Thanks to a stellar snow year, off the back of one of the driest years in a century, in 2018/19 Taos Ski Valley, NM enjoyed its best season in two decades, according to executive director David Norden.
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New Mexico ski areas averaged 185 inches of powder from the first day of the season to the last, and Norden said Taos Ski Valley had received about 20 feet of snow total. SKier visits across the states 8 resorts topped 1-million, the best in 21-years.
Along with the generous snow, development efforts at Taos Ski Valley also helped promote New Mexico’s skier and snowboarder profile. Over the last couple of years, the resort has added a high-speed quad chairlift, a lift to its upper mountain at Kachina Peak, a children’s center and a gondolita along with renovating two popular dining areas, the Bavarian and the Phoenix. The resort’s 80-room hotel, the Blake, averaged around 80 percent capacity through the season, Norden said.
Their new air service Taos Air, offering charter flights between Taos, Austin, and Houston over the winter also made a huge difference. They averaged about 75 percent occupancy during the season, way above the 45% they anticipated.
Taos Ski Valley will continue to invest in its snowmaking, summer trails, and other offerings, to diversify what the resort has to offer, just in case nature doesn’t provide as much snow in the seasons to come.
“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the ski industry,” Norden said. “Having a hedge is important. The greatest three [challenges] we have are: Diversification of business – people are coming here for their conferences and even weddings in winter. Second is heavy investment in our snowmaking – we’re going to put another $600,000 into snowmaking. And third is moving into more activities for summer months like mountain biking. I think it’s vital.”