the Common Consumption area.

To learn more about the Red, White & Blues concert and event contact the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association at (970) 728-1904 or by visiting tmvoa.org. For local events, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/events.

A Roundup of Regional Offerings for Fourth of July

July 4 Blog

Words by Special Contributor / Community, Event

The Fourth of July is a time of revelry and rejoicing capped off by a large fireworks show. This year, due to wildfire concerns, only one place in the region is still offering a firework display — the City of Montrose. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do. See below for a roundup of all the Independence Day courtesy of Telluride Daily Planet.

When the sun sets on the Telluride Valley July 4 this year, the commemoration of our nation’s birth will come to a quiet conclusion. Extreme drought and fire danger has meant there will be no fireworks display booming off the canyon walls and sending dogs into paroxysms of fear, but this year’s mid-week holiday is still packed with all the other traditions, new and old, that make Fourth of July in Telluride a cherished, small-town celebration.

In Telluride’s mining heyday, the Fourth of July began with a bang — a very big bang — or two or three. Miners would herald the dawn by exploding dynamite for a “powder monkey’s breakfast,” rousing genteel townsfolk out from under the quilts with pounding hearts and interrupted dreams. While the mines are quiet these days, rumor has it the Tommyknockers (the mythical, Hobbit-like miners of Welsh folklore) are still up to their mischievous ways. You may not need an alarm clock to get out of bed July 4th morning.

Runners of every age may already be awake for the 7th Annual Rundola, a recreational foot race that benefits the Telluride Foundation. With a 13 percent uphill grade and an elevation gain of 1,810 feet, this race is not kidding around. It starts at the base of the gondola at 8 a.m. and runners can either chug up the Telluride Trail, or bushwhack up the side of the mountain to the finish at the top of the ridge near the San Sophia gondola station. It’s crazy, and crazy fun. Register by going to telluride.com/festivals-and-events/7th-annual-rundola.

The flyover of military jets means it’s almost parade time. They thunder overhead, seemingly on a collision course with the mountains at the east end of the valley, only to arch gracefully to the sky, winging to their next small-town flyover.

In what is probably one of the day’s most beloved events, the Fourth of July parade at 11 a.m. can make even the most cynical of us feel patriotic and proud. Who better to lead the parade a than contingent of our local and visiting military veterans, who serve as the parade’s color guard and flag-bearers? The grateful applause they receive as they head down Main Street is deeply moving.

From then on it’s wave after wave of motorcycles, kids (of all ages) on bikes, the summer scientists, dogs, the saucy Silver Belles, kids with super-soakers, babies in wagons, marching bands, rock ’n’ roll bands, hockey teams, actors, unicyclists, jugglers, pool parties, the belly-whistlers, lots of candy-throwing groups, fire-breathing Burning Man floats, the Grand Marshals and other luminaries perched in classic cars — anything or anyone you can think of, marches proudly down main street.

Bringing up the rear of the parade, beautifully done up for the occasion by their proud owners, are the horses. The riders are a mix of horse-loving hobbyists, working wranglers and 4-H kids. Last year, in a lapse of common sense, beach balls were lobbed from a Main Street penthouse onto this part of the parade. Don’t do it. Skittering horses and kids running onto the street to fetch candy is a bad combo. Make sure the horses have passed safely by before lobbing anything onto the parade route.

Fourth in July in Telluride smells amazing (with apologies to our vegetarian and vegan friends), as the aroma of 1,500 pounds of beef and 1,300 pounds of chicken roasting to tender perfection wafts from Town Park. The fireman’s barbeque in Town Park is summer on a compostable plate loaded with tender slices of beef or chicken, doused with barbeque sauce, and sides of baked beans, corn on the cob, and potato salad and a bright, sweet watermelon wedge for dessert.

Telluride Volunteer Fire Department Chief David Wadley is in charge of this year’s festivities. He serves as El Jefe to literally his entire crew of volunteer firefighters — including many who come out of retirement to lend a hand — doing everything from collecting donations along the parade route, to selling beer, to serving the estimated 2,500-3,000 hungry souls who make their way to the park after the parade.

“It’s all hands on deck,” Wadley said. And by that, he means not only the men and women attending to the throngs of red white and blue-clad people, but also standby teams of firefighters ready to respond to any wild land or structure blazes.

Wadley never gets tired of this festive summertime gathering in Town Park. “It’s community I like best about this,” he said. “I like to wander and see everyone. Old-time locals and second homeowners … it’s one of the best community days of the year. Everyone has a smile on their face.”

Be sure to drop a few extra dollars in the bucket if a friendly fire department volunteer comes by. The department is so much more than fireworks, Wadley said. The department not only offers scholarships to local students to the tune of $8,000 per year, but they are currently helping fund the restoration and installation of narrow gauge railroad tracks in Ridgway in a partnership with the Ridgway Railroad Museum. The Galloping Goose that rests in the little park next to the San Miguel County Courthouse is fully functional and hits the rails a few times year. The department is also undertaking the full restoration of the department’s original horse-drawn hose wagon, which was built in 1915. Next on the restoration list will be their 1913 water wagon. And Little Red, the 1940 Ford fire truck that is often in the parade and that sits in Town Park all day for kids to explore, is always in need of upkeep.

“We’re certainly disappointed about the fireworks,” Wadley said, “but everything that’s donated goes back to the community.”

The Placerville Volunteer Fire Department is in charge of the kid’s games, which include a sack race, balloon toss and the trout tank, where kids wade in to try to catch a trout using nothing but their bare hands. The games begin at 2 p.m.

If you need to walk off that hearty meal and you have a sweet tooth, the Telluride Historical Museum at the top of Fir Street at 201 W. Gregory Ave. is offering free admission all day and root beer floats ($5 suggested donation). The museum’s hours are post-parade (12:30-ish) to 5 p.m.

Being the photo-friendly day that the Fourth of July is, consider entering a picture or two taken on this day of days in the Telluride Hot Shot Photo Contest. Judges are looking for the most memorable image that captures the spirit of the day. Photos must be taken on July 4 and within San Miguel County. It’s free to enter and the top prize is $1,000. Check out the guidelines for submission at TellurideHotShotPhotoContest.com

On July 3-4 the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association presents the 2018 Red, White and Blues Celebration in Mountain Village featuring kids activities, carnival games, an ice cream social, face painting, a magic show, merchant discounts, and live music.

Authorities would like to remind local and visitor alike that fire restrictions and water conservation rules are in effect until the monsoons finally arrive sometime later this summer. And, much as we all miss them, no fireworks of any kind, anywhere. The penalty for lighting fireworks is steep and the fire danger is extreme.

Read Telluride Daily Planet’s full article.

Mayor’s Minute Emergency Preparedness

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Emergency Preparedness, Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

With the fires south of us blowing quite a bit of smoke our way and ongoing severe drought conditions persisting, many of us are growing concerned about how we should be preparing and staying informed in case of an emergency. Linked below is the Town of Mountain Village Emergency and Evacuation Guide and Evacuation Map. Please take some time to review what you can do now to prepare for a possible emergency and possible evacuation routes. In the case of a wildfire, you may need to evacuate quickly, and we want you to be prepared.

It only takes a few minutes to get started today:

  1. Review the Evacuation Map and Emergency Preparedness Guide – note that an additional evacuation access road has been added on Adams Ranch Road to Hwy 145.
  2. Sign up for CodeRED alerts
  3. Build a kit for every member of your household with medications, essential supplies, a change of clothes, chargers, all important documents (e.g. insurance, passport, birth certificates) available for evacuation.
  4. For more info, please visit our public safety pages on our website.
  5. For information on current conditions and fire restrictions visit townofmountainvillage.com/current-conditions.

Reminder: All open fires and fireworks are prohibited. In addition, smoking is restricted to enclosed vehicles, buildings, or on paved, hardscape areas. Stage 2 fire restrictions are in effect throughout San Miguel County to include U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Town of Telluride and Mountain Village.

Let’s all do our part to have a fun and safe Fourth of July!

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

Planet Bluegrass’ FirstGrass Concert Kicks Off Summer Festival Music in Telluride and Mountain Village

FirstGrass 2018

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Event

Nashville-based dynamic, fast picking bluegrass prodigy Billy Strings and Montana bluegrass rock band The Lil Smokies kick-off the 45th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival at Mountain Village’s Sunset Plaza for the yearly FirstGrass Concert Wednesday, June 20.

Led by two of the most exciting young bands in the progressive bluegrass scene, this promises to be an epic way to begin your Bluegrass weekend in Telluride. This free show runs from 5 to 8 p.m. and is made possible by the Town of Mountain Village and Planet Bluegrass.

After the show, stick around to dine in Mountain Village and for those lucky enough to have a ticket for Planet Bluegrass’ evening celebration with Dierks Bentley and the Travelin’ McCourys head to the Telluride Conference Center as they play to a sold-out crowd. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show beginning at 9 p.m. For those without a ticket, take advantage of the culinary options in Mountain Village. For more information on the festival, visit bluegrass.com. 


The towns of Mountain Village and Telluride are connected by a three-stage gondola system starting at Market Plaza (formerly Town Hall Plaza) in Mountain Village to Village Center, and ending in Telluride at Oak Street Plaza. It takes about 12 minutes to get from one town to the other via Mountain Village Center.

During the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, gondola operating hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Expect long lines during peak times. For those needing a ride to their vehicle parked on town roadways, the Planet Bluegrass Bus will pick up festivarians at Market Plaza and drop off passengers near their vehicle. The bus will run Thursday through Sunday from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., and to assist with locating one’s vehicle, signs denoting specific parking zones – A through G – will be erected. Vehicles left on Mountain Village roadways after 12 p.m. Monday, June 25 will be towed at the owner’s expense. In addition, Dial-A-Ride will remain open until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Mountain Village’s Gondola Parking Garage located at 455 Mountain Village Blvd., behind Town Hall and the Mountain Village Market and northwest of the gondola terminal is free to park. Individuals and festivarians without parking permits must park their vehicles where directed by parking staff once the Gondola Parking Garage is full. The North Village Center pay-to-park surface lot is another parking option though overnight parking is not allowed. Short-term parking will be available for those doing business in Mountain Village; times will be enforced. Alternatively, for those parking, shopping, dining or recreating in Mountain Village, we encourage the utilization of Heritage Parking Garage, located off Mountain Village Boulevard across from Hotel Madeline. Parking is $2 for each hour and $35 maximum in a 24-hour period.


For the FirstGrass Concert, the Common Consumption Area is in effect. The Common Consumption Area will allow people to purchase alcoholic beverages from participating licensed establishments attached to the Common Consumption Area and move freely with beverages within the defined boundary of the concert area. Only alcohol from the participating establishments is permitted in the Common Consumption area.


Situated in the heart of the breathtaking San Juan Mountains, Mountain Village was incorporated in 1995 as a home rule municipality.  Its founders envisioned a European-style ski-in/ski-out, pedestrian-friendly destination resort that would complement the historic mining town of Telluride. A three-stage gondola transportation system connects the Town of Mountain Village with the Town of Telluride. Situated at 9,500 feet, Mountain Village is comparably a world apart from other resorts: it is innately spectacular, beautifully orchestrated and planned, and overflowing with style, charm and sophistication. For more information, please visit us on the Web at townofmountainvillage.com. 


For 25+ years, Planet Bluegrass has been redefining the music festival, creating exceptional experiences that protect our planet through environmental leadership and strong communities. Producers of Telluride Bluegrass, RockyGrass, and Folks Festival.

Mountain Village’s Market on the Plaza Opens Wednesday, June 20


Words by Bill Kight / Community, Event

Colorado summer is here, and nothing says summertime in Colorado like an open-air market, especially amid the sun-soaked scenery of Mountain Village. Beginning Wednesday, June 20, the pedestrian-friendly Heritage Plaza comes alive with tents, food, and crafts made up of Colorado-proud vendors as the annual Market on the Plaza returns to Mountain Village, Colorado.

“Summer calls for outdoor community markets, and we invite locals and guests alike to come to Heritage Plaza in Mountain Village Center on Wednesdays to shop and to visit our brick and mortar merchants,” said Bill Kight, director of marketing and business development for the town. “Let’s also not forget about the 20th annual Sunset Concert Series kicking off evenings June 27 in Sunset Plaza on the same day.”

Now in its eighth year, Market on the Plaza is a vibrant local community market providing an avenue to support regional and local businesses that offer homegrown food and homemade products. The Market runs every Wednesday beginning June 20 through August 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patrons can, of course, expect farm produce, including eggs, fruits and vegetables, goat milk and cheeses, jams and marmalades, garden herbs and oils, and a wide variety of artisan crafts.

Market on the Plaza also features leathers, jewelry, quilts, textiles, handmade soaps, balms and lotions, hand-carved wood items, healing products, custom pet supplies, and kitchen goods, among other items. In addition, the town is partnering with the Wilkinson Public Library to bring more entertainment and programming to Mountain Village Center, and our local law enforcement teams will be on hand to answer questions about our community and fire awareness and restrictions.

To learn more about Market on the Plaza visit townofmountainvillage.com/market.

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Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Now in Place Countywide

Stage 2 Fire Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Emergency Preparedness

June 15, 2018 — (San Miguel County, CO) – Stage 2 fire restrictions in effect throughout San Miguel County to include U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Town of Telluride and Mountain Village.

San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters issued a temporary order June 4th enacting Stage 2 restrictions. San Miguel County Board of Commissioners is set to formally adopt these restrictions via Resolution at their Wednesday, June 20th regularly scheduled meeting.

The following acts are prohibited under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in effect across San Miguel County, including US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management property in the county. These restrictions also apply in the Town of Telluride and Town of Mountain Village who passed their ordinances.Fire Restrictions

  • OPEN FIRE: Building, maintaining, attending or using an OPEN FLAME, including fire, campfire, stove fire, charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) using a liquid fuel such as white gas or kerosene.Exception: Operating a stove, lantern, or other device using pressurized gas (natural gas, propane or isobutene) equipped with a valve that allows the operator to immediately turn the flame on and off.
  • SMOKING except in an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building or on paved, hardscape areas in compliance with applicable clean air acts. All cigarette butts must be fully extinguished and disposed of in a receptacle designed for cigarette butts.
  • CHAINSAW operation without an approved spark arresting device, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available
  • WELDING or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame (check with Town of Telluride for exceptions)
  • EXPLOSIVE USE. This includes but is not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary ammunition.
  • TARGET SHOOTING ON BLM LAND – To include discharging a FIREARM, air rifle, or gas gun.
  • MOTOR VEHICLE OFF ESTABLISHED ROADS, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle (except for parking overnight in developed campgrounds and trailheads).
  • FIREWORKS: The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands.

A poster is attached to assist with distribution of this information. A website with restriction information for west region counties has been created www.westslopefireinfo.com. It has information for Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, Hinsdale, Gunnison and Delta counties as well as our federal partners.

Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer  (970) 729-2028, or email.

Town of Mountain Village Continues Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Fire Restrictions Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Communications, Emergency Preparedness

On Thursday, June 14, Mountain Village Town Council approved a motion to continue a fire restriction ordinance implementing a ban on open fires and fireworks and restricting smoking within the Town of Mountain Village. In conjunction with San Miguel County, Town of Telluride, Telluride Fire Protection District, Norwood Fire Protection District, and Egnar Fire Protection District, the Town of Mountain Village remains under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions effective immediately due to exceptional drought conditions and fire danger in the region.

Police Chief Chris Broady stressed, “We don’t perceive any imminent risk to the public for either Town of Mountain Village or the Town of Telluride.” “However, Fire danger is unusually high for both our towns and neighboring counties and ask that our residents, please be aware, be ready, and be prepared. Everyone needs to know, understand, and obey all fire restrictions, including our visiting guests.”

Under town ordinance No. 02-04 § 2 of the Town of Mountain Village Municipal Code, the following shall apply to all open fires within the incorporated limits of the Town, as further specified herein, but shall not apply to approved, permanent gas fireplace locations within a residential or commercial building:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire to burn trash, debris, or vegetation, any campfire, warming fire, and charcoal, paper or wood grills;
  2. Smoking; except within an enclosed vehicle or building or an area at least three (3) feet in diameter cleared of all flammable material; on any paved hardscape areas; and all smoking debris shall be disposed of properly in an enclosed container;
  3. Fireworks of any kind;
  4. Operation of a chainsaw or a chop saw for cutting steel without USDA or SAE approved spark arresting devise property installed and in effective working order, and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight (8) ounces capacity by weight, and one size zero (0) or larger round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least thirty-six (36) inches. The extinguisher shall be with the chainsaw operator. The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies but readily available for quick use;
  5. Welding or operating acetylene or any other torch with an open flame; except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least ten (10) feet on all sides from the equipment;
  6. Using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps.

Permitted actions include:

  • Any fires contained within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves and fireplaces;
  • Operating a stove, lantern, or other device fueled by liquid petroleum or bottled fuel equipped with a valve that allows the operator to turn the flame on and off.
  • Operating an internal or external combustion engine with a properly installed and maintained spark-arresting device in effective working order.

This Order shall remain in effect for 30 days unless adopted by Resolution by the Mountain Village Town Council.

Ouray, Montrose, and Delta counties are currently under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. La Plata and San Juan counties are under Stage 3 Fire Restrictions.

Please be advised U.S. Forest Service-Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests (except Grand Mesa) National Forest areas have also declared Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. Please visit, westslopefireinfo.com to stay informed on regional fire restrictions and preparedness info.

For information on current conditions, fire restrictions for the Town of Mountain Village and emergency preparedness and evacuation information, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/current-conditions.

Below are various options to stay informed and to receive updates and emergency notifications for the region:

Stay informed and connect with Mountain Village:


Mountain Village Media Contact and Public Information Officer
Bill Kight
(970) 369.6430 (o)
(970) 729.2179 (c)
[email protected]

Situated in the heart of the breathtaking San Juan Mountains, Mountain Village was incorporated in 1995 as a home rule municipality.  Its founders envisioned a European-style ski-in/ski-out, pedestrian-friendly destination resort that would complement the historic mining town of Telluride. A three-stage gondola transportation system connects the Town of Mountain Village with the Town of Telluride. Situated at 9,500 feet, Mountain Village is comparably a world apart from other resorts: it is innately spectacular, beautifully orchestrated and planned, and overflowing with style, charm and sophistication. For more information, please visit us on the Web at townofmountainvillage.com.

The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980. For more information, please visit us on the Web at sanmiguelcountyco.gov.

For information on prescribed burns, wildfires and fire restrictions on National Forest System lands and other areas, call the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information line at 970.874.6602, or 970.765.8563, visit the GMUG Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/gmug); Twitter https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF (#GMUGNF);  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMUG.NF/

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests manage approximately 3 million acres of land in Southwest Colorado within Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache, San Juan and San Miguel counties.

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