After nearly 60 years of family ownership, Taos Ski Valley has been purchased by hedge fund owner Louis Bacon for an undisclosed amount.
Adriana Blake, who had recently become the third generation of ownership and management at the New Mexico resort, announced the sale in an email Wednesday.
“After a huge amount of discussion, the Blake family chose to sell to Louis as he will be able to make the investments necessary to help TSV refurbish the base area and put in the mountain improvements that will allow Taos to grow and compete in the modern ski industry,” said Blake, granddaughter of ski area founder Ernie Blake. “I believe honestly that this group will follow the vision that has been established by my family and will honor the knowledge and experience of our staff.
Bacon already owns some property around the base area of the Taos resort, and he also is known regionally for his purchase of the former Forbes Ranch (Trinchera Blanca Ranch) east of Fort Garland, Colo., and putting 167,000 acres under the protection of conservation easements.
The Blakes have plans in place to modernize the base area, add several new lifts and open new terrain, but there remained the question of how it would be paid for. The family never owned any overnight properties and only recently got into the real estate business with the high-end Pioneers Glade project.
Adriana Blake said she would stay on for the remainder of the 2013-2014 season but was unsure beyond that. Her brother, Alejandro Blake, left the resort this fall to take a job with an online concert ticket business in Albuquerque.
Bacon, who was listed by Forbes magazine as the 736th richest man in the world in 2011, formed Moore Charitable Trust in the 1990s to provide financial support for nonprofit organizations that promote land and resource conservation.
Andy started skiing at about three years old. His father Jim held him between his legs and off they went down New England trails. Soon, Andy joined the Fourth Estate and moved to Colorado, thereupon finding work as a staff writer or editor for newspapers – including a stint as Ski Editor for the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph. In between, he designed and wrote public school curriculum, edited Concrete Pumping & Placing Magazine, and got a master’s degree in English. All the while, he skied. So, the marriage of snowsports and journalism has only been waiting for Andy to catch on. He’s glad he finally did.