Breckenridge Resort
Breckenridge as seen from Keystone Resort.
Resort History:
Skiing off of Peak 9
10 Mile Station Cafeteria
Chair 6 Terrain
The trail: Crystal
The bottom of Peak 9
Overlooking Peak 7
The Imperial Bowl
Terrain off of the E Chair
Breck's famous T-bar
Current Resort Stats: *
The new BreckConnect
The Quicksilver Quad, the world's first
high-speed quad built by Doppelmayr.
Pros and Cons to Skiing Here:
+ Good intermediate terrain
- Huge weekend/holiday crowds
+ Great lift served high alpine bowl
- Lift lines long on main chairlifts
+ Terrain park is first class
- Area is very windy
+ Numerous slopeside
- Difficult to navigate between
Insider Tips to Skiing Here:
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*Resort Stats Current for 2009-10

The Colorado Ski Museum

Picture Credits:
Brad C.
Breck's Alpine Slide
The Snowflake's angle station.
The Horseshoe Bowl
Old Breckenridge Trail Maps:
The conception of building a ski resort in Breckenridge began during the late 1950's when Bill Rounds of the Porter and Rounds Lumber Company became interested in bringing skiing to the valley. He created an organization called the Summit County Development Corporation led by Claude Martin and Bill Starks. A report was issued by the U.S. Forest Service in April of 1961, which recommended terrain below timberline on Peak 8. According to Martin, initial plans called for four ski lifts, a four passenger gondola, air strip for executives, motels, lodges, apartments, ski shops, and restaurants.

The Peak 8 Ski Area opened on December 16, 1961 with one Heron double chair and a midway unloading station and one short learners T-bar.  Ticket prices were four dollars for an adult and two fifty for children.  Attendance ranged in the neighborhood of 17,000 skiers.The following year a 375-foot Constam double chair was installed up the "Mach One" trail. This season marked the first Ullr Dag festival, which included a ski parade, competitions and aerial tricks demonstrated by ski school instructors.  The festival came about because the majority of the ski school instructors were Norwegian.

In 1965, Chair 2 was installed by Heron, which terminated near the top of the current Colorado Super Chair. A base lodge was completed on Peak 8, but the structure was short lived. An explosion destroyed the building shortly after completion. While an exact cause was never determined, a gas leak was suspected. By 1967, Harry Baum from Arapahoe Basin was in charge of operations at the ski area and later purchased the resort. That same year, a poma lift was installed near the summit of Chair 2 to what is now the summit of Chair 6, serving high alpine bowl terrain. Skier visits topped over 140,000 people.

In 1970, Aspen Skiing Company purchased Breckenridge and Baum was retained as the manager. During the summer of 1971, two new double chairs were installed on Peak 9, along with multiple ski runs. The total cost of the expansion was 4.5 million dollars. In 1972, the popular C Chair was built with runs Union, Minnie, and Siverthorn Cutoff. Ticket prices topped six dollars per day with skier visits at 271,000 people.

By 1978, A, # 4, and D Chair were all installed providing access on Peak 9. That same year, Aspen Skiing Company was sold to Twentieth Century Fox, which had vast profits from the hit movie Star Wars. During the late 1970's, the alpine slide was constructed providing summer on-mountain activities. Chair 6 was installed in 1979, which provided easier access to some of Breckenridge's bowls. New runs included Quandry, Too Much, Steilhung, and Frosty's Freeway.

The season of 1980-81 marked a big drought for Breck when only 86 inches of natural now fell. Skier numbers fell to 195,000. Almost half the previous season.

The following summer, Breckenridge heavily invested in snowmaking operations to prevent poor conditions seen the previous year. The world's first high-speed quad was installed at the base of Peak 9 during the same year. The Doppelmayr Lift Company from Austria constructed the quad. To celebrate this milestone, Doppelmayr brought over a special brass band from Austria.

By 1983, ticket prices reached 19 dollars per day, with skier visits at 673,000 people. The E Chair was installed, provided better access to some of Brecks more challenging mogul runs off of Peak 9. The following season, the infamous T-bar made its debut up the Horseshoe Bowl; the old poma lift then retired. Ownership of Aspen Skiing Company changed when the Crown family purchased the operation from Fox in 1984.

Peak 10 opens for the first time the in 1985 with a new Poma quad chair called the F Lift. The chair was converted into a high-speed lift for the following ski season. Runs on this hill were named for WW II planes by mountain manager Jim Gill.

Peak 8 installs its first high-speed quad in 1986, replacing chair #1. The lift is called the Colorado Super Chair. Later that season, a large avalanche occurs on the Peak 7 Bowl, killing four skiers. Rescue efforts take days and news of the incident spreads across news stations. The terrain was considered out of bounds.

Skier visits topped 1 million people for the 1987-88 season. That same year, Breckenridge is sold to Victoria Ltd of Tokyo, Japan. Local residents were glad to welcome new owners. Many believed that Aspen exploited Breckenridge's revenue to support their own ski areas.

In 1990, the Mercury Super Chair was installed (now renamed the Beaver Run Chair). For the opening celebrations, astronauts John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Scott Carpenter, and Gordon Cooper attended. Lift tickets are now 36 dollars.

By 1993, Ralston Purina purchased the ski area long with Keystone and Arapahoe Basin. Between all three ski areas, they logged over 2.6 million skier visits. Vail Resorts (VR) purchased Breckenridge in 1996 along with Keystone. Now VR owned Beaver Creek, Vail, Arrowhead, Breckenridge and Keystone. That same year Poma was contracted to install the Snowflake double chair. This lift has a 45 degree turn about mid-way up the lift line. Vail's first major improvement was the replacement of the Quicksilver Quad with a double loading six-passenger chair built by Poma. This remains the first and only double loading lift in America.

In 2002, the long awaited Peak 7 terrain was developed. A six-passenger lift was installed to provide adequate capacity. The area is utilized by intermediate skiers that enjoy groomed terrain. The Peak 8 Super Connect was also installed this year by Poma. This quad replaces Chair 4.

For the 2005-06 season, the Imperial Express was built. This is now the highest lift in North America, taking the crown from Loveland's Chair #9. The lift tops out at over 12,840 feet.

To facilitate development at Peak 7, Shock Hill, and Peak 8 a new Leitner-Poma gondola opened during 2006. This system eliminated transport buses from the downtown parking areas to the ski area. To better integrate with the new developments, the Independence Express on Peak 7 was lowered to the midway station of the gondola. This now provides skiers a quick access to Peak 7 terrain.