The Colorado Jazz Musicians Festival is a welcome addition to an already impressive array of events that is sure to grow year after year!
The Town of Crested Butte is fondly referred to as ‘The Gateway to the Elk Mountains.’ It sits at an elevation of 8,885 feet and is located 28 miles north of the City of Gunnison. Crested Butte and the surrounding area was originally the summer home to the Ute Indians. Miners were present in the area as early as the 1860’s. In 1873, geologist Ferdinand V. Hayden was on an expedition surveying the Elk Mountains. From the top of what is today known as Teocalli Mountain, Hayden referred to present day Crested Butte Mountain and Gothic Mountain as the “crested buttes”, which became the Town’s namesake.
Howard F. Smith, the founding father of Crested Butte, laid out the Town by 1878. Crested Butte got its start as a mining town in the 1880s. It was once called “the town that wouldn’t die” because of its ability to survive the booms and busts of Colorado’s mining days. The valley is also home to long-time ranching families that still graze their cattle in local pastures. Don’t be surprised if you see a cattle drive making its way down the valley’s main highway!
As a historic district, strict regulations oversee the expansion and improvements of the town and help to keep the main street, Elk Avenue, free from traffic lights, franchises, and corporate megastores. Only locally owned retail establishments and restaurants as well as real estate and recreational shops exist and are all wood faced and hand painted for extra character. Like the early days of Crested Butte, the town still mostly survives the booms and busts of the seasons with extraordinary summer crowds and layed back winter guests. Since the early 1970’s Crested Butte has turned it’s focus on events and the arts to enhance the cultural community and create a place for creatives to congregate.