Leadville aims to mine enthusiasm for outdoors


The people of Leadville, population about 3,000, don't spend much time sulking these days. They are too busy building things, too focused on exploiting the one thing other than minerals they have in abundance: high-mountain wilderness.

Acre by acre, they are battling the bad images by transforming their town into a haven for hikers and cyclists, for people packing fishing rods, nordic skis and climbing ropes — instead of mining picks and terrorism how-to manuals.

"There is a feeling here that recreation is our economy," County Commissioner Mike Bordogna said. That feeling isn't just pie-in-the-sky, political sweet talk. Regular folks have it too.