Joe Zoline, the visionary founder of the Telluride Ski Area, purchased the property on the SW corner of Fir and Pacific Street from the Telluride Transfer Company in 1968. He continued use of the Transfer Warehouse as downtown gas station and storage facility until 1978. In the spring of 1979 the roof collapsed from a heavy snow load; it was the first winter the building had not been heated. Since that time Joe’s daughter and son in law, Pamela and John Lifton-Zoline, and Joe’s son Thomas, have been thoughtful stewards of the building, bracing and protecting the walls for 34 years.
In 2013, Pamela and John Lifton-Zoline partnered with Meriwether Companies, of Boulder, Colorado, and Real Capital Solutions, of Louisville, Colorado, to reform the Telluride Transfer Company and to acquire the properties on South Fir Street still owned by the Zoline family. Pamela and John Lifton-Zoline, well-known local visionaries responsible for numerous programs that have advanced Telluride’s cultural economy for 30 years, required that space for cultural facilities be a part of the redevelopment at the time of the sale.
Pamela and John and their partners agree that Telluride Arts, which is descended from Telluride’s non-profit Council for the Arts and Humanities founded in 1971, and led the recent development of the Telluride Arts District, is the logical entity to carry this vision forward on behalf of the Telluride community.
In Pamela’s and John’s own words, “We are delighted to pass the ‘baton of vision’ for Telluride’s future cultural facilities to Telluride Arts. Since we saved this structure back in 1979, we have intended that it should once again become one of Telluride’s most important buildings, and we know that much of Telluride’s population have had their own dreams for it too. On Joe Zoline’s last visit to Telluride, he told us that his only regret here was not seeing the lights shining from the Transfer Warehouse’s windows once more. We wish Telluride Arts great success with this endeavor and will work with the community and friends of Telluride to make it happen.”