Hornings Buy Stake in Telluride Ski Resort

From Associated Press

Telluride ski area owner Hideo "Joe" Morita has sold part of the Colorado resort company to a California father-and-son team that specializes in real estate investment.

Morita last week chose the Horning family of Newport Beach as joint-venture partners in Telluride Ski & Golf Resort. Terms were not disclosed.

Morita wanted a partner who respects Telluride's character, said his attorney, Jim Wear.

The Hornings "appreciate the uniqueness and beauty of this area and are looking forward to becoming long-term, active members of this community," Chad Horning said.

Chuck and Chad Horning own the Newport Federal Financial investment firm. The Horning family -- not the firm -- is buying into the Telluride ski area, resort spokeswoman Pat Peeples said.

Another spokeswoman, Maryhelyn Kirwan, said the joint venture was expected to have no noticeable effect on the resort this season.

"I do know they plan on keeping things status quo until the end of the season," Kirwan said.

Morita, son of the late Sony Corp. co-founder Akio Morita, acquired a majority interest in Telluride in 1999, joining longtime owners Ron Allred and Jim Wells. In 2001, Morita pumped $14 million into the resort, nearly doubling the area's terrain and buying out his partners.

The 1,700-acre ski resort was put on the market six months ago to rebalance Morita's portfolio. He also owns Aria, a Japanese ski area, and a 17-room fishing lodge at Princess Royal Island, Canada.

Morita and the Hornings are negotiating with Booth Creek Ski Holdings Inc., the ski area manager, on its role, Peeples said.

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