In the late 1940's and early 1950's diehard skiers searched by plane between Denali and Seward, Alaska for a mountain that would be suitable for the development of a ski resort. When Ernst Baumann flew over Mt. Alyeska, he remarked, "That's the perfect mountain to ski." October 1980 marked a major turn for the region when Seibu, the world's largest leisure-industry conglomerate, bought Alyeska from Alaska Airlines. Seibu invested a sizable amount of money to build a world-class resort and a luxury hotel—the Alyeska Prince Hotel, which opened its doors in August 1994. "We went from truly being a day ski area to a four-season resort," says Larry Daniels, General Manager of the mountain and an employee of the resort for 32 years. "And we went from a community that you couldn't buy a loaf of bread in and with two bars, to a community with a lot of activities." Heading into the next 50 years, Alyeska Resort has plans for even greater development. First and foremost on the horizon is a ski in and ski out village to be built on 50 acres of land at the base of the mountain between the old lodge and new hotel. "The dream goes on," says Chris von Imhof, CEO of Alyeska Resort. "To me that is the high-end property. We need to continue to invest in the resort for both summer and winter activities, like places in Europe and resorts around the country."