What are ski towns like in the summer?

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I’ve always wondered what ski towns were like in the summer. Are they abandoned ghost towns? How do they attract visitors when it’s not cold?

This June, I spent some time in a few ski towns near Denver: Dillon, Keystone, Silverthorne, Georgetown. So what’s the ski town secret to pulling in summer tourist money?

Bacon, evidently.

One resort offered a Bacon Tour with live music and games. I want to laugh at the idea that anyone would travel to a ski town for a bacon convention. But I can’t, because I’m too busy salivating. Much like the Sauerkraut Festival in Vermont, the Bacon Tour in Colorado sounds so bizarre that it must be fun. Hell yes, I’d attend.

blue-ribbon-bacon-tour

The town of Dillon came up with another way to attract visitors in summer: Booze. And bluegrass music. Hell yes, I’d attend.

dillon-bluegrass-fest

Keystone stayed busy with a number of conventions going on (TBEX, holla!), but even so, there were still times when the gondolas were totally deserted.

empty-gondolas

keystone-gondolas

The same was true of the ski lifts in a nearby town. No one’s going to ski on those little patches of snow!

empty-ski-lift

Miniature golf is another way to lure in guests. But this course is about as lame as they come. As you can see, no one took the bait.

mini-golf

Summer is the best time to ride bikes through the mountains. I encountered a gaggle of bikers on my last day in Colorado.

bikers-keystone

When the sun comes, the cabins and resorts turn their focus to summer activities.

colorado-cabins

For Dillon and Silverthorne residents, that means boating and fishing on the lake! What fantastic views.

dillon-lake-1

dillon-lake-2

dillon-lake-3

This ski rental shop in Silverthorne didn’t have much luck attracting guests since there wasn’t any snow around. Someone come buy a jacket! Please?

virgin island ski rentals

I guess there’s only so much ski towns can do to seek out visitors in the summer. Fortunately, they only have a few short months before things get cold and snowy again.

ski-statue

 

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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Chicago-based journalist and blogger who seeks out quirky sights and awesome destinations throughout North America and beyond.

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