Ponderosa Pine Trees

November 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

Telluride Ski & Golf Resort owner Chuck Horning committed himself to ranch preservation in the late 1980s. Owning ranches in both Hawaii and California, Chuck Horning regularly plants coconut and ponderosa pine trees on his properties to provide a habitat for surrounding wildlife.

The ponderosa pine, scientifically known as Pinus ponderosa, is a conifer that grows to heights of 100 feet and produces small male and female cones that pollinate through wind. With the ability to thrive in different types of soil, the plant grows well in the Western United States and adapts easily to hot and cold climates. Typically, ponderosa pine trees are located on mesas, mountain slopes, and ridgetops.

This type of tree is classified as a USA-NPN calibration plant species, which makes it vital to surrounding ecology. It serves as an excellent plant for erosion control and windbreaks. Further, it’s an allergen species that, when studied, can offer great insight into how it can positively impact people with allergies.


The National Historic Landmark District of Telluride

October 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

Although Telluride, Colorado is a renowned ski destination for modern-day vacationers, what many visitors don’t know is that the mountainside community is also a National Historic Landmark District—a distinction held by only 3% of all historic properties. Since acquiring the Telluride Ski & Golf Resort, Chuck Horning has played an influential role in developing the town’s beautiful landscape while preserving its rich history. Although Chuck Horning has managed the growth and development of the Telluride Ski Resort since 2003, the company itself is part of the town’s extensive history.

Since opening its doors in 1972—just six years after the town was named a National Historic Landmark District—the Telluride Ski Resort quickly established the town’s reputation as a premier ski destination, with enthusiasts arriving from around the world to enjoy its snowcat skiing, priced at about $12.50 per day. Prior to its reputation as a vacation destination, Telluride’s claim to fame stemmed from its prosperous mining operations which extended from the late 19th century through the tail end of the 1970s, briefly earning it the title of “The City of Gold.” Over the course of the town’s history, it also became home to other notable events, ranging from being the first town to be robbed by Butch Cassidy to hosting the world’s first commercial AC power plant. Today, much of the town’s history is chronicled in the Telluride Historical Museum, itself a National Historic Landmark and a partner of the Telluride Ski Resort.

CMU and Telluride Collaborate in Support of Global Health

August 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

The chairman of Newport Federal Financial in Newport Beach, California, Chuck Horning has pursued entrepreneurial ventures in a variety of industries. His holdings have spanned the commercial real estate, medical, and hospitality sectors. In 2003, Chuck Horning acquired Telluride Ski & Golf Resort, and in 2013, he partnered the resort with nearby Colorado Mesa University (CMU) to help fund the school’s new global health program.

CMU nursing student Shane Anderson first suggested the collaboration when his instructor, Beverly Lyne, began designing a new global health program. A former Telluride employee, he seized the opportunity to raise funds for the project and bring quality healthcare to underserved communities worldwide. Horning, dedicated to community collaboration and experienced in the healthcare sector, was eager to support the cause. Anderson’s proposal resulted in the development of a ski pass program that served as both a discount opportunity for resort visitors and a fundraising source for CMU’s Global Health project.

The fundraising program was extremely successful, drawing more than $23,000 in support of Telluride and CMU’s global health efforts. These funds allowed 14 students and faculty members to travel to Nicaragua, where they provided medical supplies and personal nursing care to rural communities. The program not only benefited underdeveloped communities, but also served as an educational foray into international healthcare and multilingual environments.

Making Telluride a Year-Round Resort

August 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

After earning his business degree from Pacific Union College, Chuck Horning entered the health care and hospitality industries on the West Coast, building and operating numerous hotels and health care facilities. By the late 1980s, he had sold most of those properties. Today, Chuck Horning serves as chairman of Newport Federal, a real estate investment firm headquartered in Newport Beach, California, and is the owner and CEO of Colorado’s Telluride Ski & Golf Resort, known as Telski.

In recent years, business has been good at Telluride, although there have been slow times. The good business, though, is limited to the skiing season, which traditionally lasts from Thanksgiving to mid-April. Those five months of ski season are hardly sufficient to make the resorts economically sustainable. For example, occupancy rates at the resorts and hotels average about 38 percent year-round.

Outside of ski season, much of the town’s economic activity centers around real estate transactions, which don’t have the same beneficial impact on the town’s economy as a higher occupancy rate. Horning says that the true base of the Telluride economy is guests, not real estate sales. He supports efforts on the part of all stakeholders, including governments, businesses, the hospitality sector, and others, to enhance the area’s attractiveness as a tourist destination at other times of the year. Telski, for instance, is conducting targeted marketing activities in Houston and Dallas and heavily promoting the Telluride Conference Center as an ideal location for seminars and meetings.

Raising Telluride’s year-round occupancy rate to 50 percent would greatly ease the funding of capital projects, such as upgrading the resort’s snow-making abilities. There is no magic bullet, though. Other season-dependent resorts have confronted the challenge of finding ways to increase occupancy during the off season; some have been successful, and others less so. Telluride’s challenge is to study all those strategies and find ones that will be successful at Telluride.

Chuck Horning is Active in Sierra Nevada Fire Prevention Efforts

July 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Since 1970, Chuck Horning has held the position of Chairman of Newport Federal, a holding company for his various interests in pharmaceutical, hotel, resort, ranching, and commercial real estate properties among others. Chuck Horning devotes time and resources to diverse interests that include fire prevention and wildlife habitat creation in the foothills and canyons surrounding the town of Paradise, California.

Fire prevention in the Sierra Nevada region has become a more prominent issue over the past century for several reasons. Before European settlement, the ecology and wildlife habitat of the area benefited from frequent low intensity surface fires that consumed mostly short undergrowth, small saplings and fallen dead trees while leaving the older, taller and healthier canopy tress intact and unharmed. This created a spacious forest floor that was easy for animals and people to navigate while eliminating fuel buildup that could result in larger, more intense and very damaging crown fires.

Over the past century, not only have surface fires decreased by more than 90 percent in frequency, but highly destructive crown fires have increased in the Northwest U.S. by 250 percent. This is largely due to disproportionate accumulation of fuels within 10 feet of ground level in recent decades. Additionally, current levels of drought and ever-increasing human population growth in the Sierra Nevada have compounded both the likelihood and destructiveness of canopy fires. Chuck Horning and other concerned landowners in the area are among those responsible for doing what they can to reduce accumulated fuel levels and for undertaking other measures designed to reduce the probability of severe and devastating wildfires in the region.

What Is Land Restoration and Reclamation?

July 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Chuck Horning, chairman and executive officer of Newport Federal, has more than 40 years of experience in finance and real estate development. In addition to founding Newport Federal in 1970, Chuck Horning is a California rancher, whose land is currently in the midst of the process of reclamation and restoration.

Restoration and reclamation promotes the growth of food and livestock in areas that are, or have become, unfit for farming; it helps maintain healthy ecosystems. This process involves improving soil, vegetation, and water to an undisturbed state by removing industrial soil and filtering contaminates that are harmful to humans or the ecosystem and by using innovative techniques to reduce erosion and maintain ecosystem quality.

The restoration and reclamation process is often designed as a for-profit enterprise, but also extends its scope beyond profit. Humans depend on the land to provide necessary resources and, in the past, have been unaware of their effect on the planet. While the two elements are different, with reclamation hinging on cultivating land once unfit for growth and restoration involving maintaining fertile ground, both are essential in promoting environmental health.

Aspects of Stream Restoration

July 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

With roots in California, Chuck Horning spent many years as the chairman of Newport Federal Financial in Newport Beach. After focusing on financing hotels and health care enterprises, Chuck Horning now devotes his time to managing and refurbishing his ranch properties. One focus of this effort is the restoration of streams, putting into place sound ecological practices. Several factors must be considered:

Effects of water: Water levels and the intensity of storms vary considerably. Find out how these variables affect sedimentation and erosion. How can flooding interfere with the proposed measures?

Slope stability: Rapid or severe flooding may cause instability in steep slopes. Determine the chances of slumping or sliding on stream banks, and design embankments accordingly.

Soils: Without foliage to hold and cover stream banks, the immediate alluvial area is at risk of repeated flooding. Eutrophication can occur when too many nutrients inhabit the soil and endanger plant and animal life.

Diversity of species: Each stream supports a unique ecosystem. How does the variety of animal and plant species influence the restoration project, and vice versa?

Impact of humans: How do human visitors to the restored ecosystem affect it? Has the public been informed about its impact on rehabilitation?