A billionaire swoops in and buys a struggling ski resort. It sounds like a plot to an ‘80s comedy. Instead of pissing off all of the locals, though, this seems like a welcomed investment.
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Last week, businessman and co-founder of Netflix Reed Hastings became the majority owner of Utah’s Powder Mountain, following a $100 million investment in the ski resort.
In a press release, Hastings explained that he and his wife, Patty, want to turn Powder Mountain into “the ultimate skier experience.”
“We’re looking to accentuate what has always made it special,” Hastings said. “We’ll do that by making it more easily accessible, by bolstering infrastructure and amenities and by maintaining the uncrowded feel Powder Mountain is known for.”
Covering more than 8,600 acres, Powder Mountain is the largest ski resort in the United States, but it’s gotten a reputation as a struggling business after a failed plan to market it as for the elites only. Hastings said he wants to change that.
Hastings, who has reportedly lived near Powder Mountain for eight years, now plans to launch a multi-year process to improve the resort. The improvements include:
- Opening a guided experience through 500 acres of “Don’t Mention It” (DMI) terrain, which offers views of Eden Valley and the Ogden Divide and 3,000 feet of vertical drop.
- New cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails near the village lift, as well as a new on-trail warming hut with hot chocolate.
- A new activity hub called the “Launch Pad Yurt,” which will open in December near the village chair lift.
- New moonbike tours — 100% electric snow bikes — on the winter trail network.
- Upgrades to the beginner experience, including a new ski school facility, re-graded beginner trails, and other infrastructure.
- Last but not least, lift tickets will cost $19 to “everyone, every night.”
Back in April, Hastings became a minority investor in Powder Mountain, after stepping down as the chief executive of Netflix. Improvements to the park are planned to begin this year.