Utah billionaire Earl Holding dies at 86

Apr 21 2013 - 9:19am

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah billionaire Earl Holding, owner of Sinclair Oil and Snowbasin ski resort, died Friday night, according to a news release from Sinclair Oil.

Holding, whose given name is Robert Earl Holding, was one of Utah's most successful businessmen. Forbes this year listed Holding's net worth at $3.2 billion and cited him as the 139th-richest person in the United States. He was 86 years old.

Holding is perhaps best known as the owner of Sinclair Oil, which he bought in 1976, according to the release. In 1984, he purchased Snowbasin and turned it into a world-class venue that hosted events in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

"Wherever he did business, he was committed to improving and beautifying the community," Sinclair Oil's release states. "He always remembered his humble beginnings, and he loved, respected and cared for his employees."

After serving in the military, Holding earned a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Utah. In 1949, he married his wife, Carol, and together they had three children.

"Jeanette and I offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Earl Holding, a Utah icon of initiative, industry and hospitality," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement.
"May they find peace and comfort at this difficult time, as well as reassurance that Earl's profound contributions to the greater community will endure."

As well as Sinclair Oil and Snowbasin, Holding owned Sun Valley Resort in Idaho and several ranches throughout Montana and Idaho.

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