• Volume 18 Number 2
    Spring 2009

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41.
Chip Perfect, BS ’79
 Lawrenceburg, Ind.  •  Profiled: Fall ’05

Serial entrepreneur

Chip Perfect sounds like a television commercial. Remember the one where Kevin Federline (Britney Spears’ ex) is making french fries while bemoaning his fall from grace?

“Life comes at you fast,” Federline and Perfect both say. But for Perfect, fast is the, uh, perfect pace.

Since he was profiled in 2005, Perfect, owner and operator of Perfect North Slopes ski area in southern Indiana, has bucked the bad economy by opening a 10-screen independent movie theater and a franchise Italian restaurant in the southeast corner of Indiana. But that’s not all.

“I partnered with one of our longtime employees at the ski area to secure a lease on the local dirt track for car races,” Perfect reports. “It has been a lot of fun, and the track is doing well.”Chip Perfect

But he hasn’t abandoned the ski resort his family opened almost 30 years ago in a scene that could have been a movie, had Kevin Costner and Field of Dreams not beat him to it.

“A guy named Kelly Green (an Indiana State University student working on a class project) drove right up our drive, parked his car, walked into our barn and introduced himself,” Perfect recalls. “He asked dad (Clyde) if we ever thought of turning our farm into a ski resort.”

In southern Indiana? The Perfect reply was short and to the point: “Are you kidding?”

But Chip had always harbored a dream of branching out from farming to become a businessman or, as he describes himself, a “serial entrepreneur.”

And while he continues to expand in many different directions, his primary direction is still downhill.

“I had a very successful venture that involved revamping a ski area in Wisconsin. My partner and I were able to make dramatic changes to the operation of the area and significantly improve its attendance and profitability. In addition, I have been elected to the National Ski Areas Association executive committee.” That means Perfect soon will become the first chairman of the NSAA from the Midwest.

So how did an ag grad wind up in the ski/movie/restaurant/dirt track business? Here’s how Perfect describes it:

“My time at Purdue was one of the best times of my life, and Purdue Agriculture did so much to prepare me for success. One never knows what doors are going to open. All you can do is create a situation where as many doors are in front of you as possible. Purdue Agriculture definitely helped me open some interesting doors.”