Estes Park is a small village nestled in the north central mountains of Colorado. The earliest settlers were homesteaders who arrived to "prove up" in the 1870s and soon discovered that providing lodging and entertainment for outdoor adventurers and tourists looking for a respite from city life could provide a more reliable revenue stream than farming and ranching. By 1905, the town was platted and several hotels provided modern accommodations. When Rocky Mountain National Park was created in 1915, Estes Park became the eastern gateway and continues to be the first stop for approximately 2.5 million visitors annually. From an initial population of less than 200, the town has grown to almost 10,000 year-round residents, many of whom still make their living providing goods and services to visitors from as near as Denver and as far away as Nepal.