|Born||Robert Earl Holding
November 29, 1926
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
|Died||April 19, 2013
Salt Lake City, Utah
|Cause of death||Cardiovascular disease|
|Alma mater||University of Utah|
|Net worth||$2.6 billion (2010)|
|Spouse(s)||Carol Orme Holding (married 1952–2013, his death)|
Three children, including:
Robert Earl Holding (November 29, 1926 – April 19, 2013) was an American businessman who owned Sinclair Oil Corporation, the Little America Hotels, the Grand America Hotel, the Westgate Hotel in San Diego, California (directed by Georg Hochfilzer), and two ski resorts, Sun Valley in central Idaho since 1977, and Snowbasin near Ogden, Utah, since 1984.
Holding, affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), was born and reared in Salt Lake City, Utah, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Utah. His parents were apartment caretakers.
In 1952, Holding began work on the first Little America west of Rock Springs, Wyoming. In 1965, Holding and his wife, the former Carol Orme, started the Little America in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and completed construction a year later. For a time they resided in a house on the grounds of this Little America. His son, Stephen, also lived there when he managed the travel plaza. In 2008, the Holdings added a large convention and conference center at Little America.
Holding owned 400,000 acres (1,600 km2) of working cattle ranch land in northern Wyoming and southern Montana.
The passing of Earl Holding is a sad day for Wyoming. He and his wife, Carol, have lived the story of the American dream. Their accomplishments growing up during the Depression, excelling in business, and giving back to the state and the country epitomize that story. Earl was not only an icon in business, he was an extraordinary philanthropist. His is a great American success story, because, for him, the two—business achievement and giving back—were inseparable.
Cheyenne Mayor Rick Kaysen said that he could not "imagine what Cheyenne might be like if we didn't have the Little America resort. The things that we don't see are the guidance that he provided as a human being, as a businessperson, [and] his relationships with many people in Cheyenne over the many decades. He treated people just like they were longtime friends. He leaves quite a legacy."
- Slough, Andrew (2000). "Earl Holding: The Complete Interview". SKI magazine. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Johnson, William Oscar (November 14, 1977). "Earl Has Bought A Pearl". Sports Illustrated: 93.
- Slough, Andrew (November 2000). "Earl Holding Speaks". SKI magazine. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Boulton, Guy (February 23, 2000). "Earl Holding: Maverick entrepreneur has made a fortune through hard work and patience". Idaho Mountain Express. (from Salt Lake Tribune). Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Orr, Becky. "Little American founder contributed much to city". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
- "Utah businessman, Sinclair Oil owner, dies". ksl.com. Retrieved 2013-04-21.
- "Robert Earl Holding, Wide-Ranging Entrepreneur, Dies at 86". The New York Times. April 22, 2013 (online). Retrieved April 23, 2013. Check date values in:
- Berman, Phyllis; Alger, Alexandra (February 14, 1994). "A one-man show". Forbes. (subscription required (. ))
- Forbes 400 list—2010, #101—Robert Earl Holding
- U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum—Earl Holding—inducted 2010
- Sun Valley Mayor thanks Earl Holding for his 60 year plan/vision for the Sun Valley Resort
- "The Valley pays tribute to Earl & Carol Holding", Idaho Mountain Express and Guide, 25 January 2006
- excerpt from book about Earl Holding: Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America, Stephen Trimble (University of California Press, 2008)