One of the ski industry's iconic families, the Blakes of Taos, N.M., is leaving the business. Mickey Blake, chief executive officer of Taos Ski Valley, announced Wednesday that the family-held ski area will be sold to conservationist Louis Bacon. Among several generations of the Blake family still working for the resort, Mickey Blake is the son of Taos Ski Valley founders Ernie and Rhoda Blake.
Founder of the Moore Capital Management hedge-fund firm, Bacon has owned property in Taos Ski Valley since 1996. He already worked with the Blake Family for several years on the Village Master Plan, approved last spring by the Village of Taos.
“Louis and his team have been true partners for many years and have played collaborative roles in the vision our family has for the ski valley, the base-area redevelopment and the on-mountain improvements," Blake said.
"Based on our relationship and his track record for conservation, our family approached Louis about purchasing Taos Ski Valley," he added. "We believe Louis is the right person to ensure a viable future for the ski valley and that his ownership will be beneficial to our employees, Taos' residents and guests."
Bacon worth $1.4 billion
Listed 371st on the Forbes 400 list with a net worth of $1.4 billion, Bacon also owns a huge tract of land called Trinchera Blanca in Colorado. He bought the property in 2007 for the purposes of conservation.
The Blake family will retain a seat on the Board of Directors for Taos Ski Valley. Chief Operating Officer Gordon Briner will take over as CEO from Mickey Blake. The ski-area purchase will be completed pending official approval by the Blake family members owning shares.
Taos has long been known for its traditional approach to the ski business. For example, the resort was one of the nation's last holdouts for allowing snowboarding.