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Some scenes in ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ might look familiar to Coloradans and here’s why

If some scenes in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" did not look remotely like the Midwest, it's because they were shot in Breckenridge and other parts of Summit County.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado — You know that tree scene in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” when the family heads out to the country to pick a huge Christmas tree?

Given that the movie is set in Chicago (according to Wikipedia), which is a multi-day drive away from the mountains (Wisconsin doesn’t count, sorry), those big alpine trees and mountainous valleys might be a little jarring … albeit familiar.

That’s because multiple scenes from the classic Christmas film were shot in Breckenridge. Seriously.

According to GoBreck’s blog, it all went down in the spring of 1989. You know the Christmas tree cutting scene? That happened near the Breckenridge Golf Course near Tiger Road. The subdivision nearby hadn’t actually been built yet.

Credit: Breckenridge Tourism Office/Warner Brothers

This wasn’t the only “Chicago”-oriented situation that was filmed in Breck (a local crew was also involved … and GoBreck said a producer did everything she could to keep money in town). In fact, shopping scenes were also shot in Colorado. 

Credit: Warner Brothers/Breckenridge Tourism Office

That includes the sledding scene, which was filmed on Peak 8 in Breck.

Summit High School in Frisco, meanwhile, was converted into a cover set for the home videos scene.

You can check out a bunch of behind-the-scenes shots of the 1989 production in Breck here: https://bit.ly/2A0pQg7

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