More Telluride Mismanagement: Owner destroys Giuseppe's


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In my continuing series of Telluride's owner mismanagement, I'd like to document the most recent craziness/debacle.

In this case - it has to do with Guiseppe's Cafe at the top of Lift 9/Plunge lift. It's really one of the most scenic ski restaurants in the U.S. The structure was an old coffee/espresso shop that sat at the base of Lift 7/Coonskin until Telluride expanded in 1986 and dragged it up to its 11,900 ft setting. It served Telluride well in the 1980/90s when skier days were 100-200k skier days, but its 30 seats do not really accommodate everyone today. But great outdoor space on sunny days.

Some photos: (A bit of Europe in the SW San Juans)


One of the best menus (New Orleans influenced) and most reasonable on-mountain restaurants n Telluride -- and perhaps the United States. Known for Black Bean Saute.



I even have a picture of Guiseppe's on my home wall:

IMG_0602 (1).jpg

Well somehow in the i2022/23 installation of Chair 9 / Plunge, the owner/mgmt/construction crews decided to destroy it!? IWTF?! It's now gone. Again, it just shows that Telluride cannot install a chairlift without complete chaos.

Chuck Horning (Telluride Owner) said he was going to rebuild and it would be the best, most scenic on-mountain restaurant in the United States. Architect selected. Very innovative design - a cross with a kitchen in the middle and 4 wings with varying views. Price: $20M.

Result: No. We will put up tents.

So Telluride destroys an iconic on-mountain restaurant - for a lift that took until February to open - without a planned replacement.

Now we have tents at 12k - great for cold weather days. Telluride also has permits for a 500-person restaurant at the top of Chair 5 - it's just an umbrella for 50.

He's way too focused on operational efficiencies versus the overall commercial value of the property. I cannot get into a real estate thing.....


Everyone is waiting for Chuck Horning to get sick and retire - and sell. His sons are about as sharp as marbles. So it's now just a waiting game......and Telluride has to wait for its owner to go.

Next episode:

America's oldest 1st generation HS Quad - the death chair. Most likely to fall off a cable.
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I was at Telluride in April 2019. Sorry I never stopped in at Guiseppi's. I got a photo of it though:
I am researching how Jackson Hole was sold. (I can do this!)

Think it’s a footprint for Telluride.

It’s easier raising money for Telluride than some tech startups.
I am researching how Jackson Hole was sold. (I can do this!)
The big picture, no financial details.

The Kemmerers wanted to keep JHMR under local family control and thus sold privately to some people who were already on the board of directors there.

Given everything ChrisC has said about Chuck Horning over the years, won't he eventually sell to the highest bidder, likely Vail, maybe Alterra?
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Funny that a thread has developed about this tiny place -- what's the capacity, 20? I understand that it's a symptom of a more general problem there, but still. :icon-lol:
As you can see from the photos, it was one of the most scenic and quaint in-bounds places to grab a snack in US skiing. Stunning views on a clear day! I hope whatever they replace it with does justice to the location.

By the way, in the upper right corner of Chris' first photo you get a good look at San Juan Chute, skiable by only the bodacious. :)
We now have water slides at Telluride. Late addition to the summer program:

Telluride is more IKON in ethos/spirit, but they need the operational efficiencies of a Vail to just get it together.

Last night, a failure in our snowmaking system resulted in a mudslide with debris going down the front hillside toward the base of the Lift 7 area. The system failure has been addressed, and clean-up is underway. Fortunately, no one was hurt. There was minor damage to a few buildings in the Lift 7 base area. The ski resort is handling all clean-up and is communicating with the HOAs of the damaged buildings.

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Ok. I am going to retract some of the above.

Telluride shared some of its plans regarding the replacement of Guiseppe's.

It's going to be good, perhaps too good. Why? While it will be much larger, the views over Bear Creek will be exceptional (see red circle in pic#2) and might lead to constant 'full' capacity. Especially since other high-on-mountain restaurants are sit-down and pricey. We will see what the menu is like.....TBD.

It will be available 2024/25.

If I had to pick a North American equivalent, it might be a bit similar to Kicking Horse's summit restaurant in size, aesthetics, and views.


Plans highlighting views to Bear Creek

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