History of Beaver Creek
Beaver Creek’s history, like most Colorado ski towns, dates back to the mining era, when George and Allie Townsend first settled this special valley in 1882. To this day, the Townsend’s are still known as the first family of Beaver Creek.
In the late 19th century, an adventurous group of farmers, ranchers, and loggers made their homes in Beaver Creek. By the 1920s, both Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch were full of lettuce crops, which grew crisp and large in the high elevation sun. Through the 1950s and ‘60s, the Nottinghams, a hard-working Colorado ranching family, owned the land that would become Beaver Creek Resort.
Early Skiing Dreams at Beaver Creek
With the rising popularity of skiing, Pete Seibert, a 10th Mountain Division veteran, imagined an international ski village in Beaver Creek, similar to St. Moritz in Switzerland. Seibert offered to buy the Nottingham’s ranch, but, at the time, they didn’t want to sell. Instead, Peter Seibert founded Vail, 15 miles to the west.
After the remarkable success of Vail Resort, Seibert finally convinced Willis Nottingham to sell an option on his land in the early 1970s. After this agreement, the development of Beaver Creek was a big part of the proposed 1976 Winter Olympics in Colorado. This vision was changed, and the resort didn’t open until later.
Beaver Creek’s Grand Opening & International Fame
On December 15th, 1980, Beaver Creek opened with four chairlifts and over 400 skiable acres. Right away, Beaver Creek was meant to be a high caliber ski resort, and at the grand opening ceremony, Governor Richard Lamm called Beaver Creek the Tiffany’s of ski resorts.
Since its founding, Beaver Creek has lived up to this high praise. This beautiful village now has spectacular homes, world-class events, and endless outdoor recreation. The famous Birds of Prey Downhill course was constructed in 1997, and Beaver Creek has hosted several World Cup Championship races. Every summer, Beaver Creek hosts the XTERRA Mountain Cup.
Beaver Creek Today
As this special valley continues to evolve, the history of Beaver Creek is still being written. Beaver Creek Resort now has over 1,815 acres of skiable terrain and 24 chairlifts. Beaver Creek has terrain for all types of skiers and riders. From steeps and bumps to gentle groomed runs and glades, skiers and snowboards will never run out of options. Beaver Creek is the ultimate Rocky Mountain ski town. Everyone who visits Beaver Creek is immediately captivated by its extraordinary beauty and elegance.
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