ROME, ITALY – OCTOBER 8: Reed Hastings attends the announcement of the partnership between Netflix and Mediaset, … [+] Rome, October 8, 2019. (Photo by Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images / Netflix)
The latest news in the ski world is the marriage of a 21st century tech billionaire and a troubled ski mountain. In one fell swoop, Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix, invested $100 million in Powder Mountain, Utah, the largest resort town in the country. Hastings, who stepped down as CEO of Netflix in January and became a minority owner of Powder Mountain in April, became the resort’s majority owner on Sept. 6 with that investment.
Powder Mountain is the largest ski area in North America in terms of skiable area. Located above the Ogden Valley in northern Utah, the resort spans 8,464 acres. It has 54 cross-country ski trails, nine lifts and two fun parks. There are also cat skiing options that expand the range of terrain possibilities. In years with good snow, it receives more than 500 inches of legendary Utah powder. It’s also about an hour north of Salt Lake City International Airport and not in a remote wilderness area. Powder Mountain’s skier guidelines have also made it known in the ski world. It is the rare resort that has the unusual and welcome policy of limiting the sale of day passes and season passes to allow for a crowd-free ski experience.
For the past decade, Powder Mountain has been owned by the makers of the Summit Series conferences, who bought the resort in 2013 for $40 million and saw the unsung resort as a chance to build an environmentally friendly ski resort for the tech-rich. The goal was to build 500 houses in a village at 9,000 feet, as well as various scientific, medical and educational facilities. They faced countless challenges, and when the project fell through, Hastings, who already owned a home here, stepped in with a big check and a new vision.
A beautiful lodge in Powder Mountain, nestled in the mountains.
“This is an investment in what we believe is the ultimate skier experience,” Hastings said. “My wife Patty and I love this place; We love the untracked powder snow several days after a storm cycle, we love the vastness of the terrain, and we love the community. We want to highlight what has always made it special. We will accomplish this by making it more accessible, improving infrastructure and amenities, and preserving the uncrowded atmosphere that Powder Mountain is known for.”
Hastings wants the investment to have an immediate impact. The influx of funds is earmarked for improvements that will expand skiable terrain, create a new cross-country ski and snowshoe trail system and support the progression of all levels, abilities and ages on the mountain.
Notable improvements for winter 2023/24 include DMI Guided Backcountry Terrain. Powder Mountain will provide access to 500 acres of the steepest terrain accessible from the mountain. The newly opened site is DMI (Don’t Mention It) and offers views of the Eden Valley and the Ogden Divide. Skiers can look forward to 3,000 feet of vertical drop, slides and open bowls. In short, it is steep, technical terrain for large dogs that is so demanding that it can only be navigated with a handler.
A new network of trails for cross-country skiers and snowshoers near the village lift gives guests additional ways to get into the snow, while a new warming hut on the trail provides hot chocolate.
The resort’s new activity center, the Launch Pad Yurt, will open in December near the top of the Village Chair. The launch ramp serves as a starting point for various winter activities, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, moon biking, snowmobiling and more. Moonbikes, new this year, are easy-to-ride electric snowbikes that explore powder terrain with a guide.
Another addition: At a time when triple-digit lift tickets are commonplace in the ski world, Powder Mountain offers night ski lift tickets for $19, available to anyone every night.
Visit Powder Mountain.
Source : www.forbes.com