Cousins Mel Yemma and Chris Yemma in the gondola at Telluride CO

Cousins Mel Yemma and Chris Yemma in the gondola at Telluride CO

By Chris Yemma

Taking the Kids Special Correspondent

TELLURIDE, Colo. — Skiing down the “Galloping Goose,” it hit me — Telluride has something for everyone, even the 1 percent A-listers.

A little off the beaten path from Denver and places like Aspen and Vail, Telluride Ski Resort and its neighboring town have everything anyone could ask for. From high-end lodging like the Auberge Residences at Element 52, to more affordable condos and hotels in the village, to some of the most primo real estate east of Hollywood, it’s no wonder the place is gaining steam in popularity, including with the A-listers.

Yes, I’m from Los Angeles and celebs are always a hot topic. But when it comes to Kim Kardashian’s next reality TV jaunt to the mountains, I always pictured Aspen or Vail as the go-to destination. Perhaps that’s the perception the locals would like to keep.

Skiing down the “Galloping Goose” — the mountain’s longest run at 4.6 miles — gave me ample time to ponder the finer points of life while trying to prevent my fingers and toes from procuring frostbite. Once you get near the base, you enter into what appears to be the Hollywood Hills of Telluride. McMansions tucked away on the slopes tucked away in an uber-exclusive part of the town.

Turns out I was right. Tom Cruise, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah, Samuel L. Jackson — these are just a few of the A-listers who have homes in Telluride, I found out from a few locals. Countless more names they rattled off. But the funny thing is, you would never know it…or at least I wouldn’t have.

And that’s just the thing. Telluride is low key, which is why these celebs love it. They can get out of the spotlight and just ski. The paparazzi aren’t high-tailing it on snowmobiles after them. Sometimes, low key is what we all want — it’s essential on vacation. That’s why Telluride works.

“It’s such a beautiful place with everything you could ask for and that you find at other major resorts, but it’s low key,” said Fawnda Rogers, the women’s week coordinator and a personal ski instructor for the resort. “The town is not like Park City during Sundance or Aspen for other festivals — it’s more manageable.”

But low key doesn’t mean minor league. The mountain is a massive 2,000+ acres, with a perfect ratio of advanced to intermediate terrain (41%-36%). And it’s got a gondola — always a plus in my book — the true sign of a standout ski resort. The nightlife is there if you want it, and the dining can be casual all the way up to gourmet.

Our weeklong odyssey through Colorado, which started in Crested Butte, culminated at Telluride with an epic dumping of snow. It was much needed in a trip of icy runs that proved difficult to navigate on a snowboard. On our last day of skiing / snowboarding, the mountain received nearly a foot of the good stuff, which leaves you wanting more.

But with summer around the corner, I’m going to have to check this place out sans snow. I hear the festivals are amazing. I just hope I don’t run into any paparazzi.