Keystone, Colorado: 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

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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.

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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.

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About Quirky Travel Guy

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based freelance writer & fan of indie rock, road trips, ice cream, squirrels on power lines, runaway shopping carts, and six-way intersections. Looking for a hotel? I always recommend Booking.com where you can easily compare hotel rooms, prices, and availability. Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, which may earn me a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.

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13 Comments

  1. I just got back from Telluride and was impressed by how much they have going on there in the summer time. There are major festivals almost every weekend, plenty of hikes, and all of the restaurants and bars were packed with people. This is probably heretical of me to say as a Coloradoan, but I think I like the ski towns BETTER in the summer.

  2. Wonderful post! Loved those ski lifts and the miniature golf course looks cute! But those lakes with overlooking mountains are the best captures.
    Have a nice day Scott 🙂

  3. Holy moly, a bacon convention – that’s a real thing?! It sounds right up my alley – a couple years ago, my bf gave me a gift box of 7 different bacons for Christmas…best gift ever haha 🙂

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