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Holding active and involved 2 years after a stroke

R. Earl Holding
R. Earl Holding

R. Earl Holding, billionaire owner of the Grand America Hotel and numerous other resorts and properties, reportedly remains active and involved in his various business ventures two years after he suffered a stroke.

Holding, who will be 78 on Nov. 29, had a stroke in December 2002 while extending holiday greetings to employees in Arizona. He was released from the University of Utah Medical Center in early 2003.

In addition to the Grand and Little America hotels, Holding owns Sinclair Oil, Snowbasin Ski Resort, the Sun Valley Resort in Idaho, the Westgate Hotel in San Diego and Little America properties in Arizona and Wyoming. His net worth has been estimated at $1.2 billion, and he was ranked 472nd on Forbes magazine's list of billionaires in 2004.

Holding was unavailable for comment, and representatives at Sinclair Oil did not respond to requests for interviews.

However, Bruce Fery, general manager of the Grand America, said he meets with Holding several times a week to discuss hotel operations. Fery described Holding as active and of "very sound mind."

"He's made great strides," Fery said. "He's walking. He has a lot of energy still. . . . He has an amazing work ethic. I see him a couple of times a week. We'll sit and talk, or tour the property and talk about cleanliness, maintenance, occupancy, what groups we're booking.

"He's a wonderful man," Fery said. "A modest man, who has a very high level of integrity."

Holding's son, Stephen Holding, confirmed Fery's assessment of Holding's condition but declined to elaborate.

"He continues to improve," Stephen Holding said.

In its most recent statement, Sinclair Oil reported that Holding suffered a limited amount of physical impairment from the stroke and was making progress in his recovery.


E-mail: jnii@desnews.com