Telluride CEO Pushed Aside

Dave Riley maintains that he's only renegotiating his contract, but several employees have said that the CEO has been absent since returning from a vacation to find the locks on his office had been changed

Aug 8, 2012
Outside Magazine

Galena Gleason at Telluride Ski Resort with Mt. Wilson in the background.    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

According to current and former employees, Telluride Ski and Golf CEO, Dave Riley has been ousted from the Colorado resort’s top job.

A former employee and longtime Telluride resident heard from current senior management that the move came on the heels of a European holiday that Riley took with his family. When Riley returned, the former employee says, the locks on his office had been changed.

“Riley was fired for an accumulation of things,” says the former employee, who believes that Telluride’s private owner Chuck Horning has been upset about the current situation in Bear Creek. That’s the prized side-country ski zone, currently at the center of a legal battle over skier access, that I wrote about last winter. Access to Bear Creek is still in dispute.

When reached for comment, Riley refuted this story and claimed he is only renegotiating his contract with Horning. However, a number of other employees report that Riley has been gone for more than a week and that they’ve received no update on the situation from the resort’s management. When asked if he will remain the CEO, Riley said, “We haven’t concluded that, and I can’t get into that right now as we are still in negotiation.”

Matt Skinner, Telluride’s vice president of sales and marketing, said, “There’s some discussions going on and that’s all I can say.”

While Riley maintains he is still in the game, one longtime local said simply “Riley is gone.”

UPDATE: 4:45 p.m. Telluride Ski and Golf announced this afternoon that Dave Riley is indeed leaving Telluride. He will immediately assume the CEO position of Newport Federal Financial, a company also owned by Chuck Horning.

Insiders close to the situation predicted Riley’s departure, but they did not anticipate the reassignment. “Dave Riley has a keen eye for new opportunities, and is visionary when it comes to planning, growth and expansion initiatives,” Horning said in a press release.

TSG has not yet announced a replacement for Riley.

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