Slopeside owner Chris Corna dies

Friend: 'Steamboat just lost one of the best men it's ever had'

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Chris Corna

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Slopeside Grill owner Chris Corna, right, positions one of sixty 300-pound blocks of ice with, from left, Rob Capone, Larry Flynn and Steve Walsh to create a slopeside ice bar Feb. 18.

With the death of Chris Corna, Steamboat Springs has lost a caring friend, a dedicated business owner, a great scuba diver and an all-around "great guy," friends said Monday.

Corna's parents confirmed that their son died Monday morning in a traffic accident on the East Coast.

"He was in an automobile accident," Richard Corna said. "We don't know all the details yet."

A police dispatcher in Greenwich, Conn., referred questions to the police department across the state line in Port Chester, N.Y. A Port Chester police sergeant said he could not release any information Monday evening but that a lieutenant would be able to today.

Richard Corna said the family plans to bury Chris Corna in Steamboat and to hold a memorial at Slopeside Grill, the base area bar and restaurant he owned. The family did not yet have details for services.

Corna's friend Abby Bushnell said Corna was visiting his girlfriend's family in Connecticut. Bushnell said she recently received a text message from Corna reading, "Hey, I'm in Connecticut. I found myself a lady, and I'm so happy."

Bushnell described Corna as "the most kind and generous man I've ever met in my life."

"Any time I've needed anything, he was one of the first people who would drop everything - even if it was just to bring me lunch," she said. "He would do whatever he could to make you feel better. : Steamboat just lost one of the best men it's ever had."

Several friends gathered Monday at the home of longtime Corna friend Lindsey Grannis.

"We're sitting around laughing and crying and feeling numb and going through all the phases that happen when you lose someone," Grannis said. "He will be a big piece of Steamboat that's missing, and I think it's going to be felt throughout our entire community."

Grannis said she fielded phone calls from people across the country Monday.

"That's the thing about Chris: He's got friends everywhere," said friend Kier Delaney, who owns the Saketumi restaurant near Slopeside in Torian Plum Plaza. "This is going to be like a national day of mourning."

Like Bushnell, Delaney said Corna was always there for friends when they needed him most.

"He's the guy who would help anybody with anything : whether they deserved it or not," Delaney said. "It always made you stronger knowing you had him with you. : If he ever felt unappreciated, that certainly was not true."

Corna was the former president of the Mountain Business Association, a restaurant representative on the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association board of directors, a member of the Base Area Reinvestment Coalition and president of the Torian Plum Condominium Owners Association.

"He took that facility (Slopeside) and took something that was neutral, at best : and he immediately turned it around and turned it into something very unique and very special," said Andy Wirth, chief marketing officer for Steamboat Ski Area owner Intrawest. "Slopeside is a real reflection of Chris Corna and his personality. : That place has been a great part of the Steamboat experience for a lot of people."

In addition to their business dealings, Wirth said he and Corna were friends. Wirth said he left Corna a message Monday morning about a ski trip they were planning to Whistler, British Columbia. In return, Corna was going to take Wirth scuba diving.

"There weren't very many heads that didn't turn when he walked by," Wirth said. "This town, this community will be lesser because of the loss of Chris Corna. : He was a great example of the 'work hard, play hard' phrase."

Comments

sickofitall 5 years, 4 months ago

Chris, rest in peace you were awesome, nothing short of...

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steamboatsprings 5 years, 4 months ago

Chris, Steamboat is a better place for your time here and will always remember you. We will think of you on every perfect spring day and undoubtedly on many others.

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Andrew Dutcher 5 years, 4 months ago

Chris,

Growing up in Muirfield I could have thrown a frizbee to your house. I am saddened for your family, Steamboat, the Slopeside and your friends. May it always be a powder day in Heaven for you my freind.

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flotilla 5 years, 4 months ago

What a tragic loss. Your smile will always be remembered.

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mtnbikr714 5 years, 4 months ago

You were a good friend and a great boss. You've done a lot for so many over the years that I hope we can all be better by learning from your actions. None of us can do it all but from watching you we can learn that we can all do something.

Chris, thanks for everything.

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Tamara Starr 5 years, 4 months ago

Our world was a better place when you were here, Chris. We will never forget you, your smile, your kindness to all. I hope you knew how many you touched and the love we felt. We will celebrate October 19th every year in loving memory.

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TFranklin 5 years, 4 months ago

The Memorial Tournament in Chris' hometown of Dublin, Ohio will certainly take on a new meaning this weekend, and in years to come. A great loss to Central Ohio and Chris' entire network of friends.

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freerider 5 years, 4 months ago

MAJOR BUMMER...Chris was a great guy...gonna miss ya

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Stacey Hallberg 5 years, 4 months ago

Chris, you'll always be our Sweetheart!

The ladies of Alpha Delta Pi (UF)

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bahamas 5 years, 4 months ago

chris, we are going to miss going up to colorado to see you, you have been there with my family since i was little and i will never forget you, no matter what you always made people smile and i love you and miss you.

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