The first major snowfall in the southern tier of the Rocky Mountains brings welcome coverage to resorts in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and southern Colorado – just in time.
After several weeks of no snow and warm daytime temps, opening-day skiers and riders at Taos Ski Valley, Arizona Snowbowl, Monarch, and Purgatory, are among the resorts that should find 1-2 feet of new snow, according to OpenSnow, when they drop the ropes for their 2019-2020 season.
At Taos, a flurry of expansion and upgrades during recent years has slowed a bit, but there's still new stuff at the New Mexico resort. Ownership continues to plow cash into grooming and snowmaking –both for more coverage and efficiency. And, direct air service from Dallas and Austin enters its second season.
Arizona Snowbowl also hits “pause” after new ownership Mountain Capital Partners aggressively added new and replacement lifts, terrain, and upgraded infrastructure. More parking and gondolas on the Agassiz Chair highlight the summer's additions. At the ski school, a series of grants has created a disabled veterans' learn-to-ski program at the northern Arizona mountain. Last year, the program provided 748 lessons to vets, according to the resort.
Like Snowbowl, Purgatory is in the Power Pass network under MCP. New this year are free season passes for anyone under 10 years old – a continued effort by the southern Colorado mountain to bring more young skiers and riders to the hill. Plus, adults up to 36 years old can get discounts on season passes.
Powder-stash Monarch celebrates 80 years in the ski business with a new retail shop that will rent ski and snowboard clothing and cold-weather accessories. On the hill, continued thinning of diseased trees will open up space for more glade skiing and riding.