Sun Valley owner Robert Earl Holding dies

BOISE, Idaho - Robert Earl Holding died Friday at the age of 86. He owned an oil company, hotels, and two world class ski resorts, including Sun Valley.

Holding was born in Salt Lake in 1926 and from humble beginnings became one of the 500 richest people in the world. Forbes estimated Holding's net worth at $3.2 billion at the time of his death. But officials at Sinclair Oil say spending time in the mountains was what holding considered priceless.

Holding bought Sinclair Oil in 1976 and soon after he purchased Sun Valley Resort.

Joe Koehler is the manager of McU Sports and is a fan of Holding.

"I just think he is such an innovator in the industry and invested a lot and was way ahead of his time," said Koehler.

Koehler is an avid skier and says it's Holding that we can thank for making skiing what it is today in Idaho.

"I think Sun Valley is one of the first destination ski resorts in the west and it really helped put us on the map as far as recreation goes," said Koehler.

Holding worked to improve skiing at Snow Basin in Utah in order to bring the Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City in 2002.

"It's just another example of how he took something that was just a small little mom and pop place and he turned it into something that is absolutely world class," said Koehler.

Koehler says Holding's death is a huge loss and he'll have his eye on what happens next up at Sun Valley.