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New Year’s Eve on Telluride’s Main Street


This year, the town’s New Year’s Eve celebration will look a little different than years past.

After three years of launching the annual fireworks display from the Idarado tailings pile near the East End, the town will be launching the fireworks a little closer to home, atop the New Sheridan Bar rooftop deck.

Although the celebration is organized by the town, the Telluride Fire Protection District is contracted to run the fireworks portion of the event.

The fire department has spent several months planning for the new location and is using a different type of firework than years past, “close-proximity fireworks,” which are designed for use near crowds, according to David Wadley, the battalion chief of the Telluride Fire District.

Wadley said that these types of fireworks often are shot off during concerts and football games.

“There is nothing exploding in the air, people don’t have to worry about their pets or safety,” Wadley said. “They burn going up, they are not very big and they don’t explode, they are small as far as fireworks go.”

Wadley said the show was designed specifically with the town in mind.

“We brought in some specialists that worked on the Salt Lake Olympics (in 2002) and do things for other major concerts and designed it specifically for that location (atop the bar),” he said.

Although close-proximity fireworks are considered safe, and are used with crowds in mind, Wadley said they are taking every precaution.

“We have firefighters with thermal imaging cameras on each rooftop, and we have firefighters in full gear on, standing by,” he said. “We have observers surrounding the block.”

The fireworks are a fairly recent addition to Telluride traditions and the event was created more out of a reaction to New Year’s Eve’s festivities already happening in town, according to Town Manager  Greg Clifton.

“With all the craziness and open containers and fireworks (in previous years) a decision was made to put some structure into the whole thing and make it fun and make it family friendly,” Clifton said.

The celebration will include a countdown emceed by Mayor Sean Murphy, music at the courthouse steps and free hot chocolate to keep everyone toasty.

Clifton gave “major props” to the Telluride Fire Department for overseeing the fireworks display.

“We are having so many discussions to make sure things stay safe here,” Clifton said. “These are not the kind of fireworks that blow up or make loud noises. It is a visual thing not a loud thing.

“We like to remind people to please be aware that open containers are unlawful as are personal fireworks and we will be enforcing.,” he said

Clifton added that all cars need to be cleared on Colorado Avenue between Aspen and Fir Streets by 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Early in the evening, Telluride Ski Resort will be hosting its own tradition with the New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks.

From 6:30-7:30 p.m., members of the ski school program will ski and snowboard down the Misty Maiden run toward Mountain Village and the Telluride Trail toward town.

The torches are actually road flares from the Department of Transportation, said Shannon Gibbs, spokeswoman for Telluride Ski Resort.

The tradition has taken place since 1972 and was originally started by ski patrollers, according to Gibbs.

“It is just a really festive and fun event, especially when you see the fireworks go off,” Gibbs said. “It is something unique and different to see, and a great way to celebrate the New Year.”

The fireworks can only be seen from the Town of Mountain Village and will be launched around 6:30 p.m.

To visit Telluride Luxury Properties click here

Forbes: Ski Resorts With Great Women’s Programs


Telluride, Colorado

Last year I covered several major ski resorts, including Beaver Creek, Jackson Hole and Keystone that had notable special programs for women or families. Fortunately, this is a growing trend and this year there are more women-friendly ski and snowboard offerings than ever before. Here’s a sampling (by no means comprehensive) of some great options.

Telluride, CO: I’ve been to Telluride summer and winter and just love the resort and town. Telluride claims its Women’s Week was the first women-only ski program in Colorado, and over the years it has grown to include many extras. It is offered in three and five-day versions and in addition to expert ski instruction includes yoga, meditation, wellness speakers, equipment fitting and après fun. There is one session monthly from January through March and packages are independent of lodging, though the camps offer discounts at a variety of local hotels. Telluride also offers snowboarders one three-day women’s camp, SheRide, annually in March. It provides lessons to all levels, from never evers to advanced double black riders. This is an adult specific camp for women 18 years and older.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO: Crested Butte just added its new Women’s Tips on Tuesdays ski clinics this season. These half-day, women-only ski school sessions are led by top female instructors, and are ideal for ladies looking for a guided group session with instruction and an informal, fun vibe. Each clinic concludes with a glass of wine at the resort’s new on-mountain Umbrella Bar. Sessions run from 1:30 -3:30. The Women’s Tips on Tuesdays clinic is available to female skiers levels 3-7.

Sun Valley, ID: The nation’s first destination ski resort celebrates its 80th birthday with several new programs, including the Women’s-only Weekend (WOW, February 3 – 5, 2017). WOW emphasizes camaraderie and skills improvement and maximizes learning in a supportive environment. Small groups focus on technique with Sun Valley’s leading female instructors, along with après ski events and video analysis. Locals can also access DIVAS, a women’s only all-mountain experience for intermediate to advanced skiers. Developed for women, by women, the DIVAS program includes a 2.5-hour group lesson one day per week for eight weeks with Sun Valley’s top female athletes and instructors.

Alta, Utah: One of the classic lodging spots in American skiing, the beloved Alta Lodge teams up with top instructors from Alta’s Alf Engen Ski School for its popular annual Women’s Intermediate-Advanced Ski Camps. These offer three days of skiing, four nights of lodging, great food and camaraderie. Each day includes morning and afternoon instruction in a supportive, ability-specific group environment. This is followed by video and analysis of your skiing and an evening presentation. Camps are open to intermediates and above who can consistently use parallels turns and confidently cruise blue groomed runs. Three camps are offered in January and March and include meals and high performance ski demos. The hotel also has one annual Women’s Advance Expert Ski Camp in February for skiers who are already comfortable on all black runs in most snow conditions and enjoy venturing off-piste, into steeps and moguls. Alta Lodge is a European-style full-board hotel that is ski-in, ski-out.

Beaver Creek, CO: There may be no resort in the nation so fixated on families as Beaver Creek – which also happens to be the most luxurious destination in skiing. Again, I wrote in detail about its offerings last year, but the highlight is an industry leading two-hour daily free tour/clinic, a social and learning experience run by female ski ambassadors. Beaver Creek is not the only member of the Vail Resorts family focusing on the ladies: both Vail and Breckenridge, CO have women only offerings.


Where to stay, eat, and drink at America’s top (secret) ski resort.




Looking for a hotel that feels more like a friend’s sumptuous vacation home? Check into this European-style residential boutique with high-touch personal service. Lumiere features apartments rather than rooms, most with enormous walk-in steam showers, Wolf and SubZero appliances, and wet bars. The hallways are filled with the scents of complimentary fresh baked afternoon sweets daily and delicious breakfasts are included. It’s also ski-in/ski-out. 118 Lost Creek Lane, 970-369-0400,


With an unbeatable location in the pedestrianized heart of contemporary Mountain Village, the Madeline is a small scale take on a full-service luxury resort, with spa, pool complex, and multiple bars and restaurants. It’s as close as understated Telluride comes to an après ski “scene.” It was also expanded and completely renovated for this season. 568 Mountain Village Boulevard, 970-369-0880,


One of the few Colorado hotels dating to the mining era, the 125-year-old, four-diamond New Sheridan is just four years younger than Telluride itself. In the heart of the older village, two blocks from the slopes, this is where Butch and Sundance would stay, a historic cowboy hotel that doesn’t rest on its history. It’s got a classic “Chop House” and three bars for just 28 rooms–an enviable 1:8 après ratio–including an iconic watering hole that dates back to 1895. 231 West Colorado Avenue, 970-728-4351,


The newest accommodations in town just opened for the 2016-17 season. It’s a spin-off of ultra-luxury Dunton Hot Springs 70 miles away, a world-class Relais & Châteaux boutique resort created out of a ghost town. Both are owned by German billionaire Christoph Henkel, who also has the Four Seasons Santa Fe and Utah’s Amangiri. But while Dunton Hot Springs is living, breathing, over-the-top Old West, the Town House is Tyrolean chic, a historic 19th-century mining home converted into a five-room slice of Europe, celebrating the immigrants from the Austrian-Italian border region who moved here to work the mines. It is full of custom furnishings, Tyrolean antiques and fabrics, Austrian ceramics, and discreet elegance. 210 South Oak Street, 877-288-9922,



Telluride’s gourmet scene flies under the radar, with just one celebrity chef, but 221 owner Eliza Gavin was already running the local fave when she competed on Bravo’s Top Chef. She returned better for it, and in a charming Victorian townhouse in the old village offers a finessed game-rich menu teeming with boar, bison, elk, and local lamb. 221 S Oak Street, 970-728-9507,


One of Telluride’s more upscale restaurants perfectly captures the ski vacation aesthetic with updated French alpine fare, and a menu featuring dishes such as coq au vin and beef tartare that are hard to come by on this side of the Atlantic. It has been so popular here for so long that it just spun off a sister restaurant in Denver to meet Coloradan demand. 150 West San Juan Avenue, 970-728-6232,


A true hidden gem, this trailside chalet at 11,966 feet is perfect for a decadent Alpine-style lunch or an excuse to get an early jump start on après. It serves exquisite charcuterie and Italian alpine fare with great wines and great views, and is open for gondola-served dinners a few nights weekly. 12100 Camels’ Garden Road, 970-728-7560,


Telluride has some of the finest “normal” food of any ski town in the country, and there is no better example than Brown Dog, quite simply the single best pizzeria in skiing. The sports bar feel belies the unexpected quality, with a menu anchored by its house specialty, the suddenly trendy Detroit-style pan pizza. Both the ambiance and cuisine are explained by the fact that the owner played college football with Tom Brady at Michigan. 110 East Colorado Avenue, 970-728-8046,


Not unlike Brown Dog is to pizza, Oak is the best barbecue joint in skiing, period. Its Alabama-born pit master does superlative slow smoked southern barbecue (especially ribs), plus winners like house cured bacon–try the deconstructed BLTs washed down with a bourbon from the restaurant’s extensive collection. 250 West San Juan Avenue, 970-728-3985,


Telluride excels at saloons, but it’s hard to top this straight-out-of-Westworld, 19th-century gem in the historic New Sheridan Hotel for cocktails. Follow drinks with red meat in the atmospheric Chop House, which also has a surprisingly long wine list with by the glass offerings carefully stored in a nitrogen preservation system. 231 West Colorado Avenue, 970-728-4351,



There is no more coveted winter sports hardware than a pair of Wagner skis. A decade ago, computer scientist Pete Wagner conceived a better way to make skis, and today his company is the world’s most renowned truly custom manufacturer. Many “custom” skis are merely variants on stock molds or fancy paint jobs, but every pair of Wagner skis is totally bespoke from the ground up to meet its user’s needs. For this season, Wagner, which was based 15 miles outside of town, opens its first Telluride showroom in pedestrianized Mountain Village. 970-728-0107,


The biggest complaints among skiers are sore feet and cold toes, and both can be solved through custom fitting. Boot Doctors is perennially ranked among the nation’s best ski boot fitters, and is so popular that reservations come recommended–even though they have two Telluride locations, one in town and one in Mountain Village. 970-728-4525,


If you like cowboy boots as much as ski boots, there’s no better brand than Lucchese, and these are stocked, along with top outdoor apparel labels like Filson and Rand Hats, at Black Bear. 218 West Colorado Avenue, 970-728-6556


Just about every big resort sells itself as all things to all skiers, and while this is rarely true, Telluride is the happy exception. It has it all: bowls, chutes, cliffs, glades, cruisers and groomers. Advanced intermediate skiers—and there are a lot of them—are often the hardest customers to please, caught between too challenging and not enough. Here there is a mid-mountain canyon area full of double blue advanced intermediate trails, served by the Apex and Polar Queen Express chairs, a feature you would be hard pressed to find anyplace else. The Village Express serves a sea of single blue intermediate terrain, while beginners have plenty to choose from, and unlike most resorts, where they are relegated to the base area, novices can enjoy the stunning vistas from some of the highest spots with good options to ski down.

Telluride excels at the high end, with a ton for experts and beyond, from in-bounds blacks and double blacks (lifts 6, 9, and 14) to a vast array of chutes and hike-to terrain (lifts 12 and 15). If you cannot be challenged here you cannot be challenged anywhere, and in recent years Telluride has facilitated the growing big mountain crowd by installing permanent metal stairs and rails so the extremes can be accessed more easily. On top of all this, bump fans know the resort has long been home to some of the best and most infamous mogul runs in the world, like double blacks Spiral Staircase and Kant-Mak-M off of lift 9 (they even offer multi-day instructional “Making Friends With Moguls” camps).

If somehow you run out of things to ski (you won’t), or just want a different kind of adventure, it is one of the few U.S. resorts with a daily heli-skiing operation, accessing an additional 250 square miles of powder. If there is a type of terrain you like to ski or ride, Telluride has lots of it.


The new service this season into Telluride is tempting, with regional jet connections on a United partner through Denver, making it a one stop from just about any U.S. city, with almost no driving. But don’t overlook Montrose, the old alternative, which was never nearly as bad as it was made out to be, offering more flights and better reliability in winter weather. Montrose also significantly increased its winter flights for the third straight year, with non-stops on all three big carriers from major cities coast-to-coast including New York, Atlanta, LA, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, and Denver. Montrose is just 68 miles away, closer than the airports serving many other major Colorado resorts, and there is easy ground shuttle service—visitors don’t need or want a car in Telluride.

Lincoln Park Mansion Hits the Market for $50M, a Price Record for Chicago



A French-style mansion boasting an ornate stone façade in Chicago’s upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood hit the market Thursday with an asking price of $50 million, looking to set a record for the city.

The mansion was built in 2008 by its current owners, Richard Parrillo, chairman and CEO of Florida-based United Automobile Insurance, and his wife, Michaela, according to Matt Leutheuser from Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, who is co-listing the property with Tim Salm from the same brokerage.

Situated on seven city lots (about 0.6 acres) and a few blocks away from Lake Michigan, the 25,000-square-foot mansion has six bedrooms, seven full and four half-bathrooms, as well as an indoor grilling room, multiple kitchens, and dining and living areas, according to the listing.

Wrapping around a curving staircase with an ornate black and gold-wrought iron balustrade are galleries showcasing the Parrillos’ art collection. In the basement, there is a wine cellar and a wine tasting room equipped with a Louis XIII fireplace.

Outside, there is a garden with a reflecting pool, a large terrace with outdoor fireplace and a kitchen overlooking the yards, lots of fountains and parking spaces in the front of the property.

“The overall thought and imported materials put into this mansion are impressive, and the amount of space in this great location is irreplicable,” said Mr. Leutheuser.

The Parrillos, who were not immediately available for comment, spent more than five years to build the mansion, according to Mr. Leutheuser. “It is really a labor of love,” he said, “but they’ve decided to sell because they are spending more time in Florida.”

The most expensive listing to ever hit the market in Chicago was a top-floor unit at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in 2012. The asking price was $32 million and it sold for $17 million in 2014 , according to

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