Alejandro ‘Hano’ Blake, the grandson of Taos Ski Valley founder Ernie Blake, has left the family-owned resort business to join an online events ticketing company in Albuquerque.
"It was most difficult decision of my life, but it's the right time," Blake told SnoCountry.com, as he prepared to leave the family-run resort to join HoldMyTicket.com. According to its Holdmyticket.com touts itself as a “complete web based event management toolkit,” including selling tickets for concerts and events throughout the United States.
Blake’s departure means the current management team will take on more tasks in the future, but his spot as special events director will be filled by local businessman Jonah Salloway, who owned a mountain shop in town.
Among other reasons, Blake said that he hopes his leaving will "clarify management" for the staff, who have been answering to four top managers.
"Having four bosses has been confusing, at times, for the staff," he said. "So I think this move will be good for me and for Taos Ski Valley."
Adrianna Blake, Alejandro’s sister and the resort’s marketing manager, told SnoCountry.com that her brother's departure is "sad for me, because we were such a good team.
"But I’m glad he’s getting a chance to take care of himself and to work with people his own age,” she said.
In recent years, both sister and brother have taken a larger role in running the family business, including pushing to allow snowboarding in 2008, and shepherding in the resort’s first real estate development. They’ve also worked to modernize the resort’s marketing and special events efforts, as well as adding mountain biking trails and other facilities to boost business during the offseason on the 58-year-old ski mountain.
Alejandro Blake, 37, said he is most proud of the development of an events department that had an "effect on the energy and culture at the Ski Valley," and the long-term resort planning that has taken place recently.
"There's lots in play up there for the future," he said. "I'm proud that we're making the efforts to stay competitive with our neighbors to the north. In the next five years, you are going to see tangible results from the planning we've done, both on the mountain and the base area."
There's a chance that Alejandro Blake will join the 11-member board of directors at TSV in the future. The family holds a majority ownership of the resort.
Adrianna Blake told us she’s sticking around: “I’m here unless you can find me a way to make a living while sitting on a beach.”
Photo: Alejandro and Adriana Blake (Taos Ski Valley)