· President Jim Wells announces retirement from Telski· Ron Allred to stay on as chairman and chief executive officer
TELLURIDE, Colo. (March 1, 2001) – Morita Investments International (MINT), a privately-held family investment company owned by Hideo “Joe” Morita, has agreed to purchase 100 percent ownership of Telluride Ski & Golf Company (Telski), ski company officials announced Thursday.
Limited partners of Telski, including Ron Allred, Joyce Allred, Jim Wells, Charles E. Cobb Jr., Sue M. Cobb, Leonard T. and Kathryn Conway, and Nancy McNamara, have agreed to sell their remaining interests in the company to majority partner MINT.
In 1999, MINT purchased The Telluride Company’s developable real estate. That same year, MINT became a joint venture partner in Telski. “Joe Morita remains excited about his investments in Telluride and recognizes the uniqueness of the community and resort,” said Telski executive board member Chris Ryman. “He appreciates its great character and tremendous beauty, and is proud to play a part in establishing Telluride as a premier resort.”
Last week, MINT committed to a $14 million investment for the 733-acre Prospect Bowl expansion area, which includes three high-speed detachable quads, infrastructure and buildings, trail work, snowmaking and construction of guest service and dining facilities. This new ski terrain nearly doubles the amount of lift served terrain available on the Telluride Mountain.
This week, Telski finalized the Dopplemayr contract and the lifts are presently being manufactured. Jim Wells, co-owner of Telski for the past 22 years and who has served as its president for the past six years, announced his retirement Thursday. “With many of my dreams for Telski accomplished, and at the age of 61, I believe it is time to enjoy the benefits of many years of hard work. I also have the great pleasure of leaving Telski in the hands of an extremely talented leadership team with the financial backing that will enable Telski to achieve its goals of being the best resort in North America,” Wells said.
While Wells will maintain a consulting role with Telski and will retain his positions as president of the Mountain Village Metropolitan District, Mountain Village Metropolitan Services and the Telluride Gondola Transit Company (TGTC), his retirement from Telski concludes the transition of responsibilities to Johnnie Stevens, who was named chief operating officer of Telski last August. Stevens will report directly to Telski’s executive board. Ron Allred will continue to serve as chairman and chief executive officer of Telski and work closely with the executive board on the strategic planning and development of the Telluride resort.
“I have always believed that Telluride was destined to become one of the greatest ski resorts in North America,” Allred said. “Jim’s dedication and financial expertise launched the transformation of Telluride from a sleepy mining town to a world-class, year-round resort that is thriving in an unparalleled mountain setting. I look forward to working with Joe and my fellow executive board members to ensure Telluride’s success in the 21st Century.”
Providing ski resort management expertise and business acumen, the five-member executive board consists of Allred; ski industry veteran Ryman; financial strategist Betsy Cole; attorney Jim Wear, president of Morita Properties, Inc.; and Carol Templeton, director of MINT.
Prior to Allred and Wells purchasing Telski in 1978, the ski area has had one previous ownership group in its 28-year history: Simonius-Vischer, a Swiss firm, and Joe Zoline, a Beverly Hills entrepreneur who founded the company in 1972. Allred and Wells have run the resort for 22 years, founding and developing the new town of Mountain Village, building the airport, building Telluride’s gondola transportation system, building the full-service Mountain Village Activity Center, installing new lifts, trails and snnowmaking, as well as applying and planning for the opening of the 733-acre Prospect Bowl expansion area for the 2001/2002 season.