Thoughts on resort expansions, multipass evolution, ski-day habits, and much more.
This was excellent. Thank you.
Great read. The points on MCP / James Coleman were of particular interest. Would love if he made it on the podcast. If he could build out his partner network he would make a more compelling case for skiers in AZ, Vegas and NM, all states which he could effectively own if he landed a few partnerships with some bigger flagships in his regions.
With regards to expansions, here's one not a lot of people are tracking. Taos operates almost entirely on Forest Service land. Right across the street from Taos is 1300 Acres of Private Land historically held by the Pattinson Trust. This known to the public as Northside at Taos Ski Valley. To the extent that it operates at all, it's currently a fee restricted private land downhill mountain bike park. However, per Village of Taos Ski Valley's 2017 Master Plan, " the Pattison Trust has presented a master development plan for the potential future development of a ski resort and accompanying retail and residential development." The stats are pretty impressive on it. 2800' Vert, 12,150' Peak (Just across the street at the resort Kachina is around 12'500). This land is capital S steep. The village has cut out no less than three Avy chutes through it to protect their infrastructure. The road to get up there could generously be called a goat trail. In the winter, it's basically dead. Taos backcountry guys (to the extent they exist) really don't tour here in favor of the terrain around Lake Fork Peak. In the summer it's also pretty dead as the fairly mild ski resort at Angel Fire transforms into a top quality lift served bike resort. There are many obstacles which make either a new resort, or an expansion of TSV onto this terrain improbable (Taos does not have a 'lacking steep terrain problem', No easy way to tie it into lift system, snowmaking would be required, terrain is not amenable to a minimalist Bohemia or Beartooth Basin or Bluebird Backcountry type resort, etc.) However, the facts that you have a ski area sized chunk of private land, adjacent to one of the best resorts in the US, masterplan submitted to become it's own resort and ownership willing to allow fee based access to the land are pretty neat.
I can’t decide whether this post is merely Epic or simply Ikonic, but I’m glad I found this excellent Indy journalist.
#1 Question and #1 Answer - why the PacNW can't expand despite a doubling of the population in 25 years. Thanks for this. I've known this for so long as I am in heavy civil construction (public works) so I see the insane time, effort, and money it takes to do the smallest roadway project, let alone terrain expansion or the impossible: a new resort. Protecting the environment is great, but the ever expanding population (all of which which seems to be moving to the mountains) is in the end, the start of the issue.
How are skier visits flat when weekdays are up, and many ski areas are crowded? Where aren't people skiing? The Indy and non-mega resorts looks busy too.
What an interesting edition. Great job and thanks for all the effort! Hope your recovery continues to go well. While you're on the lazing on the recliner i recommend Alan Fursts historically correct thriller spy stores of the WWII. There are 12 of them, all great stories with an occasional nod to skiing.