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Battle Mountain’s top man

Cliff Thompson
Preston Utley/Vail DailyBill Weber, project manager for Battle Mountain stands in front of a 3-D map of the area owned by the Ginn company.
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MINTURN -Bill Weber is not an easy interview. He’s simply not comfortable talking about himself and he admits to that.Weber, 64, is the project manager for the Florida-based Ginn Companies which wants to build a ski and golf course development on the 5,400 acres of Battle Mountain between Minturn and Red Cliff. He’ll be in charge of developing the proposed luxury golf course and ski hill community of 1,400 residences on the land that contains remnants of more than a century of mining at the Eagle Mine.The one thing Weber will admit is having been around the corporate world and knowing the development business. “Most folks my age are thinking of retiring,” he said. “I don’t have to do this. I like doing this. It’s fun.”He worked for energy giant Mobil Corporation for more than 29 years in the development arm of the business. The company had extensive land holdings across the country which it developed. Weber’s last job with Mobil before joining Ginn, was developing Desert Mountain Properties, an 8,500-acre residential and golf-course community near Scottsdale, Ariz.”There isn’t much in the development business I haven’t seen,” he said. “I’ve built gulf courses, high rises, ice rinks with a retractable roofs, pools. Almost everything.”He and his wife, Ginny, moved to Eagle from northeast Florida, where he was the project manager for several of Ginn’s developments.

Small-town fitHe also admits to being an urban refugee. He grew up in Brooklyn but left the city to attend Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) in Ft. Collins. He graduated in 1963 with a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration and immediately joined Mobil.If pressed, he’ll tell you he works hard, arising just after 5 each morning and getting to the office at 7, and that’s he’s highly organized and detail-oriented.When on the job, he “lives it and breathes it 24-7,” he said, adding that he also likes to leave at a reasonable hour, too.Off the job he likes quiet time at home with his wife, riding his Indian motorcycle and listening to country and western music, he said. He doesn’t drink or smoke, and likes to stay fit lifting weights and using the heavy punching bag and speed bag he has in his garage.”I relate better to small towns,” said Weber, who last worked at Hammock Beach, a small community in northeast Florida. “People have good values. I like dealing with them.”On the ground floor

Weber focuses squarely on whomever is speaking, leaving the impression he’s a guy that would be tough to fool.”I pride myself on being a good listener. Even at my age, I learn something new every day,” he said. “I’m a human sponge.”His conversation often drifts to describing what it’s like to work for his current employer. Weber was recently promoted to executive vice president of the 2,000- person-strong company that’s based in Orlando, and has extensive land holding across the southeastern U.S. and Caribbean.”I know this sounds hokey, but I like to work for Bobby Ginn,” he said.The project at Battle Mountain is different from some of the others Weber has managed because he’s starting from a dead stop, he said. “I’m getting in on the ground floor,” he said. “This is the first time in my life that I’m starting without a staff.”That will change quickly. He’s hiring a team to help build the proposed community and said he hopes to be fully staffed by Jan. 1. Working with young, skilled employees is something Weber said he likes because he’s able to share his professional and personal experience.

“I like to mentor them,” he said. “They have good skills but no experience.”Having completed several large projects, Weber said, the change to Minturn will be significant, but he thinks that it will ultimately be good for the town.”As part of our project, the town of Minturn, its citizens and visitors would benefit by what our project will bring to the community,” he said.The details of that development haven’t yet been formally presented to the town of Minturn, which has been asked to annex it. If that occurs as envisioned, the development’s first homes could be built in 2007.Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or cthompson@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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