Deer Valley Founder Edgar Stern Dies at 86


Edgar B. Stern Jr. 
September 1, 1922-October 12, 2008
Edgar B. Stern Jr., chairman of Royal Street Corporation, founder of WDSU Television, New Orleans, Deer Valley Resort, Park City, Utah, the Stanford Court Hotel, San Francisco, California, and a long-time director of Sears Roebuck and Company, died Sunday, October 12 in Seattle, WA at 86.
He was a true visionary, a pioneer in television and an innovator in the ski and hotel industries.  In all his endeavors he had a deep commitment to excellence and a philosophy of unstinting service to his community.
He was born in New York City on September 1, 1922, and was raised in New Orleans, where he attended Metairie Park Country Day School.  He was a graduate of the Hotchkiss School and Harvard University.
During World War II he served as a Signal Corps officer in the Pacific Theatre and at the Pentagon during the Korean War.
In 1948, along with his father, he founded WDSU-TV, Channel 6, in New Orleans, the first commercial television station in the Gulf Coast region. WDSU was the recipient of a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting.  He served on local civic and social services boards and served nationally as Public Relations Chairman of the United Fund.
Among his many New Orleans projects was participation in the creation of the Royal Orleans Hotel and the Royal Sonesta Hotel.  Oakwood Shopping Center, another of his developments, was the first air-conditioned shopping center in the region.
In 1968 he moved to Aspen, Colorado where he developed the Starwood residential subdivision and Red Mountain Ranch.  There he served for many years as chairman of the Music Associates of Aspen, the governing body of the Aspen Music Festival & School.  He took the leadership position in establishing the Aspen Valley Improvement Association and served on the Aspen Valley Hospital Board of Directors.
His continuing interest in hospitality led in the 70's to the nearly simultaneous development of The Stanford Court Hotel and the Deer Valley Resort.  Stanford Court Hotel was continuously awarded the prestigious Mobile Five Star rating.  A new standard for the ski industry was set at Deer Valley when Edgar Stern achieved his dream of combining the sport of skiing with the service, food and amenities of a five star hotel.  Deer Valley Resort is frequently honored by the readers of SKI magazine with the rating of #1 Ski Resort in North America.
In the field of education, he served on the Visitors Committee of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and on the boards of Tulane University and the University of Chicago.
Mr. Stern relocated to San Juan Island, Washington in 1986 where he served as president of the board of the San Juan Community Theatre and contributed to numerous community endeavors.
In 2007, he retired his position as Chairman of the Board of Royal Street Corporation.
In addition to his wife of sixty-one years, Pauline (Polly), Mr. Stern is survived by his daughter Sandra McIver, sons Eric, Monte and Lessing, seven grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.
A private memorial service will be held for the family and a public celebration of Edgar Stern's life will be planned at a later date in Park City, Utah.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in his name to any of the following:
 
"UW Medicine"
Box 358045
University of Washington    
Seattle, WA 98105
...with a memo reference in the check "Alzheimer's Disease Research Center in memory of Edgar B. Stern, Jr."
"Alzheimer's Association"
12721 30th Ave., NE
Suite 101
Seattle, WA 98215
...with a memo reference in the check "In memory of Edgar B. Stern, Jr."    
"The United States Ski Team"
P.O. Box 100
Park City, UT  84060
…with memo reference on the check "In memory of Edgar B. Stern, Jr."
 
Or to the Charity of your choice in Edgar Stern's name.
 
The family respectfully requests that they be given private time to grieve.  Please direct all expressions of sympathy to:
Royal Street Corporation
7620 Royal Street East, Suite 205
P.O. Box 3179
Park City, UT  84060 - 3179
Or email to edgar@deervalley.com
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The following is a statement from Deer Valley on Stern's passing:

It is with profound sadness that Deer Valley Resort announced today that their founder Edgar B. Stern Jr. passed away Sunday, October 12, 2008, in Seattle, WA at the age of 86. 

“Edgar was a true visionary and pioneer in the ski, television and hotel industries.  His passion, determination and commitment to excellence over the years are evidenced by the legacies he leaves behind, not only in Deer Valley Resort, but in his successful developments and projects including the Stanford Court Hotel, Aspen’s famed Starwood Ranch residential subdivision and the Royal Orleans Hotel – to mention a few,” said President and General Manager Bob Wheaton.

“The operation of Deer Valley will remain unchanged” Wheaton also stated.  “With the assistance of his son Lessing who took over as Chairman of the Board of Deer Valley’s parent company Royal Street Corporation in 2007, we are honored to move forward in continuing to fulfill Edgar’s legacy and dream.”

A private memorial service will be held for the family and a public celebration of Edgar’s life will be planned at a later date in Park City, Utah.