LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – A lot of people might be surprised to know that Colorado has more than 130 “lost” ski resorts.
Littleton couple Caryn and Peter Boddie spent a year and half writing two books on the topic.
Their travels took them all over the state — including places like Georgetown, Estes Park, Tabernash, Cheyenne Mountain and even Greeley.
One book explores old resorts on the Front Range and northern mountains. The other looks at the state’s central and southern mountains.
“Sometimes you’d go to a small town and go to the coffee shop or something and say ‘Is there anybody that knows about the ski area at the edge of town?’ They’d look at you like ‘There was a ski area at the edge of town?’ But you’d eventually find some old timer and sometimes they didn’t know anything or remember and other times it would be the motherload of info,” Peter told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
The Boddies say ski fever hit Colorado in the early 1900s when a Norwegian by the name of Carl Howelsen built a ski jump on Inspiration Point in Denver. Then, in 1914 they held an exhibition.
“There were thousands and thousands of people that came … 20,000. They came in their Model Ts and wagons,” said Caryn.
The excitement spread west to Genessee where another ski jump was built. In 1920 the area hosted the National Ski Tournament of America.
The Boddies also profile resorts that have closed more recently. Berthod Ski Area closed in 2001, but visitors can still clearly make out the old ski runs.
“Berthoud was the place to be. It was the most popular ski area, and I think it opened in the 30s before the war and then was even more popular after WWII,” Peter said. “People went there to see and be seen. It was just a beloved area.”
The Boddies books are full of old photographs and historical articles that they say tell the story beneath the story when it comes to Colorado skiing.