Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings’ retirement project: Powder Mountain is a stalled Utah ski resort once touted as a utopia for founders and billionaires.


Reed Hastings Attends Event

Netflix Chairman and Co-Founder Reed Hastings is now co-owner of Utah ski resort Powder Mountain. Getty Images — Netflix/Ernesto S. Lucio

Three months after announcing he was stepping down as CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings has found his next project. luck Recently reported, it was once touted as an eco-friendly utopia for socially conscious founders, stars and ultra-rich ski enthusiasts.

Eight years ago, Hastings and his wife Patti Quillin, who have an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion, bought a lot on the mountainside and built a modern wooden cylindrical home on it. The couple, who are avid skiers and snowboarders, will be the seasonal neighbors of marketing giant WPP founder Martin His Sorrell and PayPal co-founder Ken His Howley. They were among a long list of prominent business figures drawn to the vision of the alpine Shangri-La planned by the young founder of the brilliant conference series.

Hastings will now buy stakes in these founders and play a central role in determining Powder’s next move, according to a news release Monday. He “looks forward to being part of the future of Powder His Mountain,” and “want to protect what makes this place so special,” said Netflix co-founder and executive chairman. said in the release. Reid did not respond to a request for further comment Monday night.

end of dream

Powder Mountain was a ski resort in decline when it was bought in 2013 by the four founders of The Summit Series, a hedonistic invitation-only conference for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and celebrities, in their 20s. bottom. The Summit series of events are known for talks by the likes of Jeff Bezos and Bill Clinton. Performances by The Roots and other stars. Spectacular dance parties and meals prepared by celebrity chefs. An immersive seminar on lucid dreaming and psychedelic mushrooms.

Summit Series founders Elliott Bisnow, Brett Reeve, Jeff Rosenthal, and Jeremy Schwartz had a breathtaking media career ten years ago when they acquired Powder Mountain in a $40 million round of domineering networks. Got attention. Together with a venture capitalist named Greg Mauro and his partner Rob Hatter, they formed a collective to create a vision of a year-round home for Summit Series conference business and an elegant town for those who share their spirit. launched. schedule. ” as luck According to reports, the Summit “was to be a place where big, world-changing, philanthropic ideas would hatch.”

On a parcel of approximately 9,000 acres, the group planned a 4-acre village with 500 ski-in, ski-out single-family homes and co-working spaces, restaurants and a luxury hotel. There has been talk of Montessori schools, alternative universities, high-tech greenhouses, and mountain communities building self-sufficient wastewater recycling systems.

The project has attracted hundreds of investors and buyers, including executives, sports stars and founders, but most of what was promised has not materialized. Ten years after purchasing the mountain, less than 50 of his promised 500 homes have been built, and the village exists only on the architect’s blueprint. , restaurants, hotels and shops. The jobs and economic development promised to county officials when suburban developers pitched their plans didn’t pan out either.

what went wrong? Building a community at 9,000 feet, accessible only by one of the steepest roads in the country, was no easy task, and the COVID pandemic and supply chain issues didn’t help. To make matters worse, the resort’s developers clashed with some of the predominantly Mormon local community in Eden, Utah. However, several sources told Fortune that a violent power struggle between Bisnow and Mauro accounted for most of the delay. They denied there was a match, but not as much as for such a complex project.Both did not respond to requests for comment on Monday night.)

Impulse buy?

Hastings doesn’t seem to share the original developer’s utopian ambitions of a bustling ski resort for socially conscious campaigners and shakers. In January he said: luck He and his wife love the isolation and ‘pioneer’ feel of the mountains, and now consider Powder to be a traditional real estate project, citing ‘Summit’s ‘We Change the World with Our Interactions’. He has an unassuming spirit of “trying”.

“At some point it was a world saver,” Hastings told the Salt Lake Tribune in a conversation following his recent splurge. What we don’t do is have incredible ski mountains.”

The Tribune reports that Bisnow approached Hastings about buying a stake in the Summit Series founder just two weeks ago. “‘From our perspective, in terms of loving the mountain and appreciating it for what it is,'” Hastings said Bisnow told him.

Hastings will serve on one of the five seats on the Board of Directors, helping to oversee the management and operations of the mountain. Mauro remains a co-owner, according to a news release. Powder Mountain did not disclose how much Hastings paid for the part of the ski area.

“Elliott Bisnow and crew had big dreams that were partially realized,” Hastings said in a news release. “Greg and I are excited to continue improving his mountain in powder.”

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