Blake Hess has 30 years of experience as an athlete, founder, and innovator in the action sports industry. While attending the University of Illinois, Blake traveled the world as a professional water skier and wakeboarder. After settling down in Texas, he worked as an art director for a local advertising agency. It did not take long before Blake began missing the excitement of watersports. Blending his business acumen, advertising experience, and his love of watersports, Blake co-founded Texas Ski Ranch (TSR) in 2000. More recently, Blake has been the general manager for not one, but two surf parks: NLand in Austin, Texas and the world famous, Kelly Slater Surf Ranch owned by the World Surf League. At Surf Ranch, Blake was tasked with transforming this R&D facility into a full blown profitable guest oriented business. Despite a world wide pandemic, Blake led Surf Ranch to its best season ever, setting new benchmarks in finance and guest survey metrics in 2020. Today Blake is a partner at Beach Street Development and works as the Chief Operating Officer building projects worldwide focusing on development and operations. Blake has an abundance of unmatched operational experience in action sports industry. The lessons learned from these opportunities, make Blake one of the most experienced individuals in the young surf park industry.
‘Talented Leader’ comes to mind when I think about Blake’s role at NLand. He always brings endless energy to the team which is a joy to be around. He’s a great collaborator and tremendous team builder. Crossing paths with Blake has been a great experience for me and those who have worked with him. Any company would stand to gain having him on board.
— Rick Miller
Owner RLM Hospitality