Taos Ski Valley, NM, Achieves CarbonNeutral® Certification

SnowBrains | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Skier overlooking valley
Taos Ski Valley skier overlooking the valley.

Major investments in reducing energy use on-mountain, in buildings, and by vehicles contribute to significant milestone toward zero emission goals

Taos Ski Valley, Inc. yesterday announced that it has become a certified CarbonNeutral® company by Climate Impact Partners, which, coupled with its status as the world’s first and only certified B Corporation®, confirms Taos as an industry leader in environmental and social responsibility. While Taos has achieved CarbonNeutral® certification, it will continue its ongoing, long-term effort to minimize its actual carbon emissions.

“CarbonNeutral® certification is the first step in our greater goal of significantly reducing our carbon emissions without using offsets. To achieve this milestone, we conducted a rigorous audit to fully understand our carbon footprint, so now we are poised for the next steps of further cutting greenhouse gasses. While we still have work to do to achieve our reduced carbon emission goals, we are thrilled to achieve this significant milestone on our journey. This is the right thing to do for all stakeholders, including our local community and our guests.”

– Taos Ski Valley CEO David Norden

Taos is working with Climate Impact Partners to offset its greenhouse gas emissions with projects that cut carbon and deliver sustainable development impacts. In addition to utilizing carbon offsets in its portfolio of carbon reduction strategies, Taos’ initiatives focus on three key areas of energy use: renewable power, electric vehicles, and efficient buildings. Following Climate Impact Partners’ rigorous CarbonNeutral Protocol, as well as the National Ski Areas Association Climate Challenge, Taos has effectively defined, measured, targeted, and reduced its carbon footprint. Some of those reduction measures include:

  • Resort operations like chairlifts and snowmaking use 100 percent renewable daytime solar power through a partnership with the local utility. Taos has also invested in 207 high-efficiency snow guns, which further reduce energy and water use.
  • Many older buildings have been retrofitted to reduce their energy impact, while newer buildings have been built with clean energy as a priority. For instance, the LEED-certified Blake Hotel uses geothermal wells and ground source heat pumps to heat and cool the building.
  • Taos has invested heavily in electrifying its fleet of vehicles, including snowmobiles and cars. Additionally, this winter, Taos Ski Valley will be the first ski resort in North America to deploy an all-electric snowcat.

“We have a detailed, highly rigorous plan to work towards zero emissions, which stipulates measurable, achievable investments and business changes. Taos Ski Valley is committed to this at every possible level and makes all decisions with sustainability at the forefront. Because of this focus, Taos is leading the industry in energy reduction, and we’re thrilled to achieve this CarbonNeutral® designation from the distinguished and prestigious Climate Impact Partners.”

– Matthew Weyer, Taos Ski Valley’s NetZero 2030 manager

Sustainability at Taos Ski Valley

Other sustainability initiatives at Taos contribute to its overall environmental leadership:

  • A food composter diverts more than 90 percent of food waste from the landfill. This helps support natural eco-systems with rich, fresh compost, and reduces methane gas at the landfill.
  • Taos Ski Valley is a charter signatory of The Nature Conservancy’s Rio Grande Water Fund whose collaborative goal is to restore 600,000 acres of critical forests and headwaters of the Rio Grande, helping restore eco-systems and sequestering carbon in forests, while also protecting water sources.
  • EV chargers installed throughout the resort incentivize guests and staff to drive electric vehicles.
  • A free employee shuttle provides reliable transportation to and from work and removes numerous cars and the associated emissions from the local roads.
  • Reviews of vendor and supplier relationships coupled with a preference for locally sourced products reduce shipping, packaging, and transportation emissions throughout the resort’s entire supply chain.
  • Waste reduction through the elimination of single-use plastics and the installation of water bottle fillers throughout the resort.

Taos Ski Valley’s journey towards zero emissions will require more of the same in the years ahead: continuing to increase building energy efficiency, adopting more electric vehicle and equipment technology, utilizing more renewable energy and onsite renewable generation, and adopting battery storage for grid resilience and to store renewable energy.

Forest Health

In addition to its emissions reduction work, Taos Ski Valley is continually investing resources toward forest maintenance to protect the mountain and mitigate fire and watershed impacts. This year alone, the resort thinned dead and diseased trees on 320 acres of at-risk forested lands. This work will help reduce potential fires, improve habitat for wildlife, and protect watersheds.  The forestry work is a collaborative effort with the Carson National Forest and the Taos Valley Watershed Coalition. The intent of the thinning work is to create a fire break to better protect the Village of Taos Ski Valley and the Rio Hondo watershed and to improve forest health to better withstand wildland fire threats.  What’s more, it offers enhanced skiing and riding terrain.

Passes and Activity Highlights for Winter 23

While its industry leading environmental stewardship is paramount, Taos Ski Valley will also offer guests an extraordinary Winter 23 experience. This winter, walk-up day tickets will be $195 for adults and $155 for youth. Taos will offer impressive discounts when day tickets are purchased 72 hours or more in advance. For these pre-sale tickets, costs will start at just $95 on weekdays and $135 on weekends for adults, and $65 on weekdays and $95 on weekends for youth. As always, 80+ and children under 6 are free, and Taos offers discounts for first responders and active military. Tickets will be available for purchase online beginning Sept. 27, 2022.

Families and beginner skiers and riders will also find new offerings. Childcare for ages 0-3 has returned this season, as well as Pre-K lessons, which are now available for even younger aspiring athletes – just 3-6 years old. Additionally, a new 250-foot moving carpet will replace the two older models on the beginner hill. This carpet will be utilized within a new design for Taos’ perfect progression approach, which uses purpose-built snow features to help assist new skiers and riders by naturally controlling their speed.

Other activities and offerings that guests can look forward to returning this winter:

  • Taos’ famous ski weeks – Beloved since the resort’s founding in 1955, ski weeks provide a full week of instruction to inspire visitors’ skiing, renew their spirits, and create long-time friendships. They are the only full-week program in North America. Ski weeks at Taos Ski Valley include Private Ski Weeks, and one-time sessions that include Race Week, and Women’s Week. Ski weeks run throughout the season from Sunday through Friday.
  • SkiStrong™ Gold Medalist Experience – Exclusive to Taos, Olympic Gold Medalist Deb Armstrong will host three-day Ski Strong sessions that offer skiers a transformative and thrilling experience. With sessions available for all levels of skiing, this once-in-a-lifetime package includes a welcome reception on the first evening and three full days of personal ski coaching directly by Armstrong, along with daily lift tickets and equipment rentals.
  • The Eis Haus ice-skating rink –Skaters of all abilities and ages will enjoy ice skating in the afternoons and evenings all season long. Large built-in fireplaces with seating adjacent to the ice offer a terrific place for family and friends to watch and socialize after a day on the mountain. Skate rentals are included, and skating starts at just $20 for the afternoons, and $25 for evenings.
  • Dinner sleigh ride – Taking place on Friday and Saturday nights, this unique and fun experience gives family and friends a spectacular way to access the award-winning Bavarian restaurant. Guests relax in a sleigh while they are snow-catted to the mid-mountain restaurant from the main plaza for three-course prix-fixe dinner, complete with wine. Thick cozy blankets keep the chill at bay, while guests receive an exhilarating and memorable roundtrip ride under the stars.

Transportation and Lodging

Getting to Taos has never been more convenient, as the easy and affordable Taos Air – The Easiest Route to the Rockies – will resume its roundtrip winter flights from Dallas, Austin, Carlsbad, Calif., and Hawthorne, Calif. beginning in December and flying through April 3, 2023.

The Blake at Taos Ski Valley continues to be the most popular and sophisticated lodging experience, and guests can choose one of the well-appointed and comfortable hotel rooms, or a three or four-bedroom penthouse complete with a full kitchen and large-scale living room. One, two, and three-bedroom vacation rentals are also available at The Blake Residences.

“In Taos, visitors will find the pure mountain experience: fresh powder, short lines, unabashed fun, and memories to last a lifetime. And visitors can be confident that they are patronizing a business that is for the good – the good of the planet, our people, and this place.”

– David Norden

Taos Ski Valley’s opening day is planned for Thursday, November 24, 2022 and the season will run through April 9, 2023.

trail map showing Taos Ski Resort
Taos Ski Resort Trail Map

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One thought on “Taos Ski Valley, NM, Achieves CarbonNeutral® Certification

  1. Still no mass transit option/shuttle from town so everyone that is up there minus employees drove themselves. Don’t really know how carbon neutral that is. Hope it was a one off for Covid but I don’t see that mentioned anywhere

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