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.

1879
Silver prospectors arrive in the valley and stay to take care of their claims through the winter. Some have purchased claims here sight-unseen.

1880
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.

1887
The railroad arrives in Aspen and makes it possible to easily ship silver ore to the market.

1890
Ranchers and homesteaders come to what is now Snowmass Village. The population swells, not only from ranchers but also from silver miners.

1955
The Snowmass area is zoned as agriculture, forestry and residential.

1958
The land at the base of Snowmass is purchased by William Janss. He is a former ski racer. Organized skiing begins on Snowmass.

1964
William Janss continues to purchase land. He intends to create the Snowmass-at-Aspen development and build from natural materials found in the region.

1967
Snowmass-at-Aspen is opened officially and has five chairlifts. It’s only $6.50 for a lift ticket.

1977
Snowmass-at-Aspen is incorporated and becomes the Town of Snowmass Village.

1995
The Two Creeks area opens at Snowmass, giving guests a closer access to Aspen.

1997
Snowmass now celebrates its 30-year anniversary. There are 11 restaurants on the mountain and 20 lifts.

1998
The Cirque lift is opened, serving the highest lift-served ski run in the nation.