Kent Forté’s adventures have taken him from the Peace Corps and jobs around the Caribbean to being manager of the Edelweiss Lodge and Spa and a real estate adviser with Engel & Voelkers Taos. We asked him about his roundabout and fascinating journey before settling in Taos Ski Valley, and his thoughts on the future.
Q. You’ve had an exciting life! Tell us about how you made the transition from beaches to ski slopes?
A. After college I was looking for adventure, and found what I was looking for in the Peace Corps, where I worked with small-scale fish farming operations in Honduras’ north coast area. I then became involved with an NGO working to protect a national park, and upon meeting an investor interested in ecotourism, I developed Honduras’ first true eco-lodge. Once construction was completed, I traded in my developer’s hat and moved with my wife and first child into the rain forest to manage the lodge for several years.
Nearly 15 years after arriving in Honduras, and another child later, the worsening crime situation prompted us to move. Through a serendipitous encounter, we were presented with the opportunity to manage a small bonefishing lodge in the Bahamas. While island life was idyllic in many ways, at the end of two years we decided to trade our flip-flops and fly rods for ski boots, and I accepted a position at the newly completed Edelweiss Lodge and Spa.
Q. What has the experience of running the Edelweiss been like?
A. I have really enjoyed managing the Edelweiss over the last 14 years. What’s not to like? A small intimate community set in a beautiful valley bound by forest and mountains on all sides, and interesting times in the valley. The developer in me is fascinated by all the changes taking place as the resort undergoes a “renewal.” And for an avid skier, nothing beats having the world-class slopes of TSV just outside your office.
Q. What inspired you to become a realtor?
A. In my first two years at the Edelweiss several owners wanted to sell their units. I quickly realized that no one was better positioned to show and sell units at the Edelweiss. We planned to make Taos our home – it made sense for me to ensure that future owners got the straight scoop on ownership, and my real estate career was born.
Q. How has COVID affected Taos Ski Valley real estate, and what do you see in the future?
A. Like much of Taos County, TSV real estate has benefited from the current desire for homes with more physical space and outdoor pursuits. Recent investments in infrastructure like fiber optic and Taos Air, the increase in people working remotely, along with strong marketing and more year-round activities have all contributed to more interest in property in TSV, and there’s a bullish feeling for many in the valley. There is relatively little private land in TSV, making supply limited in the face of this growing demand.
I am optimistic about the TSV real estate market. TSV Inc.’s focus is on making the resort better, not bigger. Investments in transportation, the ski operations, village infrastructure and summer activities are making it easier for visitors to reach Taos while providing more reasons to do so. All this while the resort’s strong marketing efforts are bringing TSV to the attention of more than just diehard skiers.