30th Mar, 2012

Breckenridge Ski Resort and Real Estate in the 1960s

In 1960, a simple mountain lifestyle infused Breckenridge real estate in Summit County Colorado with quiet seclusion for the town’s few hundred residents.  The Summit County Development Corporation sought to start a ski area at the southern end of the Ten Mile Range.  The move would begin the expansion of Victorian Breckenridge CO real estate to include resort condominiums, Breckenridge golf course real estate, and exclusive Breckenridge mountain homes.

Breckenridge Ski Resort opened as “Peak 8” on December 16, 1961– riding the wave of the national and international trend and yen for skiing.  During the first year, 17,000 skiers flew down the six ski runs.  Named Northstar, Springmeier, Winger, Rounder, Duke’s, and Crescendo, those first runs were named for local personalities and pioneers in the ski industry.

Other early runs included Callie’s Alley and Four O’clock.  The Four O’clock run remains as a centerpiece of Breckenridge Ski Resort today.  It received its name as the main trail that skiers rode back to town at the end of the day of skiing.

Breckenridge Heritage Alliance director Larissa O’Neil explained the early days of Breckenridge Ski Resort in a Summit Daily News article by Caddie Nath on November 20, 2011.  The price for an all-day ski ticket was $4.  The ticket included access to one Heron double chairlift and a short T-bar lift for beginners.  Lines were long.

The old-fashioned wooden and metal skis were also long and restrictive.  There was no way a skier in the 1960s could execute similarly to skiers in 2012.  It was tricky to carve the turns, especially before the advent of the snow cat groomers.

For the article, Nath talked to Robin Theobald who recalled the early days of skiing in Breckenridge.  “Skiing was a subculture.  There were few enough people skiing that everybody knew everybody.  You saw the same people over and over.”  She explained how each skier was responsible to determine the safety of the terrain because there was no grooming.

The original owner of the resort was Bill Rounds.  The 1960s produced the dawning of what ski magazine called “the Golden age for skiing.”  Multiplying numbers of skiers were accommodated by the opening of many new resorts in Colorado and burgeoning ski equipment and ski apparel industries.  As part of marketing efforts, historical records reveal that the ski area added women employees wearing modern ski gear to “beautify the ski slopes.”

Rounds and the Summit County Development Company sold the Breckenridge ski area in 1970 to Aspen Ski Corporation. The new company planned to open ski terrain on Peak 7.

For more information about buying real estate in the scenic mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor® at (970) 390-2560.

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