With the ski season wrapped up, many locals are headed out of town, freshly vaccinated and in search of warmer weather, or just a change of scenery. But others have decided to stay in town this year to enjoy the empty streets and trails, and maybe take a short weekend trip to the desert.
For those choosing to stay in Telluride to reset and recharge in March and April, there are some locals’ specials to make mud season feel more like a stay-at-home vacation.
This spring, the View Bar and Grill at Mountain Lodge in Mountain Village is keeping its doors open and offering a special menu for offseason. Menu items include falafel and hummus, burgers, tacos, fresh salads, wings, roasted duck, fish and chips, and crème brûlée.
The View is open for lunch and early dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 11a.m. to 6 p.m.
It was a two-part decision to keep the restaurant open, Sam Barnes, director of sales at Mountain Lodge, told the Planet. Although Mountain Village isn’t the most happening of spots during offseason, Barnes hopes keeping the View open will liven up the area.
“We recognized that there was a need for more dining options in the Village,” he said.
But the most important reason to remain open is to keep their staff employed.
“We wanted to keep them working. We know it's been a tough time for a lot of people; and we wanted to keep paying them and keep them working through the offseason,” Barnes added.
With Telluride and Mountain Village relatively devoid of tourists, locals can enjoy the stone fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking San Sophia ridge away from crowds.
As the snow starts to melt, the poolside deck provides another open-air gathering space.
If people are looking for a more festive evening, the View also installed a new yurt at the poolside yard that is available to rent for private gatherings or dinners.
In the future, Barnes hopes to hold more events in the space, but for now they are avoiding holding large gatherings.
“I think we’re too early for that still,” he said.
Although vaccination rates in Telluride are promising — as of press time Friday, 41.4 percent of San Miguel County residents have been fully vaccinated — the pandemic is still ongoing.
For Elena Levin, owner of Ghost Town, offseason was a time to reset. The two weeks of closures are less of a vacation, but rather a time to finish ongoing projects at the coffee shop.
“I stayed in town because there’s no shortage of work to do when we’re closed. But I also needed a little down time after this wild year--just a little time to do nothing, to worry about nothing,” she told the Planet.
After more than a year of Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions, Levin was just happy to be able to drink coffee inside Ghost Town and remove her mask since customers aren’t coming in.
“This past year has been so exhausting in the weirdest ways. Partially, I think, because we haven’t been able to replenish our buckets in the normal ways. I’ve been running on empty for a while,” Levin added.
Locals going through toast and cortado withdrawals, fear not: Ghost Town reopens Monday April 19, and so does Butcher and the Baker. Baked in Telluride will also open its doors again on April 21.
Brown Dog Pizza is remaining open with limited hours (Mon. - Fri. 3-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.). Coffee Cowboy and the Cornerhouse Grill are also staying open through the offseason. The full list of closures and updated opening hours is available on telluride.com.
Pretty soon, visitors will return and Main Street will be thronged, but there are still a few more weeks of quiet before the summer season begins in earnest.