Reed Hastings is hitting the reset button when it comes to residential development at Powder Mountain.
Less than a month after the former Netflix CEO became the majority shareholder and chief decision-maker at the Eden-area ski and snowboard resort, Hastings pulled all its available residential real estate off the market. The 25 lots account for about half of the 57-lot Overlook development near the top of the mountain.
Hasting said the lots, which came off the market on Sunday, will not be offered up for sale again until next summer when the resort launches what he is calling “Powder Next.”
“That’s a big step that you do when you have confidence that it’s going to be a lot more successful in a year,” Hastings said. “So we kind of don’t want to sell those lots at current prices.
Hastings has entered into a 10-year partnership with high-end development firm Meriwether to craft and carry out his vision for Powder Mountain. Speaking at the Silicon Slopes tech summit on Wednesday, he said he envisions the resort being a “premium place in the world for being and doing.”
Most resorts are good at the “doing,” Hastings said, and Powder is improving in that realm. The resort added downhill mountain biking last summer and this season will create space for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking and backcountry tours. On the other hand, Hastings said, the “being” still needs work. Powder has few restaurants and amenities. Winters are harsh and, until last week, residents had to haul their trash down the mountain.
Hastings said he plans to collaborate with Meriweather over the winter to figure out what upgrades need to happen — and in what order.
Meriwether specializes in developing recreation-based luxury communities. Among them are the Aspen Club spa and redevelopment project in Colorado, the Victory Ranch community in Kamas, and a Coachella Valley, Calif., resort that includes a Kelly Slater wave pool, residences and, according to a press release, “progression-based training for the mind, body and soul.”
Noah Hahn, a partner at the Colorado-based Meriwether, said Powder is similar to those projects in that it will offer a getaway for a more experience-minded clientele. Hahn said generational wealth is passing to Gen X, and their idea of relaxing is different from their parents.
“We’re not building a wave pool at Powder,” said “But what that comes down to is that unique, outdoor and adventure lifestyle and experience. You know, surfing, skiing, fitness and wellness.”
Hastings hired Amy Dee to oversee construction at Powder. Dee worked with Hastings at Netflix for more than a decade, eventually serving as its director of global real estate. She also oversaw the construction of a nonprofit foundation’s teachers retreat that Hastings built near Bailey, Colo. As chief construction manager, he said, Dee will be in charge of the physical construction of roads, neighborhoods and lifts.
Though the lots owned by Powder have been taken off the market, those with other owners may still be offered up for sale.
The somewhat unusual move comes during a time in which high interest rates have dampened real estate sales in many sectors. The luxury and ultra-luxury markets — properties valued at $1 million or more and $10 million and more, respectively — have proven fairly impervious to that trend, however. In its 2023 mid-year ultra-luxury report, the real estate brokerage Compass noted that sales have actually soared for vacation and second homes in low-tax markets.
Still, Hastings said the market had little to do with Powder taking the properties off the market. He said sales of the bare lots — which ranged from roughly $560,000 for .35 acres to $2.16 million for .59 acres — have languished for two years, including when 30-year mortgage rates neared record lows.
“This is us just wanting to reset,” he said.
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