Over the course of our 2022 race season, we have explored many beautiful landscapes. With the help of Christi, Rachel, and fellow athletes, I have been able to learn about these environments as well as the people that call them home. Many small mountain towns have many similar characteristics. Crested Butte, Midway, and Leadville all seemed similar to me until the coaches were able to give me the context that I needed.
While many of these towns boast scenic ski resorts and more AirBnB's than actual homes, in the case of Leadville, this was not always the story. Leadville was a different kind of mountain town when both Christi and Rachel lived there. Surrounded by vacation towns, Leadville was home to many of the people supporting the ski resorts. This meant that a large portion of the town would commute hours everyday to towns like Aspen and Breckenridge.
These days, Leadville is experiencing a boom. Many people are moving to this secluded mountain town in search of an undiscovered Colorado paradise. This means that many of the original residents of Leadville have been pushed out to surrounding towns. Now they commute into Leadville to work.
This raises many questions regarding the nature of boom and bust towns. Are people really only allowed to live in a town based off the whim of a rich upper class? The people working restaurants and hotels should not have to change their entire lifestyle in order to support the people that necessitated that change in the first place. Ultimately this is a complex and multifaceted challenge that helps me to view these mountain towns in a new light
Madison Tinker and others of the University of Wyoming Ski Team