Telluride Properties Celebrates 35 Years

Telluride Properties is celebrating 35 years on top of Telluride Real Estate.

Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be sharing stories and throwback photos of our journey to 35.

So be sure to follow us and hopefully enjoy a few laughs at the expense of our younger selves.

We hope you get to know us a little better too.



First up in our 35th Anniversary series, we’re going to throw it back to Telluride Properties founder, Steve Butts, affectionately known as Buttsie.

While living in Aspen, Colorado, Butts dreamed of introducing his friends to quirky Telluride, a little mountain town with big potential. After 4 years of shuttling clients over the hill, he set up his first office in Telluride. That office was helmed by Steve Cieciuch, Telluride Properties’ longest tenured broker.

Butts’ model for hiring brokers was simple, “is this someone I could spend a week on a sailboat with”? A model we still use today.


Tragically, in 2005, Butts died doing what he loved, powder skiing with 14 of his friends from Telluride and Aspen in the Canadian Rockies. He had welcomed Albert Roer & Polly Leach-Lychee as partners in Telluride Properties not long before his death, and they have been moving the company forward ever since (more on their stories to come).

Butts’ spirit is as strong as ever in those who knew him. Our tenured brokers can often be heard schooling the younger generation with words of wisdom from Buttsie, or regaling them with stories that can’t be repeated here.


Today in our 35th Anniversary series, we’re going to highlight the man behind the mustache, Damon Demas.

Damon, a native of Lowell Massachuttes, moved to Telluride 31 years ago with his wife Elaine (Lanie). His first job in Telluride was @lamarmotterestaurant working for the incredible Bertrand Lepel Contet. While working as a real estate appraiser for San Miguel County in the early 90’s, Damon’s friend and Telluride Properties founder, Steve Butts, convinced him to come work for the company on the promise of being able to ski and golf more often.

(Note the photo of the building above. This is the original house that sat where our gondola office now is.)

Life in Telluride has generated many extraordinary moments for Damon, but his greatest achievement has been raising his family here. Thanks to their parents, Xanthe and Sammy have been adventurers from birth – climbing Telluride’s peaks, camping in the desert, ripping down the ski trails … before they could even walk.

A longtime client and friend of Damon’s, Edward Barlow, once described Damon as “salt of the earth”, and we couldn’t agree more.

Check back for more updates to this blog post, as we add more stories and highlights of the past 35 years.

We are standing by to answer your questions about Telluride 970.728.0808 or you can browse homes, condos, ranches and more here.

Join The Discussion

Compare listings