Former Vail executive dies
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Larry Lichliter helped Vail transform into one of the world’s premier ski resorts, while helping it retain its sense of community.Lichliter died last Friday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after an extended illness. He was 68.A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. March 5 at La Quinta Resort AND Club in La Quinta, Calif.Former Vail Associates owner George Gillett called Lichliter “a first class partner.””He was a good guy, great with people but particularly good with our guests,” Gillett said.Lichliter joined Vail Associates in 1976, as director of finance for the start-up Beaver Creek Resort. He quickly ascended to the company’s executive ranks.”He grew into it so rapidly. You couldn’t hold him down. He was wonderful,” Gillett said.In 1984, Lichliter was named Vail Associates’ executive vice president and chief operating officer for mountain operations of Vail Associates, replacing Bob Parker.”He had pretty big shoes to fill, and he did so admirably,” said Joe Macy, who worked with Lichliter for several years. “He worked hard. It took me years to realize how hard.”Lichliter oversaw resort development, the build-out of the now-famous Beaver Creek Resort and the expansion of Vail Mountain to the largest ski resort in North America. “He was good with people and good with numbers. Those don’t always go together, but they did with him,” Macy said. “Any time you’re in an executive position, you’re going to have challenges with your subordinates, your equals and your superiors. He was good at weaving together those relationships.Lichliter was born in Cortez in 1943, son of the late William and Virginia Lichliter. He grew up in Grand Junction and served as a corporal in the United States Marine Corps prior to attending both Mesa State College and the University of Denver, where he graduated with an accounting degree in 1969.Lichliter started his finance career at Samsonite’s corporate headquarters in Denver. He moved to Vail in 1973 as controller for Cunningham Construction, a local developer.In 1992, Lichliter, with co-founding partner, Mike Shannon, then president of Vail Associates, created KSL Recreation, a leading real estate and resort company. Lichliter served as president of KSL Land Company, which was instrumental in successfully purchasing and expanding the La Quinta Resort & Club, PGA West and other iconic properties in the company portfolio. He was also a founding advisory board director of KSL Capital Partners based in Denver.Lichliter has been involved with numerous civic endeavors, from Colorado to California. He was a director of Vail Valley Medical Center, a director of Colorado Ski Country USA, and since retirement, a director of the Bob Hope Classic, benefiting more than 40 nonprofit groups throughout the Coachella Valley. He is survived and loved by Martha T. Brown; his son and daughter-in-law Wade and Shannon Lichliter, granddaughter Kristina Forrester and great-granddaughters Abby and Chloe, all of California. He is also survived by his former wife and Wade’s mother, Sandra, of Colorado; his sister, Glenda Sinclair, and his nieces Tana Coates and Garin Murphy-Sinclair, of California. He was an avid outdoorsman, expert fly fisherman, and always enjoyed an occasional game of golf with his many good friends.”He was a man who, if you were fortunate enough to have had a relationship with him, he always left you in a better place than where you were,” said Pat Peeples, who worked with Lichliter at Vail Associates.The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, charitable gifts and tributes to Larry be made to Partners for Access to the Woods (P. A. W.), P.O. Box 348, Granby, CO 80446 http://www.outdoors4all.org.
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