Farm to Community Program Now Open to Qualified Families for 2019

Farm to Community Blog

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community

After a successful first year, the Town of Mountain Village is pleased to announce an expanded Farm to Community Program for summer 2019.

The program will offer up to 60 qualified Mountain Village families a food share box of locally farmed produce and food items for 14-weeks at a minimal cost.

The Farm to Community Program was launched in summer of 2018 and initially offered 48 families and 60 residents more than 4,500 pounds of fresh, local food to residents over the course of nine weeks for just a $35 application fee.

In 2019, the Mountain Village Town Council voted to increase funding for the program which can now accommodate 60 families and up to 100 people. The program will also run five weeks longer this summer.

“Qualifications are no longer strictly based on income, and for the 2019 season, families (comprised of at least one parent and one or more dependents) who live in deed-restricted housing are invited to apply,” said Zoe Dohnal, the town’s business development and community engagement coordinator.

Mountain Village residents who live in deed-restricted housing are invited to review qualification requirements and to apply for the program.

“We are really excited about the continued enthusiasm and regional support for this program,” said Michelle Haynes, Mountain Village’s planning and development services director.

“The enthusiasm extends from participants, town staff, farm partners, regional groups and organizations up to the Town Council and local visitors who see a greater local food presence at our Market on the Plaza,” Haynes continued.

Mountain Village is partnering once again with Norwood’s Fresh Food Hub as well as Mountain Roots Produce based in Mancos to supply the shares. Indian Ridge is one of the Fresh Food Hub’s suppliers and will provide eggs to the shares this year.

The Fresh Food Hub will have shares available for pick up at this summer’s Market on the Plaza (each Wednesday in Heritage Plaza June 19-Aug. 28). And Mountain Roots will set up at Village Court Apartments in the afternoons each Wednesday allowing participants to choose their farm share vegetables.

“We are so lucky to have such amazing farmer partners,” Dohnal said. “Each partner is incredibly passionate about providing fresh produce to a part of the community that might not otherwise have access to locally grown produce.”

For residents who do not qualify for the Farm to Community Program, the Fresh Food Hub is also offering to deliver farm shares for pick up at the Market on the Plaza for $35 per box.

“What I find most exciting about this program is that we can now offer low-cost, local, healthy food options for our community, while also promoting our local farmers, food providers, and the Mountain Village farmer’s market,” said Mountain Village Mayor Laila Benitez. “The quality and quantity of offerings at the Market on the Plaza have been amazing since the launch of this program, and we look forward to an even more robust market this summer.”

The Farm to Community program was first proposed by Haynes and brought to the Town’s Green Team Committee. The Green Team is dedicated to town-wide conservation measures and was unanimously in favor of this program because it supports local agriculture and reduces the distance food is transported to the community.

The Green Team then presented it to Town Council as a climate action plan measure and Council initially voted to approve program funding in April of 2018.

“I want to thank Michelle Haynes, Zoe Dohnal, and the Green Team for the countless hours and relentless dedication they have invested into making this program available to our community,” Benitez said. For more information and to apply, please visit

Super Bowl Sunday in Mountain Village


Words by Kathrine Warren / Community

On Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will face off in the 53rd annual Super Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kick off takes place at 4:30 p.m. MST and a number of Mountain Village establishments will be playing what’s sure to be a great game on their big screens and offering food and drink discounts.

  • M Lounge: Hotel Madeline will be playing the Super Bowl in M Lounge Sunday Feb. 3. They’ll be serving a buffet with BBQ meet, mac n cheese, and more and offering beer buckets. The fun begins around 12 p.m.
  • Super Bowl at the Peaks: The Peaks Resort & Spa presents two great event spaces joined together for the Super Bowl. The event will blend the natural appeal of the Crystal Room where surrounding glass windows offer magnificent views, and, Appaloosa with its charming western motif and classic Colorado feel. The Big Game buffet is football-inspired with a nacho bar, pulled pork sliders, Coney Island hot dog bar, fresh veggie display and assorted mini desserts. The event is $25 per person and includes one drink ticket; the bar is on a cash-only basis after drink ticket is redeemed.
  • The View Bar & Grill: The View Bar & Grill hosts a Super Bowl Sunday party on Sunday, Feb. 3 starting at 4:30 p.m. They will be offering $2 PBRs, $2 ski patrolers, $5 Jameson chairlift shots and playing the game on 5 big screen TVs.
  • Tracks: 8 TVs with food and drink specials and a little football pool with big potential winnings.

January 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 Thursday’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

Quick note: We have heard numerous concerns from community members about the lack of a live operator answering the telephone at Town Hall. It is important to us that your calls to Town Hall are answered quickly and efficiently.

Therefore, our telephone system is being reconfigured this month to allow callers to speak with a staff member and make finding the resources you are seeking quick and simple. Please be patient with us while we make this change.

December 13 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council approved the 2019 and revised 2018 budgets. Read more about the 2019 Budget and upcoming, approved infrastructure projects in the latest Mayor’s Minute: Budget Edition.
  • In response to new state legislation that became effective September 1, 2018, we adopted a new policy outlining how records containing personal identifying information will be destroyed, discarded, and protected. The new law requires us to not only adopt a policy regarding destruction and protection of these personal records but also contains requirements regarding protecting personal identifying information, reporting breaches of personal identifying information, and contracting with third parties that might handle personal identifying information.
  • Town Council voted to raise rent 2-3 percent depending on unit size at Village Court Apartments; rental rates were last increased five years ago. We also discussed the need for a rental increase policy to aid us in responding to occupancy fluctuations, keeping up with ongoing maintenance needs, and allow the town to avoid large future rental increases.
  • EcoAction Partners presented the results of the 2017 Town of Mountain Village Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report.
  • Lastly, we received reports from Colorado Flights Alliance, Marketing Telluride Inc., 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.

January 17 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council will consider an ordinance amending the Community Development Code (CDC), which could allow future applicants to propose subdivisions, rezoning, and density transfers on eight specific Single-Family lots in the Village Center Subarea, as envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan. We will not be rezoning or considering for rezoning any of these lots at Thursday’s meeting. Any future rezoning would require a development application to be submitted to determine if the application meets requirements such as CDC standards, any applicable ridgeline development covenants, and the vision of the Comprehensive Plan and undergo Design Review Board and Town Council review and approvals.These eight lots were designated as Multi-Family in the Comprehensive Plan; however, the lots are currently zoned Single-Family. In 2016, Town Council voted to amend the CDC to prohibit any rezoning of a Single-Family lot; at the time, Council did not realize there were Single-Family lots in the Village Center that had not yet been rezoned Multi-Family, as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan identified these lots in the Village Center Subarea as best served by condominiums to allow for a transitional buffer between the Village Center and the adjacent Single-Family homes in the surrounding neighborhood. Please note: the prohibition on subdivision and rezoning outside of the Village Center Subarea would not be affected by the proposed amendment.We have heard from numerous community members regarding this topic and as always, we encourage you to share your input with Council via email and/or by providing public comment at Thursday’s meeting.
  • We will review conceptual/schematic architectural plans and a rough order of magnitude cost estimate for the Village Court Apartments expansion project. The town contracted the Bauen Group to produce these drawings and a rough cost estimate for the project based on their determination of the maximum number of units possible within the building area given the site constraints, which include a delineated wetland, relocation of a sewer line, soils, topography, and necessary building setbacks.
  • Town Council will consider reinstatement and extension of a term sheet regarding settlement of the 161-CR and Ridge at Telluride litigation and authorizing me to execute any agreement. The term sheet is the result of months of direct negotiations between principal designated representatives from Lot 161-CR, The Ridge HOA, The Ridge Club, some of The Ridge owners, and the town.
  • The Gondola Subcommittee will provide an update on gondola long-term planning. They will also share initial analysis conducted by an independent research group regarding gondola use, economic impact, and ridership forecasts.
  • Town Council will consider whether to begin negotiations with to become the town’s primary supplier of broadband services, currently provided by Century Link.
  • Lastly, Bill Jensen with Telluride Ski and Golf, the Telluride Regional Airport Association, and the Green Team will provide their recurring updates.

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 San Miguel County Holiday Tree Disposal

Holiday Tree Disposal

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Environment, Public Works

The San Miguel County holiday tree disposal site is moving this year to Ilium Valley—Vance Drive Industrial Area. Follow the marked signs.

Please remove all lights and decorations from your trees. This site is for tree disposal only, please no other dumping of debris.

Trees will be chipped on January 31. For more information, call (970) 728-3844.

Mountain Village seeks to amend Community Development Code to better align with Comprehensive Plan

Vilalge Center Single Family Rezone

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Development

On Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019 the Town of Mountain Village’s Design Review Board will consider a recommendation to Town Council regarding a Community Development Code (CDC) amendment, aimed at implementing the Mountain Village Comprehensive Plan.

The proposed amendment seeks to modify Section 17.3.4 of the CDC to allow for certain properties in the Village Center Subarea — which are currently zoned single family — to subdivide, transfer density or rezone to better align with goals outlined in the Comprehensive Plan.

Currently, the town’s CDC does not allow for further subdivision, density transfers or rezoning of any single-family lots, which creates inconsistencies with the town’s long-term planning visions and effectively eliminates the town’s ability to implement its goals in the Comprehensive Plan for the Village Center.

“This amendment really makes sense from a planning perspective,” said Mountain Village’s Senior Planner John Miller. “As planners, we are always trying to implement the community vision that has been created by the public, and at the same time we are constantly trying to create smart community design, especially buffers between incompatible uses.”

“By implementing the vision of the Comprehensive Plan, we can effectively create a transition zone of condominiums helping to maintain the overall character of the single-family neighborhoods that circumvent the Village Center,” Miller continued.

The Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted by Council in 2011 and amended by Council in 2014 and 2017, serves as the guiding visionary document for future growth and development throughout Mountain Village and particularly within designated subareas such as the Village Center.

It states, “Mountain Village Center is the heart of the town, and within it [development of multiple parcels] are recommended in order to improve the overall economic vibrancy and character [of the community]”.

To accomplish this envisioned economic vibrancy, the Plan provides for the development of certain parcels of land identified in the Subarea Plan as Parcels C-1, C-2 and C-3; also known as Lots 89-2A, 89-2B, 89-2C, 89-3A, 89-3B, 89-3C, 89-3D, and 104. These lots are located on Mountain Village Boulevard near the Village Pond, and although they currently maintain a single-family zoning designation, the Comprehensive Plan designates this area to be developed as a mixture of ridgeline and flagship condominiums.

“Subdividing, density transfers and rezoning outside of the Village Center will not be affected by the proposed amendment, and any future development within the area affected will need to have general conformance with the Comprehensive Plan,” Miller said.

The Design Review Board is expected to make a recommendation to Town Council, and the amendment could have a first hearing Jan. 17, 2019 and a final hearing Feb. 21, 2019.

For more information about the proposed CDC amendment, please visit our Current Planning page.

Date and Time of Public Hearing(s):

DRB Hearing Date & Time: January 3, 2018, 10:30 a.m. or as soon as practicable thereafter
Council Hearing Date & Time: January 17, 2018, time TBA (Schedule and agenda to be set in early January)
Final Council Hearing Date: February 21, 2018(Schedule and agenda to be set in early January)

Mountain Village celebrates Holiday Prelude Dec. 15-16


Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Event

Mountain Village will once again be transformed into the North Pole for this year’s Holiday Prelude celebration on Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018.

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 Company 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 Village at the Telluride Conference Center from 1-5 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 “The Year Without Santa Clause,” “Polar Express” and “Elf.”

A 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. – 12 p.m. (Saturday only), ice skating will be available from noon to 4 p.m., and sledding (Saturday only) will be held from 4:30 – 6 p.m. And kids can meet a live reindeer in Sunset Plaza on Saturday fro 1-5 p.m. as well.

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 (Saturday only) and participating shops will be giving gifts and treats to all children.

To celebrate the grand re-opening of Telluride Sports at the Franz Klammer Lodge, please join us for après ski treats with our custom gourmet hot cocoa bar, coffee and cookies from Telluride Sports & Bogner USA on Saturday, December 15th from 3- 5 p.m. Learn more about the event.

As you head into Mountain Village, stop by Telluride Outfitters (in the Market Plaza by the free Gondola parking garage) for a photo with a yeti and some holiday cheer. Learn more about the event.

Be sure to check out Mountain Village’s newest art gallery, Rinkevich Gallery with its grand opening celebration on Saturday from 5-8 p.m.

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.” DJ Soul Atomic will DJ in Reflection Plaza afterwards!

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.

And, 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 1-5 p.m.

Lodging and ski packages are available for those who want to extend the holiday fun. For more information, visit Activities are all free of charge; events and times are subject to change so please check back often!

View the full schedule here.

Gondola hours extended for winter weekends

Gondola at sunset

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Transportation

To support local businesses and promote safe late-night transportation, this winter the gondola will once again run on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. until 2 a.m. The new weekend hours will run beginning on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 through April 7, 2019.

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 6:30 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. Dial-A-Ride will operate until 12:30 a.m. the remaining nights of the week. 

Photo credit: Ryan Bonneau.

Toys for Tickets

Toys for Tickets

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Parking

This holiday season, the Mountain Village Municipal Court wants you to erase your parking ticket debt for a good cause. Purchase a new, unwrapped child’s toy in exchange for your current or past due parking ticket(s).

The deadline to drop off a new toy is Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. You can drop off tickets at the Mountain Village Municipal Court Clerk at 411 Mountain Village Boulevard.

You must show proof of purchase – a receipt – for the toy that is equal to or greater than the amount owed on the ticket(s). They toys will be distributed to children over the holiday season by Angel Baskets.

For more details please call (970) 728-9381 or (970) 728-4287.

Mountain Village welcomes fourth annual Telluride Fire Festival


Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Event

The fourth annual Telluride Fire Festival returns to Mountain Village on a new weekend this ski season! The three-day fire art event takes place December 7-9, 2018.

Each year in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, a city of more than 70,000 people rises out of the dust for one week. During that time, enormous fire art installations are erected and many are ritually burned to the ground — never to be seen again. This temporary city is known as Burning Man. The Telluride Fire Festival honors this influential phenomenon in contemporary American art and the many artists whose works of fire art can often only be witnessed at Burning Man. The Fire Festival showcases stunning works of art unique to this desert happening.

The Telluride Fire Festival ignites this December 6 during Telluride’s Artwalk with an exhibit and reception at Slate Gray Gallery, in downtown Telluride. Fire performances and fire art installations are slated in both Mountain Village and Telluride Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and during the day, free flow arts workshops will be available for people of all ages at the Wilkinson Public Library.

Festival Hospitality will be at the base of Lift 4 in the Mountain Village Center each day of the festival 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The signature events of this year’s festival are as follows:

  • Hot Time in the Old Town, Friday Dec. 7 & Sunday, Dec. 9, 5-8 p.m., Transfer Warehouse.  Be amazed. Experience, interact, and even operate fire sculptures and be entranced by fire dancers at the roofless historic Transfer Warehouse. Enjoy music by Beatrixx Kiddo & DJ Kentendo with MC by Telluride Theatre’s Colin Sullivan. Hot drinks at the cash bar at this one-of-a-kind event. Food and snacks for sale as well.
  • Fireside Soiree, Friday, Dec. 7, 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), The Bob Theater (in the Palm Arts Complex.  an up-close and personal cabaret style performance of mind-bending stunts and comedy produced by Homestead Circus Productions…sans fire.
  • Fire Ball, Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 p.m., Great Room at San Sophia Gondola Station. This wildly outrageous event will feature music, fire performers, aerial silk spinners, jugglers, open bar and more. Plus, Fire Ball attendees will have access to the Fire Sculpture Garden atop the ski area.
  • Free Fire Dancing Performances in Reflection Plaza on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m.

New This Year:

Arizona fire artists Chris Turner and Michael “Oaks” Wright are creating a unique piece entitled “Pinwheel Snowflake”, which will be lit from within. Skiers will marvel at its complexity of design during the day and then — in true Burning Man form — it will burn to the ground Saturday night during the Fire Ball.

Country and Chaos Collaborations, also out of Arizona, will be showcasing their beautiful Fire Flowers and the interactive Easty Beasty, which shoots flames high into the air. Country and Chaos Collaborations is the joint effort of Arizona Burners Nick Rice, Kristin Wesley, and Lance Greathouse.

Denver artists Mark Switzer, Craig Sanchez and Jed Winters are contributing their Camp Wardrobe MalFUNKtion fiery arch. Built as a sign for Camp Wardrobe MalFUNKtion at Colorado’s regional Burning Man event, Apogaea in 2016, the arch incorporates Apogaea’s logo, a simplified image of the sun crested on the horizon of the earth, illuminating an arch of the planet. Guests at the Transfer Warehouse will walk under the arch while flames shoot into the air above them on arrival.

Returning artists:

Returning artist Keith D’Angelo will have a new fire sculpture at the Fire Sculpture Garden along with an exhibit at Slate Gray Gallery: Out of Focus – A Visual Commentary On Gun Violence. Keith’s LOVE is set to burn along with three other wood sculptures at 9:30 p.m. December 8. Each letter is eight feet tall and five feet wide.


The Telluride Fire Festival, a 501(c)3 organization, is an interactive fire art experience offering fire related workshops and outdoor displays of fire artistry to support artists and enable all to immerse themselves in the many forms of fire art.

For more about the Festival or to volunteer for the festival, visit

Celebrate Thanksgiving in Mountain Village

Thanksgiving blog

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community

There is a lot to be thankful for this holiday season!

For starters, Telluride Ski Resort is opening on Thanksgiving Day for the first time since 2015! There’s snow in the forecast for this week and forecasters are slating this winter to be an El Nino year which always bodes well for Southwest Colorado!

Lift 4 and the Chondola (Lift 1) will open for the season on Thurs. Nov. 22 at 9 a.m. and the following trails will be open:

  • Village Bypass (from top of Lift 4 to Lower Boomerang)
  • Lower Boomerang (from Village Bypass to the base of Lift 4)
  • Upper & Lower Misty Maiden
  • South Meadows
  • The Meadows Learning Center
  • Peaks Trail

Be sure to download the ski area’s new app to stay up-to-date on conditions, terrain and more!

If you don’t make it on the mountain, you can still work up an appetite with San Miguel County’s annual Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk in Illium Valley. The race starts at the intersection of Sunshine Road and CR 63L (Illium Road). Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the race starts at 9:30 p.m. Costumes are encouraged and dogs on a leash are welcome.

After a long day of skiing, have Thanksgiving dinner at one of Mountain Village’s fabulous restaurants.

Altezza at the Peaks Resort will have a Thanksgiving Day Buffet from 1-9 p.m. Dinner is $60 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under. Call (970) 728-2525 for reservations.

The Madeline Hotel will be offering a Thanksgiving Menu from 4:30-10 p.m. Dinner is $75 for adults and $35 for children. This year residents can also take advantage of Chef Will’s Thanksgiving to Go Option including a full dinner for 6-16 people. Please call (970) 369-8949 for for information and reservations.

For a full list of Mountain Village restaurants, please check out our Dining & Nightlife Directory.

Please visit the Town of Mountain Village’s event page for a full schedule of events this weekend and beyond.



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