Taos Ski Valley to be sold

Blake family, left,  Peter Blake, Ernie Blake, Rhoda
Blake, Mickey Blake and Wendy Blake Stagg
From the Taos News - Robin Martin - Taos Ski Valley will be sold to a billionaire conservationist. “Our net revenues are not sufficient to fund the improvements needed,” said TSV Chief Executive Officer Mickey Blake. He said construction of a new lift up Kachina Peak would have “eaten up all our cash reserves.”
     Blake said that buyer Louis Bacon has the capital to purchase new lifts, rebuild the base area and construct a hotel, all necessary improvements. “They're definitely going to do higher-end stuff,”
      Blake said.No employees will lose their jobs, he said, “it will be seamless.” Blake will step down as CEO to be replaced by Gordon Briner, now chief operations officer. Bacon said Blake will retain his seat on the company's board of directors.
     During the holidays, the ski area will be at peak employment levels, with 415 full- and 200 part-timers. Blake said 120 employees have more than 20 years of service. Bacon is founder and CEO of the hedge fund company Moore Capital Management and a resident of New York State.
     The decision to sell TSV was not sudden. “We had long discussions early in the summer that what's needed to be invested is beyond what we can come up with,” Blake said. He approached Bacon and negotiated with the investor himself.
     Included in the purchase is the Forest Service use permit for about 1,200 acres, the base area of about 100 deeded acres, 20 acres uphill at the Phoenix Restaurant, lifts, snowmaking and grooming equipment, subdivision lots at the Pioneers Glade, “and our fancy parking lot shuttles,” Blake said.
     He said the parties have signed a strict confidentiality agreement and will not disclose the price.More