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Southwest Consortium Adds Another Mountain In Arizona


Learn-to-ski is a staple at town hill Elk Ridge. (Elk Ridge/Facebook)

An ownership group focusing on the Southwest that has five ski and snowboard mountains under its wing now has a sixth: Elk Ridge Ski Area in Williams, Ariz.


Durango-based Mountain Capital Partners recently announced that it plans to purchase the town hill just north of Williams once U.S. Forest Service gives the go-ahead. The 37-acre ski hill, which was opened in the early 1960s as Williams Ski Area, has long been where locals caught a few afternoon runs or passersby stopped for a distraction from driving along I-40.

Family fun outside base lodge at Elk Ridge (Elk Ridge/Facebook)

The new owners, headed by Durango businessman James Coleman, plan to replace the existing rope tow and Poma platter, and to upgrade tubing, snow shoeing and other non-skiing activities once the Kaibab National Forest OK’s its permit for operations.

“(The purchase) is a commitment to offering low-cost winter recreational activities and restoring its historical relevance and impact to the Williams economy,” said J.R. Murray, general manager of Arizona Snowbowl, one of the consortium’s resorts.

The Poma platter, which runs from the 7,500-foot elevation base to the 8,150-foot summit, hasn’t been operated in a number of years, and the lower rope tow has run sporadically.

Elk Ridge has 10 trails, 600-foot vert and 37 acres of terrain (Elk Ridge Website)

“Our plans call for replacing both surface lifts with modern equipment that will provide access to all the ski slopes,” said Murray, adding that Mountain Capital Partners, who have been on a spending binge lately at its Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona resorts, expects to eventually replace the Poma platter with a chairlift and add mountain biking and hiking to the summer-play portfolio.

The consortium now owns and/or operates Purgatory and Hesperus Ski Area in southern Colorado, Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff, and Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort and Pajarito in northern New Mexico.

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