Like anywhere else, your vacation in Telluride may look a little different this year. But rest assured, Telluride is taking every measure to bring our community and visitors a safe and no less incredible winter season. Being outside in the fresh mountain air and spread across thousands of acres of skiable terrain on Telluride Ski Resort, you can be sure that you’re staying safe while enjoying winter activities. The main difference this winter season are dining options, as of now San Miguel County has no indoor dining, but that hasn’t stopped Telluride restaurants from providing creative and incredible dining experiences.
Travel to Telluride hasn’t changed much for this upcoming winter. Southwest Airlines has announced a new direct flight from Dallas (Love Field) to Montrose (MTJ) expanding the flights to the Telluride region even more. The closest airports to Telluride include Montrose, Grand Junction, Durango, Cortez as well as the Telluride airport with a daily flight to and from Denver in the high seasons.
Shuttle services are the best way to navigate to and around Telluride once you arrive at the airport, and they include Telluride Express, Mountain Limo and Black Bear Luxury Transportation. Once you arrive to your home, hotel or condo everything is within walking distance and accessible with our free gondola system connecting the Town of Telluride and Mountain Village.
Dining on-mountain at Telluride Ski Resort may be even more of an experience than usual this winter. Along with grab and go options, yurts will be set up at every dining establishment and will be equipped with heaters and socially distanced seating. All dining will take place outside under tents and yurts for more time spent in the fresh air and under the stunning Colorado sky.
A great way to stay out the kitchen, stay safe and enjoy the same fine dining you’re craving over the holidays is to hire a local caterer and host your family and friends in your home or condo for the evening. 221 South Oak and Aemono are a couple among many that will treat you to the talent of their chefs in the privacy of your own home, no clean up required. For our recommendations including private chefs and local restaurants that offer at home private events, give us a call.
In Mountain Village, gondola cars are currently being installed in the village core. “The cabins, which are being refurbished by The Gondola Shop in Fruita, will have lights (in the ceiling and under chairs), heating and ventilation systems, cushioned seats with black leather coverings, wooden dining tables, easy-sliding doors and sturdy floors that can withstand wear and tear from ski boots. Tables will have QR codes that show menu options from 12 restaurants in the village center. Some of those restaurants will send wait staff to your gondola or yurt, as if you were being served in the restaurant. Some will be offering takeout meals only.” Read the entire Denver Post article here.
Dining in Mountain Village and Telluride has recently re-opened for indoor dining at a limited capacity since the county went to level Orange, allowing 25% occupancy in restaurants. Along with the many new outdoor winter dining options, you’re sure to experience and taste all of your favorites of Telluride, just be sure to make reservations in advance!
In an effort to create more space this winter, 221 South Oak is now featuring heated enclosed patio dining. Just a reminder, now is the time to make reservations as we are filling up our bookings for the winter season. New this winter, full menus are now available for takeout including the new “Just Add Ice” cocktails. Call 970.708.1437 or visit their website to place your order.
Brand new to Telluride, The Little House, a sister restaurant of The National, is now open. With European influences and an experimental bar program, it’s always satisfying. Little House is an elevated fresh organic dine-in and take-out eatery.
La Marmotte and sister restaurant, Sidework, have implemented a total of four globes outside their restaurant, complete with hepa air filters and heaters. 8 reservation slots per evening are available with each globe seating up to 8 people. Call ASAP to book (970) 728 6232. You can also enjoy a daily three course take away dinner from each restaurant, visit their website for the menu and to order.
The Sheridan Chophouse and Phoenix Bean are now open and serving takeaway breakfast, lunch and dinner every day from their famous menu including items like Mac and Cheese, Turkey Club, New York Strip and much more. You can stop by the restaurant or call ahead to order.
Most restaurants including Cosmo, The National, La Cocina, Smugglers, Tacos Del Gnar, Butcher and the Baker, Siam, Esperanzas, Flora Dora and Mountain Village restaurants Tomboy Tavern, Siam Talay, Black Iron, Altezza, Crazy Elk, The Pick, The Village Table, La Piazza and Tracks are open daily and offering to-go options and full take home dinners.
Shopping is open in Telluride with limited numbers of people allowed in at a time, but you can still stop by your favorite stores and stock up on Telluride goodies and high-end retail that the area has to offer.
Advance lift ticket purchase is required for the 2020-21 winter season in Telluride. If you or friends visiting arrive in Telluride without securing a lift ticket, there may be no remaining tickets available for that day. Same day ticket purchase will be ONLY available online, when inventory is available. Chairlifts will be limited to one person to chair or people from the same party to avoid any close contact. Many other protocols will come into play like mandatory face coverings in public places and frequent hand sanitizing, the resort is planning to be prepared and evolve as COVID-19 restrictions evolve. Visit the Telluride Ski Resort Winter 20/21 FAQ’s for more information.
Ski School will be more intimate this year with restrictions to bookings and group sizes. You MUST book your ski school in advance for your trip to Telluride, the earlier the better. For the 2020-21 Winter, Telluride Ski School is focused on creating great experiences for your children while maintaining a safe and healthy environment. To this end, as a parent you can expect small group lessons (maximum 2 children per instructor for Otters and Bears and a maximum 4 children per instructor for Eagles.) There will also only be offerings of half day lessons where you can book for the morning or for the afternoon. All age groups will meet and stay outside for the lesson and will avoid crowded indoor spaces as well as no lunch offering for this season.
Other Winter Activities
To stay completely away from the crowds this winter, there are plenty of adventure outdoor activities to occupy your family’s time. Try a new adventure and see a part of the San Juan Mountains you haven’t before with a snowmobile tour or cross country skiing. Snowmobiling with Telluride Outside will be an adventure for the whole family, located in the sprawling forests of Lizard Head or Alta Lakes, you can experience terrain like never before. Cross country ski rentals can be found at Telluride Parks & Rec for a day or for as long as you’d like. Groomed cross-country paths are maintained all winter long on the Valley Floor, in Town Park and Alta Lakes. Stay a magical night at the Observatory with access to back country skiing and a built-in chef in the classic cozy mountain cabin. Or head out to Dunton Hot Springs for a long weekend of soaking in springs, glamping in luxurious platform tents and enjoying their famous cuisine. If you’re ready for the ultimate skiing adventure and experience, cross heli-skiing off the bucket list this winter. Helitrax is an incredible local operation that equips you with skis, packs and lunch for your day heli-skiing in the incredible terrain surrounding Telluride. In between your laps of giant untouched powder turns, sip on a thermos of hot coffee, soup and sandwiches as the helicopter takes the next group to the rugged peaks of the San Juans and get ready to close out your day with more all-time skiing. The list goes on and on of incredible opportunities to fill your time in Telluride in a safe and memorable way.
Everything you hold near and dear about Telluride can’t be changed. The mountains, culture and ambiance that we all come to the San Juan Mountains for will stay true. Let us at O’Neill Stetina Group help guide you in trip planning, home buying or just to chat about the snow quality of the day.