Another small ski and snowboard area in the southern Rockies is ready to expand: Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort has announced projects to add lifts, trails and more on-mountain dining.
Nestled in a tight canyon about 20 miles from Taos, the New Mexico resort has long been a beginner/family friendly mountain with narrow trails, early-season openings and down-home atmosphere.
Now, managing partner James Coleman, a Durango man whose Mountain Capital Partners owns and operates a half-dozen mountains in the Southwest, will put his money down on a bold expansion project to double the skiable terrain, add three chairlifts and upgrade amenities around the mountain.
Since 2012 when Sipapu’s development plan got U.S. Forest Service OK, ownership has added a new chair, replaced another and done extensive work on trails – all within the trail map that has been since the resort opened in 1952.
The current plan would increase vertical to extend the mountain’s boundaries to the west and south, bringing a new chairlift up 500 feet to the 9,700-foot ridge above the resort and opening up some 50 trails of intermediate and novice terrain. The restaurant at the top of existing Lift A will be enlarged, too.
It’ll be a couple of seasons before visitors will notice many changes. Since the expansion requires an increase in acreage beyond the existing permit area, the Forest Service will go through its review process for the next couple of years before deciding. Tentative timeline has full-on construction beginning in 2020.
With a preference for smaller ski and snowboard mountains, Coleman and Mountain Capital Partners also have Purgatory, Arizona Snowbowl, Pajarito, Nordic Valley and Ski Hesperus in their portfolio. Plans for upgrades have either been initiated at all these resorts or are in the planning process.
For a look at the Sipapu plan, click here.