Faces of Taos
Name: Ramona Montoya
Vocation: Property management, bartender, ski bum
Location: Taos and Taos Ski Valley
Ramona “Mona” Montoya, has been in and around Taos Ski Valley for almost 35 years. Born at Laguna Pueblo, she was raised in Albuquerque and moved to Taos to be a ski bum – that means doing a little bit of everything.
To get her ski pass, she taught beginner adults for two seasons until Ernie Blake died in 1989. She did a tour of BAMS (Base Area Management) four hours a night, allowing her to ski during the day. And she was also one of two female lift ops, a first at the ski valley back in the day, and something that gave pause to a number of male lifties, she says with a laugh.
For the last 11 years, she has also worked with Digs Property Management, keeping second-homers’ residences humming; and she also has a landscaping gig she farms out to fans.
You’ll see her now bartending at Martyrs Steakhouse, since they changed owner/operators – Kimberly Armstrong bought it in June 2020 and fab chef Ky Quintanilla runs the kitchens. You absolutely would have seen her at Tim’s Stray Dog up at TSV, where she was for 18 years, until it closed due to the pandemic.
“It’s a bummer,” she says. “Now I’m going to have to carry my skis,” instead of stashing them at Tim’s. She’s looking at hitching up from her place near the Amizette Inn in the village of Taos Ski Valley, gatored or masked up against COVID exposure.
Her fave runs? Upper frontside Reforma Trees and lower frontside Spencer Trees.
Oh, and she does a little indoor house painting as needed. Why all these jobs? “It’s what you gotta do to be a ski bum.”