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crested butte vs. telluride??

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I was hoping people who are familiar with Crested Butte and/or Telluride could help me out.  I grew up in Colorado, and now I live in NYC with my husband and our newborn.  We're looking to buy a second home in CO to be near my parents.  My parents love to ski (they're both intermediate) and I'm sure they will be staying at the new house on weekends.  Skiing is not necessarily the top priority, though, since I'm sure we will be visiting more in the summer.  So basically I haven't been back to either Crested Butte or Telluride in many many years, and I was wondering which town you think is better for hiking/skiing/year-round activities/restaurants/general atmosphere.  Thanks so much for any help!
post #2 of 13
Personally, I'd choose Crested Butte, but only because of the location and the proximity of things I like to do.

Random things:

1.  You don't accidentally end up in either town.  Crested Butte is the end of the road and Telluride might as well be. 
2.  If you like Moab, consider Telluride.
3.  Real estate is cheaper in Crested Butte and some of the newer developments nearby that are going in seem ok.
4.  Crested Butte is notorious for it's hippie population.  If you don't like the smell of patchouli, don't move there.
5.  Telluride is kind of split between the mountain village and the actual town.  I'll assume you're more interested in the actual town, which has a good vibe.
6.  Crested Butte also has a mountain village that's separate from the town, but there's not as much development there.
7.  As far as skiing goes, your parents would probably enjoy Telluride more.  Both resorts offer excellent intermediate skiing, but Telluride probably has more. 
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm not anti-patchouli, so I have no reservations about Crested Butte, and the fact that it's cheaper is certainly a bonus.  
post #4 of 13
Two of my favorites, though I haven't been to Telluride in a long, long time. I liked both towns a lot. Telluride has a bit of an edge in that the town is actually attached to the skiing (at one end); Crested requires you to ride a bus from the town to the skiing, though it's very close, the bus is almost like the first lift of the day. Telluride has better scenary. Crested might have better expert skiing (it was much better for years, though with new development at Telluride, I don't know). Neither is exactly a magnet for snow. People at Crested kept saying to me, "we don't want our town to become like Telluride," for whatever that's worth.

Bottom line, two of the very few true ski towns in the US. Hard to go wrong.
post #5 of 13

Curious, if you're not committed to slopeside real estate at a specific resort, what about Avon, Frisco or Winter Park for easier, less costly access in/out Denver Int'l Airport?

post #6 of 13
The towns are really very different, summer and winter.  I think CB actually has more groomed intermediate terrain, but it is significantly colder on average in the winter than Telluride.  T-ride is an amazing town with the desert close by for spring and fall fun, but in the summer they have festivals literally every weekend, some huge, and many not a big deal, but the bigger tourist influx gives it a weird vibe, although the incredible scenery makes it worth the hassle.  They actually have a "no festival weekend" on the calender to give the locals a break. The area around T-ride is beautiful, but vertical, so the Butte has much mellower hiking options.

As noted, both towns have a mountain village that is removed from the the original town, although in Telluride you can also get on lifts at two different places in town, and ski to town.  In T-ride the Village and Town are connected by the free gondola, which runs all the time until late every night.  In the Butte it is a few miles between the Village and the town, which are connected by free shuttle buses, and the Village is pretty dead in the summer.

You really need to experience both in the summer and winter to understand the differences.  They both have their charms and drawbacks.  The biggest difference is probably the cost of living, with Telluride being much more upscale and expensive.
post #7 of 13

They are both really nice towns, but they are both a pain to get to, unless you have your own jet. I would look really hard at accessibility!
  I don't think either one has all that many flights, especially in the off season and summer.  Telluride is a haul from the front range, if that's were your parents live!  

I would imagine that eventually you may want to stay for longer periods and your husband would commute back and forth. Getting back and forth for a reasonable amount,  in as short amount of time as possible, is paramount.

I have a home in Aspen, but currently live in Chicago.  I find that I take a lot more long weekends,  than week long trips.
Aspen is nice because the airport is really close to town and it is served by several different carriers. 

post #8 of 13
Montrose and Gunnison both have flights from various commercial carriers both summer and winter. I think Montrose may be a larger airport and may accomodate bigger jets. It ain't Salt Lake airport for sure, but check out the flight schedules online before you dismiss either.

I don't know CB in summer all that much, but T-ride has amazing hiking - 14ers to climb and super fun 4x4 mining roads all over the hills near there, including ghost towns, Lake City (toursity but fun) and some that are pretty hairy to ride on their own. My impression of the towns is that T-ride is more built up and wealthier. But there are sweet towns nearby too, like Ouray (Biker destination; ice climbing and hot springs) and Ridgeway with everything from family rodeo to a funky spa. CB is sweet and the college is not far so they may have some interesting activities available through that. They are similar in a lot of ways relative to the I-70 resorts. Don't think you can go wrong with either.

CB just was denied their expansion plans by the FS, so that may be a consideration. Good if you want to keep the town small and local feeling. Bad if you wanted a bigger mountain. I think T-ride with its recent expansion may be much bigger if that's important to you.

Maybe your best bet is to see where the real estate opportunity is.
post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by Mom View Post

Montrose and Gunnison both have flights from various commercial carriers both summer and winter.

Both only have limited service with United right now.  R/T from Denver for this weekend is over grand at either one.  ASE is $127 thanks to Frontier.  Seriously, what good is a place if you can't get there or can't afford to get there.  I think Jamesj made some good suggestions.
As much as I dislike Summit/Eagle county, it's much more practical for some.
post #10 of 13

Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

R/T from Denver for this weekend is over grand at either one.  ASE is $127 thanks to Frontier.  Seriously, what good is a place if you can't get there or can't afford to get there. 


Who flies through Denver?

I live in the Detroit suburbs. A few years ago I had a (free) season pass to Crested Butte. I made two trips there that season, using frequent flyer miles (Northwest). Once I flew in to Grand Junction on Delta through Salt Lake City. The second time I flew into Montrose through Houston on Continental. (Both times I rented a car, as the shuttles were just as expensive.)
post #11 of 13
Who flies through Denver?

Pretty much anyone that wants to fly into GUC or MTJ,   9 months of the year?
post #12 of 13
I had a second home in Telluride for 7 years.  Sold it before the bubble popped and though it was the right thing to do from an investment point, it was very had to sell as I fell in love with the area.

To me Telluride is a magical spot.  Summer time is delightful with the hiking, biking, festivals and concerts.  For flatladers, phyisical activity can be daunting at 8,500 - 14,000+ ft but you'll be rewarded with views that are hard to match.  The different festivals provide entertainment on lots of weekends.  They'll even get a travelling music show to stop by.  One of my favorite memories is seeing Bob Dylan in Town Park for $20.  As he was singing "Hard Rain is gonna fall" it started raining and the crowd went wild.  Restaurant scene is excellent for a small town with great everyday places and special spots.  The town Library is an amazing monument to the communities belief in education and culture.

I've raved about Summer so I won't bore you with Winter, but the skiing is excellent for Intermediates and a great place to become a Black.

Now mght be a good time to buy in Tride.  Speaking to a former neighbor he tells me they have overbuilt and some developers are hurting.  Negotiate like crazy and you could get a great buy in a great town.

post #13 of 13
Sorry to be argumentative Shred, but i just did a quick search on Travelocity for RT service from December through March from NYC to Gunnison and Montrose.

Into Gunnison you can fly American, Delta and United starting at $280

Into Montrose are American, Continental, United and Delta for $338. And Continental offers NON stop service from NYC to Montrose...
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