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"I THINK MY FAMILY IS AT ITS BEST WHEN WE'RE IN THE MOUNTAINS IN CRESTED BUTTE."
- Cole Kissam, 15 years old
Being a family in Crested Butte is special. The mountains around the valley brings families together, whether it’s on the 8 minute lift ride up the Red Lady chairlift, or a bonding hike up to the peak of Mt. Crested Butte. Families grow here together. Some families learn to ski together here for a weekend, others come back year after year to celebrate the holidays, and others spend their lives here, raising children.
Kathryn Kissam, a long time visitor of Crested Butte, has watched her three boys get older with every visit from Louisiana. She knows they are safe here, and they can experience adventure without worrying.
“The best part of being a family in Crested Butte is that it has made us be so present as a family and we really are all authentic and doing things together. Laughing together, growing together, challenging one another, picking at each other, but it is just the essence of being a family here. We spend 5% of our time in Crested Butte every year but we’ve made 80% of our memories here.”
And Crested Butte is a kid’s paradise; there are an endless amount of activities to do. The adventure park on Mt. CB is a hit. Kids can challenge their parents to a round of mini golf or race to the top of the climbing wall.
Two regulars of the Adventure Park are the Bell children. Rebecca, their mother and the manager of Skier Services at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, says that now that her kids are older, they will go to the park on their own. But her favorite activity is anything they can do together, whether that be skiing in the winter or biking in the summer.
Rebecca has lived in Crested Butte for 19 years, and she explains that one of the best things about having a family here is the sense of community in the valley. In Crested Butte, “we all know each other, and we all look out for each other and each others kids.” Being a family in Crested Butte means being a part of a community family, not only for locals but for visitors, too!
Kathryn has experienced the same sense of community. She recalls the time her oldest son Cole took a tumble while skiing and ended up in the clinic. “I had 40 missed calls on my phone, all from people who knew us and were looking out for us.” She explains the feeling of being a part of the larger community family in Crested Butte. It felt right.
Now, Kathryn has hopes for the future. “My biggest hope is for our family to have more of a presence here. Years from now I still want our kids to be passing on traditions, even with their own kids, sharing the same stories of our times in Crested Butte."