TELLURIDE – The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, TMVOA, hired longtime businessman and Colorado native Greg Pope as its president and CEO. TMVOA’s new hire comes after more than a year of operating without a permanent president or CEO.
Interim president and CEO Willie Wilson, who held the position since August of 2011, left at the end of last summer.
Pope, one of 40 applicants, boasts an extensive 30-year background in commercial banking and economic development.
After graduating from Colorado State University, Pope worked at the Federal Land Bank in Montrose, a bank that specializes in making loans and financing for rural properties, for five years, and then moved into commercial banking.
“During that time, we became very active in financing projects in Telluride and Mountain Village,” Pope said. “I’ve always enjoyed working up here, and have gotten to know a lot of the people by financing projects.”
After a commercial banking career spanning three decades, Pope retired from the industry in 2010, and has since managed a private consulting firm. Throughout his career, Pope has been involved in economic development – experience he says is directly relevant to what he will do at TMVOA.
Pope began skiing in Telluride back in 1981, when, he said, “The mountain was completely different than it is now.”
Pope, who began work at TMVOA last week, wants to get to work immediately. His end goal is to develop Mountain Village into a more vibrant and economically feasible place to visit and live while continuing to provide amenities to our members.
“The question is ‘How?’” Pope said, “Part of it is activity driven, part of it is having more retail shops, another is attracting a large, major-flag hotel. Another part of it is air transport,” he said.
“We have to find viable solutions to attract more air transportation because we can’t expect the amount of people that we want to come here to drive here.” Pope added he looks forward to working with the Telluride Montrose Air Organization and other associated organizations in Telluride and Montrose to bring more people to the ski mountain, saying that the economies of both counties are interdependent.
Attracting people to Mountain Village is one thing, Pope added, but creating a unique, enjoyable experience, regardless of snowfall totals, for visitors once they’re here is even more important.
Pope said he’s entering the job with valuable contacts at local businesses and the Telluride Ski Resort he created by financing projects in San Miguel County years before. He aims to use these relationships to develop projects that would enhance visitor experience, with hopes of attracting tourists to the prospects of home ownership in Telluride and Mountain Village.
Asked if he’s looking forward to working with the county and local governments, Pope quickly said, “That is critical. No one entity can pull this off alone. The collaboration between all of the organizations and the governments, including the Town of Telluride will be absolutely critical.”