December Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

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

Hello neighbors,

Mountain Village is ramping up for the holidays and the coming year! Below are some Town Council meeting highlights and upcoming topics. As always, I hope you can join us for this Thursday’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

November 16 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council approved Auberge Resorts, LLC as the replacement hotel operator of Hotel Madeline, pending Flynn Property’s purchase, scheduled to close on December 15. Mark Harmon, the founder of Auberge Resorts, shared plans to make ongoing capital improvements, enhance on-site dining options, and he reiterated their long-term commitment to operate the hotel as the premier luxury hotel in the Telluride region.
  • The Ski Ranches Water System Improvement Plan and the corresponding timeline were reviewed. Due to the aging infrastructure, this system has been prone to ongoing, significant leaks that have led to numerous incidents of residential water being shut off to allow for needed repairs. The phased improvement plan will commence in 2018.
  • Council approved numerous updates to the Town of Mountain Village Employer Assisted Housing Program, which was last reviewed in 2007. In an effort to promote employee homeownership, some of the approved changes include: removing the appreciation cap, removing limitations on capital improvements, the addition of a loan repayment requirement for employees who resign or are terminated, and removal of income limitations to better meet the needs for management housing.
  • Planet Bluegrass‘ Telluride Bluegrass Festival requested town consideration for on-street parking for future festivals. Council recognized the economic significance of the festival but expressed that the residential impacts must be better addressed and mitigated. The request and potential solutions will be discussed at a future meeting.

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

December 14 Agenda Highlights

  • Marketing Telluride Inc. and Colorado Flights Alliance will present their biannual report to Town Council.
  • Town Council will vote to approve the 2018 and revised 2017 budgets. A budget-specific communication will be sent out in the coming week, which will review the funding of upcoming projects and a significant reduction in mill levies.
  • As part of our ongoing efforts to secure workforce housing, Town Council will consider waiving the lottery sales requirement for a deed-restricted unit at Cassidy Ridge that would allow the town to purchase this unit. If approved, we will also consider authorization for the town manager and myself to negotiate the purchase of this condo on behalf of the Town.
  • We will review a Conditional Use Permit request to allow surface parking on a portion of Lot 161CR. The application proposes between 28 to 39 parking spaces intended to provide permit parking for businesses in the Village Center and The Ridge at Telluride.
  • Town Council will hear an update about the ongoing Wayfinding Project. This project encompasses new signage throughout Village Center; along roadways and parking areas; and merchant directories.
  • The Green Team Committee will present their mission statement, guiding principles, and 2018 action plan to Town Council. This committee is made-up of council memberstown staff, residents, Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association (TMVOA), and Telluride Ski & Golf (TSG) staff.

full agenda has been posted on our website; we welcome your input by any means you are comfortable with and hope to see you at the meeting.

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

Mountain Village Center to San Sophia Gondola Station Closure Scheduled

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Transportation

On Thursday, December 14 from 6:30 a.m. to midnight, the Town of Mountain Village will perform scheduled gondola maintenance and close the section of gondola running between Town of Mountain Village and San Sophia Station (mid-station). Gondola operations will resume regular operating hours Friday, December 15 at 6:30 a.m.

Section one of the gondola running between the Town of Telluride and San Sophia Station will remain open during regular operating hours for Telluride Ski Resort’s Skier Access. Additionally, the gondola line between Mountain Village Town Hall and the Village Center will operate as scheduled from 6:30 a.m. to midnight.

During the closure, to help move guests and residents between the two towns, the Mountain Village Transportation Department and the Town of Telluride’s Galloping Goose will provide bus service to supplement gondola service to run until the gondola mainline reopens on Friday morning. Passenger pick-up and drop-off locations include Oak Street Gondola Plaza, the San Miguel County Courthouse, Mountain Village Town Hall and Blue Mesa; buses will run approximately every 20 minutes.

For more information on Mountain Village’s transportation services, visit For information on Mountain Village, contact Marketing and Business Development Director Bill Kight at (970) 369-6430 or email.

Extended Gondola Hours Continue for the Winter Season

Words by Special Contributor / Community, Transportation

To support local businesses and promote safe late-night transportation, this winter the gondola will run on Friday and Saturday from 6:30 a.m. until 2 a.m. The new weekend hours will run beginning on December 15, 2017 through April 8, 2018.

The extended hours were made possible through a collaborative and cost-sharing effort by the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association (TMVOA), Town of Mountain Village and Town of Telluride. The gondola will continue regular operating hours of 6:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday.

Accordingly, TMVOA has extended Dial-A-Ride in Mountain Village from 6:45 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday to ensure Town of Mountain Village residents and their guests have safe ground transportation to their homes. 

Photo credit: Ryan Bonneau.

Snow Daze Travel + Leisure

Words by Special Contributor / Community, Recreation

Thank you Travel + Leisure and writer, David Amsden!  Make sure to read this amazing article about Telluride and the community that inspires…

” And then there were the locals, an implausibly fit array of characters who seemed drawn from different chapters in Telluride’s history, all of whom emitted the distinct glow of people in their prime.” – David Amsden, for Travel + Leisure. Read the full article here.


Photo credit: David Amsden

Coffee with a Cop

Words by Special Contributor / Community, Event

Join the Mountain Village Police Department for Coffee with a Cop, a free event to meet our local officers and discuss community issues over a cup of coffee.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Mountain Village. The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

This event takes place Tuesday, December 12 from 2 p.m  to 4 p.m. at Telluride Coffee Company in Mountain Village’s Heritage Plaza.

For more event information, contact Mountain Village Police Department by email, (970) 728-9281, visit our event page and join our Facebook event!

Design Review Board Community Development Code Work Session

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Development

The Town of Mountain Village in partnership with the Telluride Mountain Village Homeowner’s Association (TMVOA) is holding a Special Design Review Board (DRB) Work session to discuss the Town of Mountain Village’s Community Development Code (CDC) amendments to broaden Village Center roof material regulations.

The meeting will be held on December 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to discuss alternative and appropriate roofing materials while keeping the intent of a distinct Mountain Village Center with a unified design, ski resort or mountain vernacular theme. The town will also explore design intent, color considerations, material considerations, roof assemblies, and related topics that also include snow shed, safety, and maintenance, in addition to a site walk of the Village Center.

The CDC requires that roofing material in the Village Center consist of concrete tile or synthetic materials that emulate an actual concrete tile in the color of burnt sienna. The community wishes to modify the existing regulations for reasons including the concrete tile design theme feels outdated, it is intensive to maintain as the individual tiles must be replaced periodically due to damage and wear, and the roof tile is no longer being manufactured or otherwise limited in its availability.

The Town of Mountain Village and TMVOA intends to continue the roofing discussion at future DRB meetings including a public open house next year. The town plans to complete reviews and proposes CDC regulation amendments by early spring of 2018.

Visit our Event for details.

Telluride Opening Day Pushed To December 7

Ski In Powder

Words by Special Contributor / Community

Telluride Ski & Golf announced today that they have pushed back their opening day until Thursday, December 7. Snowmaking temperatures have not materialized over the past seven days limiting operations and productivity.

The latest forecasts do call for a meaningful change in the pattern by the middle of this week with colder temperatures becoming the norm as we move into early December.

Donation Day – Wednesday, December 6 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Opening Day – Thursday, December 7 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Lifts will run from 9 a.m. to  4 p.m. Visit for a full listing of open lifts and trails.
  • Gorrono Ranch and the Saloon will open for the season with additional on-mountain restaurants to open as terrain expands.
  • Ski School, Nursery & Eco Adventures will begin operations on Opening Day. Lesson offering will be based on available terrain.
  • Effective December 7the Chondola will be open with gondola cabin access only. Lift access will begin as terrain opens for the season.

For more information visit or call (970) 728-6900.


Opening Day Announcement & Thanksgiving Activities

Words by Special Contributor / Community, Event, Recreation, Transportation

Telluride Ski Resort has delayed its opening day to Friday, December 1 and is targeting the following dates and activities:

The snowmaking team has worked for weeks to make snow, primarily above 11,000 feet, as temperatures have permitted. The resort’s increased snowmaking capability will allow the system to produce more snow as temperatures continue to drop.

For up-to-date information on snow conditions and Opening Day please visit, Telluride Ski Resort’s Snow Report, their Twitter page or by calling (970) 728-6900.

Thanksgiving Snow Jam

During Thanksgiving holiday weekend, guests can find a variety of activities available in Mountain Village including sledding and a rail park at the base of Chair 4 (Village Express). Activities are free to the public beginning Thursday, November 23 through Sunday, November 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Participants are required to have a “free activity ticket” and a signed waiver from the Mountain Village Ticket Office, below gondola plaza. Children under the age of 18 must have a parent present to participate. Sleds will be provided.

Thanksgiving Dinner & Restaurant Operations

In addition to on-snow activities, Allred’s and Altezza at the Peaks Resort will open Wednesday, November 22 for the season with special Thanksgiving menus. Reservations are encouraged. For more information call Allred’s, (970) 728-7474 or Altezza, (970) 728-2525.

Tomboy Tavern (Lunch, Apres & Dinner starting Tuesday, November 21), Crazy Elk Pizza (Lunch, Apres & Dinner starting Monday, November 20), and Siam’s Talay (Breakfast & Dinner starting Friday, November 24) will also open for the winter season.


The Inn at Lost Creek and Telluride Resort Lodging re-open for guest stays. The Peaks Resort & Spa re-opens for guests arriving on or after Wednesday, November 22

Ski School, Eco Adventures & Child Care

Services are not available during the Thanksgiving holiday and will begin Saturday, December 2 for Opening Day.

Gondola Operations

The gondola will open as scheduled Friday, November 17 between Telluride, Mountain Village and the Gondola Parking Garage. Hours of operation are 7 days a week from 6:30 a.m. to midnight.

The Chondola (Chair 1) will begin operations when the ski resort opens for the season. The Town of Mountain Village will run shuttles between The Meadows / Big Billies, Town Hall / Gondola Parking Garage, Blue Mesa and Village Center. Visit Bus and Dial-A-Ride for schedules.






SMART Extended Service to Lawson Hill Begins November 17

Words by Special Contributor / Community, Transportation

The San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation, SMART, is excited to announce that expanded public daily service to and from Lawson Hill is now in effect. In cooperation with the Town of Telluride, Galloping Goose bus service has been extended on weekday evenings between 6-10 p.m. Buses will run between Telluride and Lawson Hill every 30 minutes and will stop in Upper Lawson Hill. On weekends, buses will leave every 30 minutes between 7-10 a.m. and evenings from 4:30-10 p.m. The extended Lawson Hill service is free to riders. The SMART Board unanimously approved extended service at the November 9, 2017 SMART Board Meeting.

Additional routes and times are available here.

Holiday Prelude

Words by Special Contributor / Community, Event

Mountain Village is being transformed once again into the North Pole for this year’s Holiday Prelude celebration on Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17. This year promises a whole day of Holiday Movies, Train Rides, Santa and his workshop, Live Reindeer, Ice Skating and children’s holiday surprises around every corner. Holiday Prelude is a collaborative effort between Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, Town of Mountain Village, Telluride Ski & Golf Resort, and local merchants to transform Mountain Village into the regional destination for holiday fun and activities.

Throughout the weekend, children of all ages will delight in the decorations and lights galore as Santa’s elves send them up the Gondola to visit Santa’s Workshop at the Telluride Conference Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Children can share their Christmas list with Santa, make holiday crafts with the elves, and enjoy Holiday Movies with free hot chocolate and popcorn. This year’s holiday films include Mickey’s Magical Christmas, Polar Express, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Parents’ Lounge and cash bar will be available for parents who want to put their feet up. In addition, a Curling Demo will be held to demonstrate how the sport is played and help folks learn to curl from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Ice Skating will be available from noon to 4 p.m.,and Sledding (Saturday only) will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Children and adults can expect many surprises on the Train Ride throughout the twinkling Mountain Village. This year the train will be making some very special stops through town to visit the Live Reindeer Petting Area and participating shops will be giving gifts and treats to all children.

On Saturday, the culmination of this year’s event will be a Tree Lighting Ceremony with Santa and carolers in Heritage Plaza at 6 p.m. Following the lighting, head back to the ice skating rink because the Telluride Figure Skating Club will be presenting North Pole on Ice. Mountain Village is proud to feature local ice skaters who are excited to show off their skills on the ice. The show is set to begin at 6:15 p.m. After our local pros leave the ice, stick around for the “coolest” Ice Skating Party ever – all set to your favorite tunes.

For those who need to get some last-minute Christmas shopping done, Mountain Village merchants are extending discounts and specials to customers until 9 p.m. Shoppers will receive some of the best discounts of the year, along with raffles, giveaways, food and drink specials, and more. In the true spirit of giving, Franz Klammer Lodge will host an Angel Baskets Charity Drive for donations and will be offering complimentary treats and beverages in their lodge on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Lodging and ski packages are available for those who want to extend the holiday fun. Activities are all free of charge, and for more information, visit Holiday Prelude Event and see below for a full schedule of events.

December 16

December 17

  • Red Gondola photo booth in Heritage Plaza, All day, Free
  • Ice Skating, 12-4 pm, Hotel Madeline Ice Rink, Free
  • Gondola Express to the North Pole, 1-4 pm, Heritage Plaza, Free
  • Santa’s Workshop, Pictures with Santa, holiday movies hot cocoa and popcorn, 1-4 pm, Conference Center, Free
  • Free Train Rides through Heritage Plaza, 1-4 pm
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