Recreation & Tourism Research Topic

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Colorado is an old hand at hosting tourists.

Surveyors, fisherman. Loyd Files Research Library, Museum of Western Colorado, F-96.
(Surveyors, fisherman. Loyd Files Research Library, Museum of Western Colorado, F-96.)

Since before 1900, places like Colorado Springs and Estes Park beckoned middle and upper class vacationers. For convalescents, Colorado offered thermal springs and a “healthful” climate; other tourists pursued sightseeing, hunting, fishing, mountaineering, skiing, snowshoeing and other outdoor recreation.

"Skating on the Grand." Loyd Files Research Library, Museum of Western Colorado, F-834. "Grand" was an early name for the Colorado River.
("Skating on the Grand." Loyd Files Research Library, Museum of Western Colorado, F-834. "Grand" was an early name for the Colorado River.)
John Otto, first superintendant of Colorado National Monument. Colorado National Monument Collection, Loyd Files Research Library, Museum of Western Colorado, 1999.4 #1.
(John Otto, first superintendent of Colorado National Monument. Colorado National Monument Collection, Loyd Files Research Library, Museum of Western Colorado, 1999.4 #1.)

Some locals made their living off of Colorado's picturesque attractions. The growing tourist industry fostered communities of lodge-keepers, mountain guides, dude ranchers and park service staff. Colorado urbanites also liked to explore their backyard and, in 1912, Denver residents formed the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC.) The CMC organized group outings and advocated conservation issues.

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