Insider, local knowledge is key if you’re looking to tick off all the must-do activities, see all the highlights and have an authentic experience on your next ski trip. Locals are chock full of ideas and inspiration to make your ski trip unforgettable, so who better to tap for insider guidance, than the local lodging concierges, staff members and managers? That’s why we’ve created a new Blog series: Concierge Conversations, where you can glean great destination-based tips and recommendations and learn a bit more about some of the area’s top lodging options.

We tapped the Mountainside Inn’s General Manager, Heather White, who’s lived in Telluride for 12 years, to answer a couple questions about her favorite aspects of her homebase and place of work.

A few of Heather’s favorite things What drew you to Telluride originally what kept you there?

HW: We began coming to Ouray for spring vacations and ended up purchasing a condo in Mountain Village because my husband loved the many sunny days and mild atmosphere we experience in Telluride, along with the spectacular surroundings. What are your three favorite things to do in Telluride in the winter?

HW: Cross-country ski the valley floor, downhill ski on the resort and snowshoe at Trout Lake. In your opinion, what are some secrets or lesser known facts/attributes about Telluride that visitors should know?

HW: Via Ferrata is a well-kept secret, although it takes some skill and gumption to traverse this. Trout Lake is very pleasant and enjoyable to hike, ride bikes, cross country ski or snowshoe. Galloping Goose, although a green run and 4.6 miles long is a surprising treat for every ability level. Put it on your list when you come to Telluride. In your opinion, what are some secrets or lesser known facts/attributes about the Mountainside Inn?

HW: Mountainside Inn was the first large scale hotel built in Telluride and it housed the workers who built Lift 7 (Coonskin Lift). Thus, it was originally named the Coonskin Inn. It was built as a hotel and later became a “condo-tel” whereby private owners purchased the units and formed an HOA which exists to this day. If you could only ski or ride one run at Telluride for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

HW: Most definitely “See Forever”. I never get tired of this long, lustrous, run that you can ski ‘safe’ or ‘all out’. You can see everything from this perch. When guests ask you for the local’s scoop on apre`s-ski/dining/nightlife what do you recommend and why?

HW: For those on a budget (and we have many of these guests at Mountainside Inn) and my favorite spots, I usually suggest Oak at the Gondola Plaza and Brown Dog pizza for either apres-ski or dinner. Oak is the only place that has many different and tasty apps and offers chicken fried steak as well. He uses real cream in the gravy and the potatos. So very tasty. Nightlife music is scarce with Fly Me To the Moon Saloon no longer in existence. Other don’t miss nightlife spots: the Nugget Theater and Rico’s (a very quiet bar). Also, the evening walking tours like the Art Walk and Historic Walk are great alternatives if you aren’t looking to get too rowdy, but still want to enjoy the town. When guests ask you for recommendations for family experiences what’s your go-to itinerary and don’t-miss spots/restaurants and why?

HW: Smuggler, Oak, Brown Dog, Corner-house Grill in town, Tomboy Tavern in Mtn Vlg. Smuggler, Cornerhouse and Oak have a varied delicious menu with casual atmosphere, which lends itself to families with children. Brown Dog is an award-winning pizza joint that never disappoints and has hand-made pasta and sandwiches. Their spinach-artichoke dip is the best in town. Concerning experience, the Historical Museum, Wilkinson Library is always a crowd pleaser, as well as Town Park and the skating, snowshoe, cross country rentals and lessons they provide. When guests ask you for recommendations for upscale experiences what’s your go-to itinerary and don’t –miss spots/restaurants and why?

HW: Allred’s, Alpino Vino and New Sheridan restaurant have the most wonderful après-ski and dining for those who have the means. Not only are views stupendous, but in the case of NSR, the food is exquisite and delicately flavored. Upscale ski experiences include Telluride Helitrax heli skiing and guided backcountry. What winter event or time of ski season do you look forward to most and why?

HW: I love spring skiing, as the snow is a different texture and the air is warmer. I am a blue bird day skier, so any not too cold day with sunshine or partly cloudy is perfect. What do you think makes the Mountainside Inn popular?

HW: Our claim to fame is that we are the most economically priced Inn in this town and we are very close to Lift 7 and downtown. We have the most pet friendly units in any one property in Telluride as well. If I had one week to ski and could go anywhere in Colorado to ski, why would I choose Telluride?

HW: This is a no-brainer. Telluride has no lift lines. Once you arrive, you can ski all day with no waits. There are no substantial waits in the restaurants even when they are bustling during peak holiday periods. The character and makeup of the San Juan Mountains are unrivaled by any other range in Telluride. The layout of the town is unlike any other ski village in Colorado and has retained a real ‘small town’ feel. The contrast of the Town of Telluride and Mountain Village affords a wider array of experience and many guests prefer one over the other which is very nice.

Ready to book your stay at the Mountainside Inn at Telluride? Our 70+ Mountain Travel Experts are standing by for your call at 800-610-8911.