A Brief History of the Telluride Outside Company

Telluride has its share of interesting and standout businesses. One of these is the Telluride Outside Company. Bill White founded this firm back in 1984 as a fly fishing and rafting company. Originally it operated on both the Gunnison River and the San Miguel River. In time, White expanded operations to become the first hometown guide service. This included such guided tours as snowmobile, mountain bike, and four wheel drive tours.

The company moved into its second stage of evolution as the local resident Todd Herrick purchased Telluride Outside back in 1995. His great contribution to the operation was in the area of Real Estate. Herrick added a desperately needed base for the overnight rafting and fly fishing expeditions in the form of his Gunnison River Farms. For several key years, the Herrick’s farms were the center of operations for the Gunnison River guiding. The farm was not to remain the base of operations for Telluride Outside much longer though. In the year 2000, after the Herricks had begun spending huge parts of their summer (and also significant periods of fall and spring) on the farm, Todd decided to sell off the Telluride guiding services in order to concentrate his efforts and time on the farm and his family.

Enter Tom Craddock on the Telluride Outside ownership scene. The longtime manager joined forces with one-time guide John Duncan who had worked for Telluride from years 1991 to 1994. Together they purchased the company off of Herrick. Youngfleish, who added his strength to the company’s new team, launched a new emphasis on the guiding services that had built Telluride in the first place— rafting, fly fishing, mountain bike tours, and four wheel drive tours.

Year 2010 saw the owners add a photography guiding service. By 2012 the original snowmobile tours had come back to Telluride through the purchase of Dave’s Mountain Tours. By 2015 Telluride had added on an SUP guide option. New addition to the Telluride Outdoors team Ron Solomon put on an Argentina fly fishing operation.

The final home for Telluride was Telluride Angler, the fly shop on Telluride Main Street. As part of this move, the final owners bought the rights to more than 12 miles in private waterways on all four main rivers.

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