Breckenridge History

History of Breckenridge – Life during the winter

Black and White photo of Breckenridge ColoradoThink skiing in Breckenridge is hard now? Try it 100 years ago when folks like Father Dyer the itinerant Methodist Preacher would strap on wooden planks 6 feet long and oversized poles to make the long and dangerous trek over Boreas Pass to bring mail and needed supplies to the miners in the high country. Imaging what it must have been like to pilot the old rotary snowplow (currently located on Boreas Pass Road near Highway 9 on the South end of Breckenridge) through 15 foot high snow drifts in order to reach Breckenridge from the south in the winter. These difficulties make what can still be a difficult trip up I-70 in the winter seem like child’s play in comparison. Long before there was such a thing as the Breckenridge Ski Area, lodging in Breckenridge or the idea of a Breckenridge ski vacation there was just the thought of surviving the long , cold, harsh Colorado winters

The truth is the early residents of Breckenridge faced hardships and toil as well as good times and rewards like so many others chasing their dreams on the American Frontier at the time. Only the residents of Breckenridge had to do it under 350 inches of snow annually. Breckenridge was first settled in 1859 by 29 men and one woman following the discovery of gold in the Blue River, which still runs through the middle of town. By mid-1861, Breckenridge boasted several stores, hotels, saloons, and a post office. On October 11, 1861, the Town secured the Denver, Bradford, and Blue River Road Wagon Company connection, which gave lifeblood to the little gold mining community. Breckenridge’s Main Street allowed for ease in turning around freight wagons and became the center of social and athletic activities. During the mining heyday, Breckenridge provided the miners with a variety of attractions. Without diversions, life in the mining camp would have been an endless cycle of routine work.

By 1882, Breckenridge secured a depot site for the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad and thereby brought rail service to Town. Breckenridge doomed a half dozen other rival company towns in the process, including Swan City, Preston, and Lincoln City. The population of Breckenridge peaked at approximately 2000. By 1882, Breckenridge added three newspapers and a cemetery. The Town also managed to organize three fire companies to protect the vulnerable wooden structures. A major fire in 1884 destroyed a number of buildings along Main Street and Ridge Street. Despite the fire danger, local carpenters continued to build with wood because of the availability of materials and the reduced time, effort, and cost of construction.

Even with the coming of the railroad the miners and residents of Breckenridge had many hardships to face. The winter of 1898-99 proved particularly challenging when a record heavy snow fell. The railroad was blocked and the residents were trapped for 78 days! Using the rotary snowplow and multiple engines, the track was finally cleared on April 24, and service resumed in town. Residents tunneled through the snow to get from one business to another during that heavy snow year.

Six months of snow each year made it difficult for miners to work and they had to find something to entertain them in the long cold winters of Colorado’s High Country. Saloons and other false-fronted commercial businesses sprang up in the downtown area, and Main Street became a business hub. By July of 1880, Breckenridge’s population peaked to 1657 people, and the town was home to two dancehalls, ten hotels, and eighteen saloons not to mention a rather large red light district.

The Population of Breckenridge peaked at 2,000 residents in the late 1800’s but started to wane as new methods were introduced to gold mining that made it less expensive to mine it in other locations. With the drying up of the mining industry and the run of the last dredge boat in the 1942 people felt no need to stay and endure the harsh winters any longer. The population dwindled to fewer than 300 people by 1950. The future for Breckenridge seemed bleak. But then in 1961, Rounds and Porter, a Wichita, Kansas lumber company, opened the Breckenridge Ski Area, and a new boom era began. Transportation improvements fueled a new Breckenridge recreation “rush.” The Eisenhower Tunnel, on Interstate 70, was completed in 1973 and reduced the drive time from Denver to Breckenridge to an hour and a half. As a result of the relatively easy access from the Denver metro area, the high country’s recreational activities became increasingly popular.

Today Breckenridge is consistently the most popular ski destination in the country beating out rivals such as Vail and Aspen in number of skier visits per year. With over 300 permanent residents who look forward to and embrace the harsh, cold winter each year and new terrain opening every year Breckenridge is looking forward to a bright future.

For more information on the history of Breckenridge visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance at

Snowboarder getting a face shot

Sick of Skis? Try Something Different

snowboarder at Breckenridge ResortEvery Year you come out. Every year you get your rental skis, hit the hill and ski Breckenridge. Breckenridge skiing is always fun, always exciting and thrilling. Blasting down the mountain on the latest, best demo skis the shop has to offer is what you dream about. Yet somehow you are not completely fulfilled. You need to try something different. You need a change. This year why not take a day and try a different way down the hill or maybe even a way up the hill. There are other ways (besides snowboarding) to test the Breckenridge snow and these are gaining in popularity. All of these different disciplines are available to anyone and you generally find the gear and lessons or a guide right here in Breckenridge. This year when you are planning your Breckenridge ski vacation and you are thinking about your lodging in Breckenridge think about maybe trying something different. Here are a few ideas.

Snowboarding – Hardly a new phenomenon snowboarding has been around for the better part of a quarter century and is a mainstay in the world of alpine sports even rising to the highest levels of international competition.  It has been said that as many as 40% of snowriders are snowboarding these days. If you have never tried snowboarding, you should. It is an amazing feeling carving down the run on one big blade. Obviously you can find snowboards everywhere. The trick to snowboarding is to make sure it is fun from the first day so TAKE A LESSON! Snowboarding is a little harder to figure out than skiing but once you get the basics of snowboarding down it gets a lot easier. You can really cruise after the first couple of times you do it.

Not interested in Snowboarding? Don’t want to be called a “knuckle dragger” by your friends?  Try Snow Blades. Snow Blades are the name for the “little skis” made by Solomon and are about half the size of full sized skis. Snowblades are usually worn with hard alpine ski-type boots, typically do not have (nor need) safety bindings, and are originally meant to be used without poles. Because they are so short, snowblades can be transported and used very easily and flexibly, and carving with them is nearly automatic. They appeal to individuals of various ages and backgrounds, as was the case with snowboards, when they made their first appearances on ski slopes decades ago but they are still rather obscure. Snow Blades are super easy to learn and easy to get right out on. They are available at most rental shops.

Another option is the snowbike. This is an interesting way of getting down the mountain. Snowbiking is a bit new but if you have been skiing in Colorado before chances are you might have run across a snowbiker. Snowbiking involves cruising down the mountain on a special bike with skies on the front and back. If you are looking for a new way to cruise the runs at Breckenridge snowbiking is really fun and pretty easy to learn for the experienced skier. Breckenridge and Keystone both offer lessons and rentals.

However you choose to get down the mountain doesn’t matter. What matters is that you choose to get outside and spend time celebrating in the joy of winter!

Want to come have some winter fun in Breckenridge? Visit for the best deals on lodging in Breckenridge!

Big Mountain Skiing

62nd Annual Warren Miller “Like There’s No Tomorrow” Film Presentation

Skier at Breckenridge Resort We found this press release and wanted to share it with you. Here in Breckenridge we almost always have skiing and snowboarding on the brain and nothing stokes us up and gets us in the mood better than a great ski movie. Warren Miller Productions has been making some of the best ski movies in the industry for the past 62 years and this year is no exception. When we found out that the Speakeasy Theater was showing the lasts Warren Miller movie “Like There’s No Tomorrow” We were excited to share this news. If you are in Breckenridge this weekend and looking for something exciting and fun to do this weekend think about going to see this and you will be helping out a great cause:

62nd Annual Warren Miller “Like There’s No Tomorrow” Film Presentation
Where: Speakeasy Theater, Breckenridge CO
When: Saturday, February 18, 2012 6:00pm & 9:00pm
Why: Benefiting Timberline Learning Center
Tickets and info: or call 970-453-9656
Info: The pressure is off. No one is watching. It’s just you, your boards and the mountain. The weather has broken and the snow is untracked. The only sound is that of your breath, crystallizing in the winter air. There’s only one place to go, but there are an infinite number of ways to get there. Adjust your gear, take a deep breath and . . . ski, shred, huck, bomb, launch, spin, charge . . . Like There’s No Tomorrow.

This year, Warren Miller Entertainment offers your first stop for preseason powder stoke, with the introduction of its 62nd annual winter sports film, Warren Miller’s . . . Like There’s No Tomorrow. Narrated by Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley and shot on location on five continents . . . Like There’s No Tomorrow celebrates the moments that make up a perfect winter. Tour the world’s most inspiring snowy landscapes, from the rugged peaks of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington to the legendary powder of Squaw Valley, California; from the striking Himalayas in Gulmarg, India to the southern hemisphere’s highest peak in Portillo, Chile. Alaska. Utah. Colorado. New Zealand. Norway. It’s all here, just waiting for you to fill in the blank. Watch world-class athletes – including Chris Davenport, Julia Mancuso, Daron Rahlves, Colby West and Seth Wescott – drop lines most of us only see in our dreams and learn, frame by- frame how to live . . . Like There’s No Tomorrow.

Parade Float

Mardi Gras in Breckenridge

People waving on Mardi Gras float in Breckenridge ColoradoMardi Gras is coming to Breckenridge this Tuesday, February 21st. Mardi Gras is a longtime Breckenridge tradition complete with a banquet, parade and plenty of parties, Cajun food and good times! Breckenridge is known for its crazy parties like Ullr Fest and Kingdom Days. Mardi Gras is one more example of how Breckenridge loves to let its hair down.

Come this Tuesday to the Main Street Procession and cheer on the floats and revelers that will be making their way down Breckenridge’s Main Street starting at 4:30 p.m. This Saturday come to the Bacchus Ball, Dress in a tux or come in casual, eat an authentic Cajun Buffet and dance the night away to the sounds of Hazel Miller!

Bacchus Ball: Saturday February 18, 2012
Info: The evening will feature dancing, drinks, great Nawlins style cuisine and the crowning of the Rex and Queen. Music by Hazel Miller!
Where: Beaver Run Resort –  Breckenridge Ballroom
When: 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Attire: Summit County Formal a.k.a. anything goes! Guests can wear a Mardi Gras costume, formal ball gown or a favorite mask and pair of blue jeans.
Cost: $55 per person or $100 per couple. Cost includes a New Orleans style buffet dinner and a cash bar available. Beads, boas and masks for sale at the event.
To Buy Tickets:  Buy them in person at the Breckenridge Welcome Center, 203 S. Main St. or visit to buy tickets or call 970.453.5055. Guests will need to give a credit card number over the phone.
This is a 21 and older event and is produced by the Breckenridge Resort Chamber.
Mardi Gras Procession on Main Street and Fat Tuesday Celebration: Tuesday February 21, 2011
Info: The procession will start on North Main Street and Watson Avenue and head south to Park Avenue.
When: 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Looking for a place to stay for Fat Tuesday? visit to find the best deals on Breckenridge lodging!

Gondola closed sign

Weekend Activities in Breckenridge

"Gondola Closed" sign at Breckenridge Ski ResortBreckenridge is hopping this weekend and there are a ton of fun things to do. From Skiing and snowboarding to partying in the bars on Breckenridge’s Main Street and everything in between there is something for everyone. Here are just a few fun activities for you to consider:

Tin Shop Guest Artist Program
Info: Guest artist Stuart Bremner is a sculptor who works with recognizable forms that allow him to convey ideas about perception.
Location: 117 E. Washington Ave
When:  every Thursday, Friday & Saturday, February 3rd – February 19th, 2 – 6 p.m..
Contact: 970-453-3364

Backstage Theatre Presents a World Premier “The Wedding Eve”
Info: A hilarious new screwball comedy about love, lies and lunacy during the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Location: Breckenridge Theatre, 121 S. Ridge St.,
When: Thursdays, 7:30 pm; Friday & Saturday’s, 7:30 p.m., Sunday’s at 6:30 p.m.
Contact: Call 970-453-0199 for reservations.

Applause! Presents: Oscar Night at the Movies – Speakeasy Movie Theatre
Info: Showing one of the Oscar Best of Film nominees for the 2012 awards. Come early for wine, apps & the 50/50 raffle.
Location: 103 S. Harris St.
When: Monday, February 6th, 6 p.m.
Contact:  970-453-9142

Open Studio at Quandary Antiques Cabin
Info: Designed for ceramic enthusiasts that have some clay experience. Work on a project of your choice.
Location: 131 S. Ridge Street
When: Monday, February 6th, 5 p.m., and Thursday, February 9th, at 2 p.m.
Contact: 970-453-3364

Parent’s Night Out at the Breckenridge Recreation Center
Info: ages 5 – 12. Want to get out for a few hours without the kids? Drop your child off for a night of climbing, gym games, swimming, and other activities. We’ll even have dinner prepared.
When: Saturday, February 4th, 5 – 7:45 p.m.
Contact: 970-453-1734

The Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships, Presented by Cadillac
Info: Sculptures up through Sunday, February 5th – Riverwalk Center

If you would like to plan a trip to Breckenridge contact Breckenridge Discount Lodging. We are your source for Breckenridge deals, Breckenridge discounts and Breckenridge recreation. Give us a call at toll free1-866-476-2311 or visit


Speakeasy Movie Theater logo

The Speakeasy Movie Theatre – a Great Escape After Skiing

Logo of the Speakeasy Movie Theatre in Breckenridge Looking for something to do after skiing in Breckenridge? How about a movie? Breckenridge has a really cool local movie theater that is worth checking out especially if you are thinking of having a drink as a reward for a hard day of skiing and snowboarding.

Located on 103 South Harris Street and in the heart of the Breckenridge Arts District, The Speakeasy Performing Arts Theater and multi-functional venue offers an intimate movie-viewing experience!

The Speakeasy is proud to announce their new Speakeasy Lounge – now serving beer and wine before, during, and after the show! It’s a great place to meet friends for a pre-show glass of wine, or stay after to discuss your impressions of the film. The theater is open daily with showings at 5pm and 8pm, and also matinee specials on Saturday and Sunday. For details on what movie is currently showing or upcoming movies, visit