Tennessee man dead after ski accident at Beaver Creek

Ross Leonhart
Vail Daily

BEAVER CREEK — A 39-year-old man from Knoxville, Tennessee, was pronounced dead at Vail Valley Medical Center on Thursday after Beaver Creek ski patrol responded to an incident on an intermediate trail that afternoon.

Sam Beall, the owner of Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, a luxury hotel and fine-dining destination in the Great Smoky Mountains, was skiing at the resort Thursday and was pronounced dead later at the hospital. Beall is the son of Ruby Tuesday’s founder Samuel E. Beall III and was a familiar face at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. He was a presenter at the Classic’s 2010 trade show.

Blackberry Farm’s Facebook page released this notice on Friday afternoon:

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the untimely death of Sam Beall, our beloved proprietor. He passed away during a tragic skiing accident late Thursday, Feb. 25. We know that so many of you have been touched by Sam’s friendship, hospitality and adventurous spirit over the years, and we welcome your thoughts and prayers for the Beall family. Memorial and funeral information will be announced soon.

“In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to the Blackberry Farm Foundation at If you would like to share any thoughts with the Beall family or the Blackberry team, please direct your note to rememberingsam@blackberry”

Leaves a legacy

During Beall’s leadership at the estate, the Blackberry Farm underwent expansions, opened new restaurants and earned accolades, including Travel + Leisure’s No. 1 hotel for food lovers. Beall leaves behind his wife, Mary Celeste, and their five children, along with numerous other friends and family.

“Beaver Creek Resort, Beaver Creek ski patrol and the Vail Resorts family extends their deepest sympathy and support to the family and friends of the man,” Beaver Creek said in a statement.