Guest Service Becomes Focal Point for New Ownership
TELLURIDE, Colo.- Feb. 18, 2004 – The Horning Family of Newport Beach,Calif. has hit the slopes of Telluride, emphasizing a continued focus onguest service after Hideo “Joe” Morita sold a majority stake of the skicompany to the father-son team. The joint venture deal was made officialWednesday.
In December, Chuck and Chad Horning, father and son, respectively, closedon substantial real estate holdings previously owned by Morita in MountainVillage which connects to the historic town of Telluride via a freegondola. The Hornings purchased a variety of property including residentialhome sites, commercial space and development parcels. Wednesday’stransaction represents the final step in the acquisition of resortoperations and real estate properties.
“We are pleased to enter a new era of ski operations with Joe Morita andthe community of Telluride,” Chad Horning said. “There are few places inthe world that boast such a combination of beauty, storied history,vitality, exceptional people and one-of-a-kind mountain experiences.”
Horning went on to applaud Morita, who in his tenure as Telski owner since2001, infused $38 million in capital improvements at the resort. Theimprovements included the installation of three new high-speed quad lifts,the opening of the 733-acre Prospect Bowl which doubled the amount oflift-served terrain for all abilities, an expanded terrain park and greatersnowmaking capabilities.
Jim Wear, executive vice president of Telski and Morita’s attorney,described the Hornings’ enthusiasm for Telluride as exactly what Morita waslooking for in a partner.
“Joe found able partners in the Hornings,” Wear said. “This ventureculminated after a nine-month search for investors and we are pleased tosee it come together this winter.”
During the remainder of the 2003-04 season, Chuck Horning said not toexpect major changes in the day-to-day operations of the resort.
“The hard work and dedication of every member of this community establishedTelluride as a world-class destination. Our intentions are to honor theunique characteristics that define Telluride. We want to preserveTelluride’s authenticity, charm and casual atmosphere. “
The Hornings are excited about the progress Telluride has made in the lastdecade: the completion of the innovative and environmentally-friendlygondola, the development of the luxurious Mountain Village, and the grandopening of Prospect Bowl. Ranked as the #10 best ski resort in NorthAmerica by SKI and Skiing magazines, Telluride has matured into aworld-class vacation destination.
“Telluride is the most beautiful place in the world. We are honored to bea part of a town which has evolved from a sleepy mining town into a premiervacation destination,” said Chuck Horning.
The Horning family is actively involved in conservation and landrestoration, as well as various real estate investments primarily locatedin California and Hawaii.
Telluride is an authentic ski town nestled amongst the largestconcentration of 13,000 and 14,000-foot peaks in the country. This quaintVictorian-style town is connected to the newer contemporary MountainVillage by a free gondola. The Telluride Mountain offers a diversity ofterrain ideal for all ability levels. Located 45 miles from the neareststoplight and six hours away from a metropolitan area, Telluride offers atotally rare and unspoiled mountain vacation experience.Guests enjoy wide-open slopes and no lift lines. There is no need for acar in Telluride as the gondola serves as the transportation link betweenboth towns.