Telluride First: 1st Integrative Wellness Summit

Telluride First: 1st Integrative Wellness Summit

Telluride First Foundation’s inaugural conference in Mountain Village features Dr. Deepak Chopra as keynote speaker. Event takes place Friday, September 11 – Sunday, September 13. Full schedule here. Tickets/passes here.



The region is more than just another ski resort, however unique, with dazzlingly lit snowy peaks and outrageous starlit skies.

It is more than a destination for chockablock festivals in summer and fall.

Telluride has shape-shifting powers.

All it took was a little imagination.

And a dollop of moxie.

Chuck Horning, owner of the Telluride Ski & Golf Resort or Telski, got to thinking about the well-being of the Telluride region, physical and spiritual. What else besides unparalleled on-mountain and cultural activities could enrich the lifestyle of locals and enhance the lure of the “brand” to others as well?

Horning’s musings evolved into the Telluride First Foundation, dedicated to offering a series of compelling, science-based conferences, with “science,” writ large to include politics and government, all for the betterment of residents, the region, and people everywhere who come. Speakers would be recognized thought-leaders in their fields.

Now, in addition to skiing and festivals, the Telluride region would be widely recognized as hub of educational and inspirational conferences.

Horning’s dream for Telluride First goes public with the inaugural Telluride Integrative Wellness Summit. The event will be held at the Telluride Mountain Village Conference Center, Friday – Sunday, September 11-13, 2015. Deepak Chopra, M.D., is keynote speaker.

An international icon, his name is synonymous with spiritual wellness and alternative medicine. Chopra initially specialized in internal medicine and endocrinology; he is now a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

In addition to his status as a best-selling author, with over 80 books published in 43 languages, Chopra is also founder of The Chopra Foundation, dedicated to advancing the cause of mind/body spiritual healing, education, and research. And he is co-founder of  The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, a safe haven where people go to heal physical and emotional pain and empower themselves by connecting to their inner spiritual life.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this gathering of like-minded, wellness influencers, who are committed to creating a sustainable, happier, and healthier world,” said Chopra. “In the past few decades, research has found that being chronically stressed greatly increases a person’s risk of disease. We now know that lifestyle choices, including meditation, stress reduction, a healthy diet, and exercise are the best way to prevent disease.”

“This first conference is focused on scientific data regarding nutrition, longevity, and creating a state of optimal health,” said Telluride First Foundation executive director Laila Benitez. “There are few people whose impact on the way we think about health and well-being is as far-reaching as Dr. Chopra’s. We are excited he accepted our invitation to speak at our first summit.”

Over Telluride First’s freshman weekend, Chopra is in fine company, joined by other top experts in the fields of nutrition, longevity, and integrative healthcare, who plan to share the latest scientific findings (and the great potential for enhanced wellness inherent imbedded in those discoveries). Topics will include the impact of diet and exercise on longevity, methods for creating optimal brain health and performance, and the impact of food choices on our body chemistry and mental and emotional states.

Featured speakers:

Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor, a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist, is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.” Her TED talk remains one of the most viewed of all time.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, co-author of the “The China Study,” the largest nutrition study ever conducted, and producer of the 2011 documentary “Forks Over Knives.” Dr. Campbell is presenting his research on the impact of plant-based nutrition on health, disease, and longevity.

Rich Roll, a bestselling author of “Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men,” is an accomplished vegan, ultra-endurance athlete, and former-overweight-entertainment-attorney-turned-full-time-wellness-and-plant-based-nutrition advocate. Roll is an inspirational speaker on the subject of the transformative impact of healthy living.

Additional Wellness Summit weekend activities include healthy cooking workshops, outdoor yoga, guided hikes, and group meditation.

More about Telluride First Foundation:

Telluride First Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to developing the Telluride community into a hub of educational and inspirational science-based programs and conferences.

Innovative events and programming will be held throughout the year on topics ranging from health and the environment to science and technology.

“As we look to the future, we will be working with the community to develop leading-edge, science-based conferences for an audience who shares the desire to make the world better by advancing our understanding of how it all works,” said Horning.

“We are so excited to bring this programming to Telluride and thrilled about the initial support we’ve already received,” said Benitez.”We encourage our extended community to continue reaching out about ways to participate in this and future conferences.” 

The Telluride First Foundation will also develop programs that encourage and deepen young people’s curiosity about science and explain its importance to the future of our society –  and our world.

In addition, the nonprofit plans to feature initiatives that apply scientific principles and disciplines to subjects such as government and politics.

In an effort to create a more impactful inaugural conference, Telluride First partnered with Pirie Jones Grossman, executive producer of the Sun Valley Wellness Festival and founder of Destiny Productions.

To learn more, visit or email

And for those who might not be able to attend the first event, here is what Dr. Deepak Chopra has to say about “The Future of Well-Being.”



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