Netflix head offered ‘an immediate yes’ to Powder Mountain reps on buying into resort
Photo supplied, Powder Mountain/Ian Matteson
Days after the announcement that he had acquired a stake in Powder Mountain, Netflix Chairman Reed Hastings says the decision to buy into the Eden-area ski resort wasn’t a tough one.
“A couple weeks back the Summit Group founders approached me with the idea. There wasn’t much deliberation on my end, it was an immediate yes,” Hastings said in a series of written responses on the deal to the Standard-Examiner. He and his wife Patty own property and a home on the land around the ski resort, part of the larger Summit Mountain Holding Group development area he bought into.
What exactly comes of the plans to develop the resort and the abutting land, where a ski village and more private homes have been envisioned, remains unclear. The group that took over Powder Mountain in the early 2010s created a vision calling for the ski village around the Powder Mountain resort with as many 1,000 housing units, including 500 stand-alone homes.
“In the coming months we will be working to define specific plans, and look forward to sharing the vision for Powder Mountain later in the year. Improved parking, more restaurants and lift upgrades and additional non-skiing activities will be part of the plan,” Hastings said.
The prior slate of owners was dominated by the founders of the Summit Series, an entity that organizes events and conferences geared, broadly, to creating “an authentic community,” according to its website. A village proposed as part of the earlier vision was to serve as “a utopian club for the millennial elite,” according to a 2021 filing by Summit investors in a federal lawsuit over financing of the Powder Mountain plans.
Photo supplied, Powder Mountain
Hastings, though, indicated that the vision going forward will likely morph from that earlier vision. “The Summit Group’s vision was really ambitious, but it is not a blueprint that we’re looking to follow moving forward,” Hastings said.
Hastings bought into Powder Mountain via acquisition of the majority of the share previously owned by Summit Series’ founders Elliott Bisnow, Brett Leve, Jeff Rosenthal and Jeremy Schwartz. Hastings now holds one of five Powder Mountain board seats while Greg Mauro, also part of the ownership team with the Summit Series contingent, is majority owner.
Though offering limited specifics, Hastings seems to put a focus on the ski resort facilities and the quality of skiing at Powder Mountain.
“As far as the draw, I’m a snowboarder and the on-snow experience is as good as you’ll find. There’s incredible terrain, excellent and reliable snow quality and you don’t have to share it with anyone. It checks every box,” he said. He went on: “Maintaining the genuine and unique feel of Powder Mountain is a major priority for us. We wanted to get involved with Powder Mountain because of what this mountain is, not for some far-off vision of what it could become.”
Kevin Mitchell, general manager of the ski resort, said he’s now turning his focus to preparations for summer operations, including the mountain biking season. “We plan to share more information about upgrades to the resort this fall once our new leadership team has had time to be thoughtful about their approach,” he said in a statement to the Standard-Examiner.