The Story Begins in 1965
Mario’s Pizza is located in the small mountain town of Gunnison on the Western Slope of Colorado. Gunnison is situated in a high mountain valley at an elevation of 7700 feet. It is home to Western State College and has an abundance of outdoor recreation activities. Mario’s was established in 1965 by Mario Petri who ran it until 1971 when Tom and Kathy Rais bought it and took over the operations.
Tom and Kathy ran Mario’s as a family business with their two daughters, Karen and Sarah. In 1994, Karen returned to Gunnison from college with her new husband Mark Higgins and they took over operation of the restaurant. The Rais and Higgins families built a very strong business that has become a mainstay in the Gunnison community providing many great memories for locals.