Taos kids' teaching area gets makeover. (Taos Ski Valley/Facebook)
A reconfigured beginner slope and lifts highlight the latest round of upgrades at Taos Ski Valley, as other resorts along the southernmost tier of the Rockies also add lifts, trails and services.
At Taos, where new owner Louis Bacon has spent $395 million since buying the New Mexico resort in 2013, the 60-year-old Strawberry Hill children's teaching slope has been re-graded to aim toward the remodeled Children’s Center just west of the main base area. A new chair goes in there, too, as well as a three-car “pulse gondola” that connects Children’s Center with upscale Blake Hotel and other base facilities.
Over the hill in Angel Fire, the resort has brought nine acres of previously out-of-bounds terrain inside the ropes. The C-4 black diamond has 1,000 in vert and can be reached by a short hike off top of Southwest Flyer quad on back side. Also, all terrain parks expanded features.
Just outside Taos, Sipapu has widened an intermediate trail and put a hand rail on its magic carpet. The rustic base lodge got a 2,400-square-foot expansion for new rental shop, ticket office and retail.
At Pajarito above Los Alamos, a new magic carpet replaces the beginner tow lift that will serve an expanded beginner area. The day-trip mountain will be open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Coleman also owns Arizona Snowbowl and has shelled out for the mountain’s third lift in three years. This time, it’s a four-seat fixed-grip chair with conveyor loading on the teaching area of Hart Prairie.
West on I-40, Coleman's group has purchased town hill Elk Ridge outside of Williams. Once permits are in place, several new lifts will go in.