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Here's where they filmed 'Christmas Vacation' scenes in Colorado

'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' was again named the best-ever Christmas movie by 9NEWS viewers.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Colorado's favorite Christmas movie has deep roots in the Centennial State.

The 1989 movie classic "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" — which tells the story of Clark Griswold trying to put on the perfect Christmas for his family — filmed many of its scenes in Colorado.

Given that the movie is set in Chicago (which is a multi-day drive away from the mountains) those big alpine trees and mountainous valleys might look familiar to Coloradans. That’s because multiple scenes from the classic Christmas film were shot in Summit County.

According to the Breckenridge Tourism Office, it all went down in the spring of 1989.

Credit: Breckenridge Tourism Office/Warner Brothers
Credit: Breckenridge Tourism Office/Warner Brothers

The movie begins with a tree-cutting scene as the family heads out to the country to pick the perfect Christmas tree. That happened near the Breckenridge Golf Course near Tiger Road. The subdivision nearby hadn’t actually been built yet.

This wasn’t the only “Chicago”-oriented situation that was filmed in Breckenridge.

The sledding scene was filmed at Breckenridge Ski Area's Peak 8. When Clark is dodging traffic on the slick saucer, that was on Frisco's Summit Boulevard.

According to GoBreck, Clark's sled eventually ends up in a Toys For Tots bin in front of the Walmart in Frisco.

Credit: Warner Brothers/Breckenridge Tourism Office

GoBreck said local crew was also involved in filming and a producer did everything they could to keep money in town. In fact, the shopping scenes with Clark and Eddie were shot at the Frisco Walmart.

Meanwhile, Summit High School in Frisco was converted into a cover set for the throwback home video scene.

You can check out a bunch of behind-the-scenes shots of the 1989 production in Breckenridge online here.

Credit: Breckenridge Tourism Office/Warner Brothers
Credit: Breckenridge Tourism Office/Warner Brothers

After six rounds of voting, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" beat out 63 other movies to be named the best Christmas movie by 9NEWS viewers. 

The 5th annual 9NEWS Christmas Movie Bracket was launched in early December with 64-holiday movies. This is "Christmas Vacation's" fourth victory in five years in the 9NEWS Christmas Movie Bracket, which first launched in 2018.

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Holiday season in Colorado

Credit: 9NEWS+


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