Eat, Sleep, Play: Crested Butte


Breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can’t go wrong with a stop at The Sunflower Deli at 214 Elk Avenue (970-349-6866). Seven days a week, it opens at 6 a.m. with espresso, pastries, and hearty breakfast options; Tuesday through Saturday, it stays open until dinner. The menu constantly changes and in true farm-to-table style, dinners here include as much local and fresh ingredients as possible (even in the winter). We recommended you make reservations (there’s not much room to wait inside). For parties of one or two, the bar’s first-come, first-serve. If you’re in town during happy hour, hit up Montanya Distillers ( This mountain distillery produces three different kinds of barrel-aged rum using all-natural ingredients. Small tastes of each of the smooth rum offerings are available at no charge, but chances are you’ll want to order full pour on its own, or as a part of one of the many exceptional craft cocktails available in the tasting room, which also serves small food plates.


What was once Croatian Hall, where local miners grabbed a drink after a hard day in the coal mines, has found  new life as one of the premier lodging establishments in the Butte. Now called Scarp Ridge Lodge and owned by the Eleven Experience (, the building has been beautifully renovated and offers low-key, luxury amenities and as much or as little service you want. The layout feels more like a home than a hotel, with a comfortable front lobby leading into an open kitchen where in-house Lead Breakfast Chef and Culinary Staff Coordinator, Brittany Pankey, and her team keep guests fueled for a big day on the slopes or comfortably satisfied for hanging around town. The rooftop hot tub looks out over the town and upon the town’s towering namesake mountain butte.



Leave your climbing skins in the car and go cat skiing with the Eleven Experience Guides. A 10-person cat snags clients from Scarp Ridge Lodge and chugs 11 miles to the ghost/mountain home town of Irwin, which magically hoards more snow than the nearby groomed slopes, getting blasted with an average of 600 inches each year. The cat stops at the cozy Movie Cabin complete with a crackling fire and hot drinks. But the real treat here is the underfoot: You will lap up 10,000-15,000 vertical feet of untracked, depending on how much time you want to spend in the cabin. Back in town, Crested Butte Mountain Resort ( offers a range of deals on lodging and lift tickets throughout the season, so stay tuned to the resort’s deal page to take advantage of the budget-friendly options here.

—Cameron Martindell

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