Skiers and riders in the Southwest may be the biggest winners as the market for Western resorts remains hot. A Durango businessman with ownership interests in two Northern New Mexico resorts, has purchased both Durango Mountain Resort and Arizona Snowbowl.
The sale to James Coleman, announced Oct. 29, quells speculation that the Durango resort might be sold to a large resort conglomerate. The sale of Arizona Snowbowl, however, came unexpectedly, according to the Arizona Daily Sun. The previous owner was Eric Borowsky, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
Since the four resorts are now under a single owner, skiers and snowboarders likely will see reciprocal ticketing this season among the mountains. Details have yet to be announced, but the resorts' proximity to one another will be a major attraction.
With Durango Mountain Resort majority owner Chuck Cobb at 78, the ownership group of the southwestern Colorado mountain put the resort formerly known as Purgatory up for sale last winter, according to local news reports. The property attracted numerous prospective buyers, but Coleman was the only one with ties to the area.
“(The current owners) very much want to make sure the new owner, the new principal investor in the resort, would be a good fit for Durango and a good fit for Purgatory,” CEO Gary Derck to the Durango Herald.
As for Arizona Snowbowl, Coleman apparently will keep the controversial snowmaking system in place. The process, which was challenged in court for several years, pumps reclaimed wastewater from the Flagstaff sewage treatment plan to the top of the mountain.
Photo: Durango Mountain Resort is now part of a new Southwest alliance. (Durango Mountain Resort/Facebook)