When my parents found the Telluride Valley, in the mid-’70s, it was like we discovered a rare exquisite jewel—and even though the town has changed so much (every empty square inch developed)—I’m sure for many people seeing it for the first time now, it somehow still holds that same allure.
My father, Jerry Wexler, was a very successful developer from Chicago. When he fell in love with Telluride, he had the opportunity to purchase and develop hundreds of thousands of acres. It would have meant many millions of dollars to him, but he chose not to. To him, as to me, Telluride was a refuge, a natural paradise, and he wanted to enjoy it that way. He didn’t want to be responsible for undoing the very thing that made it so beautiful and special.
It’s a haven for wildlife, a respite from fast food chains and corner malls. A place where you can imagine stepping back in time and letting the fresh air and open spaces carry your anxieties away.
But those open spaces are becoming endangered. It would be an irreversible mistake to develop the Valley Floor. The Valley Floor is our entrance; it sets the tone. At this point it is what keeps us from being like those other ski towns: “A mallwith a mountain.”
When I was young, I was never worried that Telluride would change so heartbreakingly because I was always told it was an “historic landmark,” so it couldn’t be destroyed—but we’ve all seen what greed and money can do and have done.
Please, please, please let’s not forget why we all love this precious place so much.
Let’s not allow our piece of heaven to be pillaged by those who will only take their money and move on to annihilate the next undiscovered paradise.
Let’s not be short sighted; this may very well be our last chance. Protect the Valley Floor and send a clear message….
“This mountain town ain’t sellin’ out!”