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Sam Beall, R.I.P.: Tennessee Luxury Hotelier Killed Skiing at Beaver Creek

Last month, we noted that skiing deaths at Colorado resorts have been down compared to recent years.

To that point, we'd only written about two fatal skiing accidents in 2016: Logan Salviano died at Vail, and Boulder artist Jason Taylor passed away at Keystone, both during January.

In the conclusion of our Taylor piece, we wrote: "We offer our hope that the casualty figures at Colorado ski resorts continue to shrink to the point where posts like this one become obsolete."

Unfortunately, this happy day hasn't come quite yet — and the latest resort death, involving Sam Beall, has left an entire community in mourning.

A 39-year-old father of five, Beall was the proprietor of Blackberry Farm, a luxury hotel in Walland, Tennessee, not far from Nashville, which went from a family property to a national travel destination.

Here's his bio from the hotel's website:

Beall was born at Blackberry Farm and makes it his family’s home today. Falling in love with the woods and the fields of Tennessee, the farm drew him back after living 14 years in Alabama when his father’s business was based in Mobile, Alabama. After attending The University of Tennessee and The California Culinary Academy, Sam had the good fortune to apprentice at The French Laundry, where he worked in the dining room, the kitchen and the garden. Also, working at the Ritz-Carlton, Cowgirl Creamery and California wineries, he fell in love with heirloom ingredients, artisanal food products, wine and a way of life not previously seen to his years growing up.

As the proprietor, Sam honors his parents by protecting and evolving the unique place that they originally discovered in 1976. During his leadership, the farm has seen the evolution of the Farmstead, the Wellhouse, expansion of retail program, the creation of two new restaurants, and the accumulation of accolades ranging from Travel + Leisure’s Number 1 hotel in North America, Bon Appetit’s #1 Hotel for Food Lovers, and three James Beard Awards. Along with his wife, Mary Celeste, and their five children, Sam lives — and cooks — from the farm. Blackberry Farm is, to him, not simply a business, but his life, and he brings equal measures of passion, celebration and knowledge to Blackberry Farm and the effort to continue to raise the level of service and experience to new heights.
Learn more about Blackberry Farm in a video from WBIR-TV.


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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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