Crested Butte, CO - Seeking Permanent Residence (and some freshies)
April 4, 2017
Les Flâneurs also visited Crested Butte in pursuit of a primo location for a possible encore phase residence. No offense to Boulder, which was our first stop on this tour, but CB (as the locals call it) comes much closer to the mark. It's a beautiful location with easy access to skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. There is also has a strong ethos toward biking and cross country. Perhaps our best analogy is, "If Aspen is the Manhattan of ski towns, CB is Brooklyn."
CB was about a 4 hour drive from Boulder, across the high plains west of Denver. Since we left around noon, we grabbed a muffuletta from Blackbelly Market, a fine craft butcher and sandwich shop and found our way to 285, which skirts the "main drag" of ski areas along Interstate 70. We chose this route, not because we were opposed to driving by the other areas, but we've been that way a zillion times before. Les Flâneusr always take the road less traveled, when possible. We arrived at The Grand Lodge and checked into our mini-suite at just about 4 PM, just in time for an unplugged concert on the slopes at Butte 66 roadhouse.
After quaffing a couple of craft beers and listening to some great music, we hopped on to the bus for the 15 minute ride into town. Like many ski areas, CB has an excellent bus system, which works quite well here since the town area is generally smaller than most. (More about the fabulous skiing here.) CB Mountain is its own municipality up at the 9,898 foot base of the ski area, which is located well above the 8,909 of CB Downtown.
Downtown CB is definitely the place to be for dinner and/or cocktails. It's one of those charming little mining towns that boomed from the 1860s through about the 1880s, and then became hermetically sealed in time. While it never became a pure ghost town, the period architecture survives because the town has been designated a National Historic District. While some new construction has been completed, and the footprint of the town itself was sightly expanded, the architectural guidelines are such that you cannot generally tell the new buildings from the old. THIS is the true charm of CB, as seen in this photo which looks across the town toward the ski mountain.
We like what we saw on our property tour, both in town and on the mountain. The key verdicts: this is a very affordable town with long term upside, because the number of building sites have been capped.