Breckenridge: A Mountain Under Occupation


Since Breckenridge opened under ownership of a Kansas lumber dealer in 1961, most operators gave the resort little support, which caused it to lag behind in amenities-but not skier visits.
1970 Aspen Skiing Company purchases the ski area from Denver businessman Harry Baum and expands onto two adjacent peaks. In 1982, Breckenridge installed the world's first high-speed detachable quad chairlift, starting the industry's lift revolution.
1988 A Japanese conglomerate, Victoria Company, Ltd., begins a four-year ownership marked by a cheapness due to a stalled homeland economy. The resort broke the million-skier mark in 1987-88.
1993 Ralston Purina, a $9 billion multinational and owner of Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, becomes the resort's fifth operator. A year later, the company places its resort division on the market.
1997 Ralston's operations merge with Vail and Beaver Creek to form Vail Resorts, the largest mountain resort company in North America. VR invests $18 million in Breckenridge, most in the area's history. In the 1999/00 season, Breckenridge tallies 1.46 million skier visits, surpassing parent Vail as the most popular resort in the U.S. for the second consecutive season, though Vail did bounce back last year to regain the crown.