Snowmass Colorado History

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Snowmass History

Snowmass Village and the Aspen/Snowmass area in the Colorado Rocky Mountains has an interesting history as it developed from a ranching community to turn into a popular destination resort. Read More

  • 1946: The first chairlifts are built on Aspen Mountain
  • 1958: A former ski racer buys land at the base of Snowmass
  • 1967: Snowmass-at-Aspen opens and has five chairlifts
  • 1998: The Cirque lift is opened and serves the highest lift-served ski run in the nation

Early 1800s
The Ute Indians inhabit the Roaring Fork Valley. White men fail to explore the area fully due to Indians and the rough terrain.

Silver prospectors arrive in the valley and stay to take care of their claims through the winter. Some have purchased claims here sight-unseen.

B. Clark Wheeler, a man who bought a silver claim in the valley, arrives to see his purchase. He and associates plan a town to be built here and decide to name it Aspen.

The railroad arrives in Aspen and makes it possible to easily ship silver ore to the market.

Ranchers and homesteaders come to what is now Snowmass Village. The population swells, not only from ranchers but also from silver miners.

The Snowmass area is zoned as agriculture, forestry and residential.

The land at the base of Snowmass is purchased by William Janss. He is a former ski racer. Organized skiing begins on Snowmass.

William Janss continues to purchase land. He intends to create the Snowmass-at-Aspen development and build from natural materials found in the region.

Snowmass-at-Aspen is opened officially and has five chairlifts. It’s only $6.50 for a lift ticket.

Snowmass-at-Aspen is incorporated and becomes the Town of Snowmass Village.

The Two Creeks area opens at Snowmass, giving guests a closer access to Aspen.

Snowmass now celebrates its 30-year anniversary. There are 11 restaurants on the mountain and 20 lifts.

The Cirque lift is opened, serving the highest lift-served ski run in the nation.