Telluride: Off Season Interpreted


J. James McTigue

In school we learn about the four seasons, the ones everyone knows about. But in life we learn that the weather, or anything really, just isn’t that neat and tidy. There is a lot of in between. Different places have particular seasons unto themselves. The ‘other’ season may be the rainy season, harvest season, or hurricane season. In Telluride, it’s Off Season.

Off Season is the time when the lifts close and skiing on Telluride Mountain is officially over.  Residents have two basic choices—get out of town or embrace the quiet. Some eagerly head somewhere warm, excited to exchange their ski boots for flip-flops. Others stay in Telluride to embrace the quiet lull after a frantic ski season. Still others opt for choice c — make it up as you go. Walking down Main Street on Tuesday, there was evidence of all of the above.


Sweet Life Erland Greulich sat in the only place in town where there was still a line, The Steaming Bean. He was in no hurry to get out of town. “It’s my favorite time,” he said. “Most of the time, it’s the best snow, you just have to earn your turns. I love the quietness of town.”

Further east on Main Street, Jodi at the Toggery had quite a different view. “It’s probably more dead than the fall,” she noted. “The fall has colors…[the spring] it’s just melting dog poop.” Anyone walking around town in the spring, can’t help but chuckle and nod their head at her sentiment. Jodi will stay busy though; she has ordered a brew kit and screen-printing kit. And, she’ll be working at the Toggery from 10:00 to 6:00. They’re staying open.

Priscilla Gillies sat in front of the Coffee Cowboy, soaking up the mid-morning sun. “This is heaven,” she said, “everyone’s left.” After enjoying a respite from kids and grandkids, she and hubby Scott, are headed on a two-month adventure that will include The Grand Canyon, the desert and Chicago. “We don’t get back til June,” she said. “We’ll figure it out, we’re not on a big schedule.” As I continued on my way to collect interviews, she laughed and said, “Good luck finding people.”

Up the sidewalk, I was surprised to bump into a tourist sitting on the bench outside of The Nugget Theater. Blaine Ricketts, from Columbia, TN, was passing through Telluride after his son’s wedding in Moab. He seemed happy enough sitting on the bench looking at the end of the canyon, but his wife answered that they didn’t much like off season in Telluride. “The shops are closed and we were hoping we could still ride the Gondola,” she replied. Blaine agreed and answered that if he lived in Telluride during off season, he’d fly fish.

Everyone I chatted with seemed to have figured the season out for themselves, even the Rickettses from Tennessee. And, maybe, that’s just what off season is for. 

To hear other perspectives about Off Season in Telluride; click play to watch the video.



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