27 Years

It was with little forethought and less planning that the Telluride Times issued the first Telluride Magazine during the 1982/83 ski season. In those days none of the staff had any four-color experience, but in a place as vibrant and beautiful as Telluride, a four-color magazine seemed imperative. Visitors who wanted to relish photographs and read more about what the area had to offer, and less about local politics, had nothing to reach for. Another regional magazine wasn’t out there, and it seemed the perfect opportunity to take the media to the next level.

It had been ten years since the first skier slid off the chair at the top of Lift 6. Ron Allred and Jim Wells were at the helm of the ski area, and they had infused the region with new energy and capital. Ex-hardrock miner and future Colorado Ski Hall of Fame inductee Billy “Senior” Mahoney, was vice president of mountain operations; the famous Spiral Stairs ski run was opened on the front face; Telluride Helitrax, Colorado’s only helicopter skiing operation at the time, flew skiers to stashes of backcountry powder. Telluride was blossoming and had a community of talented writers and photographers, to boot.


This is the first


The cover of the first issue showed then-mayor Jerry Race and wife, Pam, cross-country skiing across the Valley Floor. There was nary an inkling of what was to come—that one day this image would be a reminder of how things used to be.

The town was deeply divided between the no-growth advocates and those in favor of development. The ski area owners were launching their plans for the Mountain Village, which was to house 5,000 people at build-out, connect to Telluride via a ten-minute gondola ride, and accommodate a championship golf course. The Town of Telluride was planning to pave its streets, build a performing arts center and an indoor swimming pool. As the record stands, only the indoor swimming pool hasn’t manifested.

The town’s reputation as the summer festival capital of the Rockies was gaining credibility. Telluride already hosted the Film, MountainFilm, Hanggliding, Bluegrass, Jazz, and Chamber Music Festivals. Only the Rock ’n’ Roll Festival proved to be a flash-in-the-pan.

With the support of many of Telluride’s most steadfast institutions, the first issue was launched. Typesetting, shooting half-tones, cutting rubylith, waxing copy, pasting ads and proofing (we didn’t become computerized until 1990), we worked until the ninth hour to get the pages ready for press. The finished product hit the stands mid-winter.

After the success of that first issue an independent publishing company, Telluride Publishing, was established to produce the magazine (it didn’t prove profitable for the newspaper). And in June of 2008, Telluride Publishing became a division of Big Earth Publishing. Over the years, the company has engaged the talents of Telluride’s finest photographers, writers, designers and editors, showcasing the beauty, history and character of  Telluride.

And where else but Telluride? In what other place do people step away from play-off games, filet mignon, margaritas and engaging conversation to stand in the middle of the street and watch nature’s mysteries unfold? A full, ripe moonrise over Ajax, the purple flush of alpenglow over snow-covered peaks, a double rainbow spanning town from canyon rim to rim, or a cascade of snow released by an avalanche billowing into a cloud at the end of the valley.

One response to “About”

  1. Mike Ryan

    Please forward to Seth Berg. Mike Ryan/friend/co-worker BMA (802) 633-4452

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