The South Park area of Colorado lies in the approximate geographic center of Colorado surrounded by the 14,000 ft. peaks of the Mosquito and Park Mountain Ranges. South Park may just be one of the best kept ‘secrets’ in Colorado. In 2009, President Barack Obama signed a bill designating the South Park National Heritage area in recognition of the area’s natural resources and historic significance.
With very low population density in the valley, space is ample with room to explore without crossing the paths of other visitors. There is a rich mining history, gorgeous scenery, and endless year-round recreational opportunities. Downhill skiing and snowboarding is a quick and scenic 30-minute drive to Breckenridge, located on the other side of the Continental Divide over Hoosier Pass. A few other adventures include fishing in numerous gold medal rivers, hiking, Jeeping, and gold mining.
Along Colorado Highway 285 corridor of South Park, about 90 miles south of Denver, lies the historic town of Fairplay, and the historic Fairplay-Valiton Hotel. The Fairplay-Valiton Hotel was designed and completed in 1922 in the popular Rustic style of the time and sits on the site of the original Valiton Hotel initially built in the boom times of mining (1873), but it burned to the ground in 1921. The Older Valiton Hotel and the newer Fairplay-Valiton Hotel have a long history of the local legend, hosting diverse events bene ting the community, and yes, the current hotel still has a few ghost stories which still linger. Stepping into the grand lobby of the hotel brings you back 150 years in time, with its creaky wooden doors and historic artifacts yet include all the modern conveniences needed for a comfortable stay.
The Fairplay-Valiton hotel is a popular destination for travelers touring through Colorado, as well as skiers, recreation enthusiasts and visitors looking to attend the many festivals and events that take place throughout the year, which include South Park Trail Half/Full Marathon, Festival in the Clouds music and arts fest and Burro Days…a festival and race event celebrating the role of the burro from the mining days, an example of how Colorado thrives on fun, quirky events.
The hotel boasts 20 guest rooms, a cozy restaurant, bar, and billiards table (the bar itself is from the neighboring town of Alma, and dates back to the late 1800’s). The location is a hot spot among locals and tourists alike. Guests enjoy a free continental breakfast daily. Each uniquely styled guest room, decorated with antiques, features satellite TV, free Wi-Fi access, and requisite mountain views. There are some great restaurants within walking distance as well as the new South Park Brewery,
Maybe you would like to stay full time. The hotel and bar/restaurant was recently listed for sale and the current owner is looking for a qualified owner/operator who will help continue the rich tradition of the hotel for both locals and the community at large.
~ Rick Eisenberg
Rick Eisenberg is a Summit County Local and Colorado Licensed REALTOR®, Cornerstone Real Estate Co., LLC, RE@colorado.net