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The area where one of the world's most beautiful ski resort towns lies, was for many years inhabited by the Ute Indians. The tribe lived off of the land; they were hunters of the area's abundance of elk, deer, and fish.
Europeans first made it onto the scene when Spanish explorers made their way through the area in the late 1700s. Upon discovering that the mountains provided not just beauty, but also major minerals like zinc, iron, lead, copper...and the big one--gold, the gold rush came into effect and the area boomed with energy.
As people were heading west, Telluride began being settled and the town was officially founded in 1880. For a short time it was called Columbia, but the name changed supposedly named after a mineral called tellurium.
It was the gold rush that brought the first big influx of people to Telluride. Because of this, commerce sprouted up in no time. But the mining craze wasn't to last forever. In more recent years, the area's beauty and ideal mountains for downhill skiing, transformed the once-mining town into a tourist town. Since the 1970s, it has built up with the tourist in mind. Skiers now flock here to hit the slopes, many love it so much that they never leave.