HomeNews Town’s two major guide services join forces in sale
Town’s two major guide services join forces in sale
Written by Mark Reaman
Wednesday, 25 December 2013
Irwin and CB Mountain Guides
The two biggest guide companies in Crested Butte have announced a merger. Irwin Guides has purchased the Crested Butte Mountain Guides, the guiding company established in 1990 by Jean Pavillard as Adventures to the Edge. That company was sold to Alan Bernholtz in 2001 and he changed the name to Crested Butte Mountain Guides. Bernholtz sold the company to Jayson Simons-Jones in 2008.
In a letter to clients and friends, Simons-Jones said the time was right to make the deal. “It became apparent to me that my vision for the future of CBMG and the things I wanted to continue to accomplish and offer, as experiences to both staff and guests alike, was ultimately better served by a company with the greater personnel and financial assets to help that vision come to fruition,” he wrote. “I am also happily looking forward to going back to being a full-time guide, continuing to work as the lead guide of CBMG and also, to enjoy the lightness of having unloaded the burdens of being a small business owner...” “Irwin Guides is excited to carry the torch of CBMG while being able to expand our educational and guided offerings, and to provide more year-round employment for the highly skilled guides that make up the CBMG staff,” said Irwin Guides global guide manager Steve Banks. According to a press release from Irwin, CBMG will maintain its identity as the one-stop shop for year-round guided mountain experiences and outdoor education in Crested Butte and surrounding mountains. The strategic partnership means the company will expand its services locally and abroad, as well as its community involvement Tiff Simpson, who has been with CBMG since June 1, 2011 will remain as the general manager for CBMG, and Simons-Jones will now be the lead guide in the next chapter of the guide business. All current CBMG guides will continue on in the newly formed company. “The future looks good for guided activities in our community. I see CBMG becoming a hub for continuing education in the guiding industry, attracting the highest caliber guides to Crested Butte for training and work, and sharing their skills with a diverse clientele,” said Banks. “The next chapter of CBMG will mean more steady backcountry-based adventure and tourism in the Gunnison Valley.” IG looks forward to maintaining an Elk Avenue storefront in the historic “Guide Shack” behind the post office. Irwin Guides operations include cat skiing at Irwin, heli skiing in Iceland, off-piste skiing in France and guide services for a separate but partner company, Eleven, at its experiential travel destinations worldwide.