TAOS SKI VALLEY
Wider-open big-alpine skiing at 50 percent occupancy
During this unprecedented ski season, Taos Ski Valley plans to eliminate crowding by limiting the mountain capacity to half as many skiers and riders, with masks, social and physical distancing, health checks and cleaning protocols as mandated by the state of New Mexico.
It will also require advance ticket purchase only, as part of its strict COVID-safe practices for the 2020-21 ski season. Payment for all dining, rentals, ticketing and retail will be via smartphone, credit, debit or prepaid card only.
All things being equal, chairs start spinning at Taos Ski Valley on Nov. 26.
Heartfelt and safe
“This winter, visitors will find fewer skiers, but all the heart at Taos Ski Valley,” CEO of Taos Ski Valley David Norden wrote in an open letter to the community Oct. 9, 2020 (skitaos.com). “We are eager to welcome guests back to the mountain, and transform them with our pristine alpine environment.”
In its 50-plus years, Taos Ski Valley has become synonymous with steep-and-deep skiing featuring various terrain, short lift lines, tree-skiing and gullies, cheese fondue and German brews found at The Bavarian Lodge and Restaurant – currently allowing physically distanced patio dining, weather permitting.
With more than 1,200 skiable acres, Taos Ski Valley is the world’s only B Corp Certified ski resort, which means it operates with the highest standards of environmental sustainability, and social and economic justice.
All New Mexico ski areas are working hard to comply with COVID-safe practices, which the state’s ski industry leaders presented as a group for approval from Gov. Lujan Grisham and the state Department of Health.
“We took our time with the details to make sure our winter plans would help create a sustained, viable ski environment for the entire season,” Norden continued. “We carefully developed a thoughtful, socially responsible approach with our ski industry peers and the state’s tourism and health regulators that offers visitors an incredible experience with crowd-free access to our legendary ski terrain, while still making staff’s, community’s and guests’ health and well-being our top priority.”
The Blake – max capacity 65 percent
Lodging capacity at The Blake at Taos Ski Valley has been downsized to 65 percent and it is offering guests ski-in/ski-out access with added guest amenities, including on-site or in-room dining. For added peace of mind, cleaning, disinfecting and HVAC protocols have been significantly heightened. All guests will be required to go through COVID screening upon arrival. Some guest services, including the ski valet and parking valet, are eliminated this season.
“The snowmaking system is prepped and the lifts will be spinning soon – something we’ve been envisioning for the last six months,” continued Norden. “Our experience over the summer shows us that our guests are as eager as we are to get outside, and we’ve been gratified by their embrace of our COVID-safe practices. This season’s visitors will find a warm, welcoming resort community, thrilling and invigorating mountain activities and an even more intimate experience than they have known and loved in Taos in the past.”
Mountain Collective, Ikon Pass and more
Taos Ski Valley participates in the Mountain Collective and Ikon Pass. Midweek skiing and riding is being encouraged this season, when the mountain is typically less crowded than on weekends, so check out the new pricing for Monday through Thursday. Passholders may ski any day their pass allows and there is a strong COVID guarantee built into the pricing.
For details about winter rates, season passes, lift ticket pricing, trails and reservations, call (866) 968-7386 or visit skitaos.com.
Taos Ski Valley will continue to comply with all federal, state and local guidelines. Taos Ski Valley leadership hopes that the added precautions will allow for an on-time season opening and the ability to remain open throughout the winter. Taos will continuously monitor all guidelines and the pandemic’s effect on the community, and may adjust its business operations at any time in response.
Average annual snowfall: 300 inches
Average days of sunshine: 300+
Total acreage: 1,294 acres
Number of trails: 110 total
51 percent expert
25 percent intermediate
24 percent beginner
Number of Lifts: 14 total
1 high-speed quad chair
4 quad chairs
3 triple chairs
1 double chair
4 surface lifts
Base elevation: 9,200 feet
Summit (Kachina Peak) elevation: 12,481 feet
Vertical drop: 3,281 feet
Snowmaking capabilities: 100 percent of beginner and intermediate slopes
Hours of lift operation: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Information: (866) 968-7386; skitaos.com