Work Hard, Create Hard, Play Harder

Why Telluride is the Perfect Entrepreneurial Getaway

Steps from the slopes, Lumière with Inspirato gives you the freedom to ski between business phone calls and meetings thanks to their accommodating residences and staff.

Finding a work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat. Business executives who are married to their work, often forget to enjoy the life they are working so hard to achieve. This path can lead to stress, poor health, and broken relationships, which is why a number of working professionals are making more of a concerted effort to combine work with play.

However, business doesn’t stop just because working professionals need a break, which is why a destination that excels in both work and play is the perfect getaway.

Tucked away from the rest of the world, Telluride, Colorado and its neighboring town Mountain Village allows working professionals to disconnect and re-connect with ease. Telluride is a historic mining town set in a box canyon approximately 9,000 feet above sea level amidst Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Mountain Village is the newer area located about 1,000 feet above Telluride and only accessible by gondola. Both towns are a popular place for skiers and snowboarders to stay during the winter months. The mountains and small-town atmosphere reinvigorates the spirit, stimulates creativity, and promotes both mental and physical wellness. Unlike Aspen where people tend to go to be seen, Telluride is a place to go where people go to get away.

When presented the opportunity to work while traveling, there is an art to doing it successfully. For working professionals who like to plan their day-to-day schedule, blocking out “fun” time is a great way to mix business with pleasure. Planning a morning of skiing before diving into work can supercharge the entrepreneurial spirit.

To help execute the fine art of work hard, create hard, and play harder, I chose to stay at Lumière with Inspirato. Steps from the slopes, I was able ski between business phone calls and meetings thanks to the accommodating residences and staff.

The view of Mountain Village from Lumière with Inspirato

How to Get to Telluride: An important part of organizing a trip is how to get there. Part of the allure of Telluride is its exclusivity. The closest airport is located in Montrose, which is 1.5 hours away.

With group and private tour options, Telluride Express is the perfect start to this getaway. Guides not only pick guests up at Montrose Airport and drop them off, but they share the area’s rich history of old mining operations and fun facts — like how Telluride is the home of the hand-made Grammy Awards and the place where Butch Cassidy robbed his very first bank! Telluride Express guides make the long drive between Montrose to Telluride just as interesting as any guided tour.

Where to Stay: When planning a work-cation, one may automatically think to stay in town for easy access to resources and better connectivity. The soul of Telluride may reside in town, but the ski action (and the views) are up in Mountain Village.

Lumière with Inspirato is a boutique hotel and a true ski-in, ski-out chalet. The rooms have strong WiFi and cellular reception, and a residence-style setup with big tables that create a perfect working environment. Multiple rooms including a high-end kitchen, living room and dining room, makes this a family-friendly place that offers everything one would need to juggle work and fun.

The concierge team are highly skilled at recommending and setting up great experiences apart from skiing. They can organize restaurant reservations even during peak travel seasons. Lumière with Inspirato also has a Black Tie Ski service in-house, where they perform ski fittings on property, heat the skis up, and help skiers put them on and take them off and store them after a day on the slopes.

What to Do: Travelers tend to go to Telluride in the winter for scenic views of a winter wonderland and for the winter sports. One of the main attractions is Telluride Ski Resort, which offers more than 2,000 acres of varied and unmatched terrain for skiing and snowboarding. The mountain is perfect for everyone of all abilities. It has 148 trails, 17 lifts, and a balanced assortment of terrain.

For ski novices, Telluride Ski Resort runs an excellent ski school, providing very professional and well-organized training. Young and old, private or group, inbounds or back-country — Telluride Ski Resort’s seasoned instructors can help elevate your skiing skills. The resort provides one of the most comprehensive natural learning environments thanks to the mountain’s varied terrain. Beginner ski terrain includes a 4 1/2 mile run down from the summit (called Galloping Goose).

For advanced skiers, there are many bowls, chutes, cliffs and glades to explore. There are many self-contained areas for expert terrain, and the resort is also home to some of skiing’s best mogul runs. For super advanced skiers, Telluride Heli-Trax offers daily heli-skiing. The ski resort does an amazing job running the mountain. They are always maintaining snow powder, and despite the high season, there are never long lift-lines.

Where to Eat: Telluride and Mountain Village are home to the region’s finest culinary venues and country’s most celebrated chefs. Here travelers will find international-infused styles, new American, and local specialties such as elk and trout that gives them a taste of the area’s fauna and flora.

Allred’s Restaurant is Telluride’s flagship restaurant located at the top of the mountain, accessible via gondola. It offers incredible views of the scenic mountains where diners can watch the alpenglow for a memorable dining experience. The contemporary American cuisine, much of it sourced from Colorado and beautiful views makes it one of Telluride’s most notable restaurants.

Brown Dog Pizza is unique as the town of Telluride itself. With football jerseys and TV screens all around the walls, it’s a perfect place to have a slice of pizza and watch sports after finishing playing sports.

SideWork is a cozy restaurant with interior design evokes the style of a 1920s speakeasy. It is a very small restaurant with very good food, so be sure to book in advance or have hotel concierge see if they can arrange a reservation.

COSMOpolitan is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike. Owner and chef Chad Scothorn pays homage to fusion, bringing together French, Southwestern, Thai and American cooking styles, and whenever possible, locally sourced ingredients.

Alpino Vino is the highest elevation fine-dining restaurant in North America at nearly 12,000 feet. The Italian Alpine gourmet comfort food warms the soul after a day outside skiing. The exterior multi-tiered deck offers fantastic views of the Wilson Range, while its interior wood burning fireplace provides comfort and relaxation in a rustic setting that rivals the finest restaurants in Northern Italy.

Restaurants from left to right: SideWorks, Alpino Vino, and New Sheridan Chop House

Best Time to Go: The best time to visit depends on the seasonal activities one is interested in. Both Telluride and Mountain Village are beautiful in every season, though spring and fall are generally short-lived.

From mid-November to early April, snow sport enthusiasts flock to Mountain Village to play on the world-renown slopes. From mid-June to August, travelers make the trek to see the town’s popular festivals and experience outdoor activities including hiking trails, kayaking and whitewater rafting. Spring and fall are generally not as crowded, though many businesses close during these times so it’s best to double-check and plan ahead.

A change of office scenery is just what working professionals need to battle work burnout. Book a workcation and stay at the Lumière with Inspirato. Their staff can help create a wonderful itinerary that suits work-life balance needs.