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in Telluride

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Nestled in a box canyon amid the towering peaks of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, the resort town of Telluride is surrounded by slopes that were until recently best suited for expert skiers. But Telluride Ski Resort's "Prospect Bowl," after a $14 million investment, now provides conditions suitable for all abilities, with runs varying from "serene to extreme." 

For the non-skier, there is still plenty to enjoy in this historic former mining town. The Telluride Film Festival, held each Labor Day weekend, is in its fourth decade of operation, and grows more exclusive and acclaimed each year. The annual Telluride Bluegrass festival draws big names and sellout crowds during the summer solstice. The twelve-by-six-block town itself -- a National Historic Landmark District -- is suffused with Victorian charm, and nearby hiking trails range past the ruins of old mining operations and awe-inspiring waterfalls. 

Winter sports are still the main draw. The 1,700 acres of skiable terrain are crisscrossed with a seemingly inexhaustible network of runs. A free commuter gondola connects the town of Telluride with the modern resort of Mountain Village, some 1,000 feet above.