During Leadville’s silver boom heyday starting in 1879, people from near and far flocked to the highest incorporated city in North America seeking riches and fame. Denver may be the Mile High City, but Leadville is the two-mile-high community once considered as a possibility for Colorado’s capital. Located 100 miles from Denver, Leadville is easily accessed on Highway 24 via the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway.
Not only is this Colorado mountain town within a reasonable distance to Colorado’s Front Range, its adjacent to Summit and Eagle counties, location of several ski areas. For example, Copper Mountain is 23 miles while Vail is a trek of 44 miles, making Leadville a budget-friendly base camp for fun year-round gatherings.
However, you don’t have to leave town to enjoy a beautiful mountain playground. Local ski area, Ski Cooper, is just 10 minutes outside of Leadville. Groups also should consider Tennessee Pass Cookhouse and Nordic Center, where hiking, skiing or snowshoeing one mile to the Cookhouse’s yurt for a four-course dinner is especially memorable. During summer and fall, there are all sorts of water sports on the Arkansas River and nearby Twin Lakes, biking, horseback riding and more that groups can tap into.
Leadville has remained largely undiscovered by many groups and leisure travelers and has a charming historic downtown district filled with shopping and dining options to roam. Freight is the town’s flagship meetings and events venue and can hold up to 240, with 13 cabins available for overnight lodging. The town’s opulent Tabor Opera House, built by silver baron Horace Tabor in 1879, is being restored and currently offers tours and performances. In the future, there will be function space on the second floor.
To give attendees an additional taste of authentic western heritage, book a stagecoach ride or visit the National Mining Museum and Hall of Fame, Heritage Museum, Tabor Home, Matchless Mine and other local attractions. Groups also are sure to enjoy an excursion on the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad along the Arkansas River Valley and taking part in Lamplight Tours (cemetery, ghost and mining district) with a local historian. Two key local events are Leadville Boom Days and Leadville Ski Joring and Crystal Carnival.