2017-2018 Season Enhancements
Industry-leading environmental actions continue to underpin all operations
TAOS SKI VALLEY, NM, Aug. 14, 2017 – Taos Ski Valley will begin the 2017-2018 winter season with a new beginner area, a fully renovated Rio Hondo Learning Center, a pulse gondola to improve transportation around the resort, and the first full winter of its new premier alpine hotel, The Blake, all which give visitors a more convenient and enjoyable experience in this intimate and celebrated setting. Additionally Taos will celebrate its 10th year of welcoming snowboarders to the resort with a major event in March. Finally, Taos will enhance the industry’s first-and-only environmental and social responsibility effort, B-Corp Certification, with new steps to eliminate carbon emissions and waste while improving forest health and water quality.
Taos’ Strawberry Hill beginner area will be re-shaped to offer five beginner areas, which will allow for a smooth progression for skiers and riders who are just learning. The learning areas allow new skiers and snowboarders to improve, trail by trail at gradually increasing slopes, so they gain confidence and skills with ease.
Additionally, Taos has partnered with SNOW Operating to offer terrain-based learning, which uses purpose-built snow features in the beginners’ area to help assist new skiers and riders by naturally controlling their speed. The shaped snow in the beginner area provides a more fun and efficient on-snow experience, and helps new skiers and riders focus on their movements and fundamentals.
A new pulse gondola will seamlessly transport visitors between the Rio Hondo Learning Center and the resort plaza area. The Rio Hondo Learning Center, part of the world-renowned Ernie Blake Snowsports School, will be fully refurbished with more modern amenities, including streamlined check-in facilities and lounge areas, giving families and kids an even more pleasant experience, particularly for drop-off, pick-up and group lessons.
Offerings this season at the Snowsports School include Taos’ famed Ski Weeks, which are designed to help skiers and riders improve their skills over the course of a week. Ski Weeks include a dedicated instructor throughout the week, as well options for first-timers, teens and private lessons.
Base Area and Operational Improvements
2017-2018 is the first time The Blake at Taos Ski Valley will be open all winter season. The acclaimed 80-room slopeside hotel gives Taos Ski Valley visitors a refined lodging experience including unrivaled service, dining, spa amenities, fitness and more. Ski and stay packages, events including dining specials and family promotions, will run all season to provide visitors with a variety of all-in-one options and special values. Seasonal menus prepared by chef Patrick Gharrity at 192 at The Blake will deliver internationally inspired dining, as well as après ski cocktails and wine.
The Bavarian Lodge & Restaurant, known as one of the best après ski spots in the country, will continue to host live music and events on its popular deck at the bottom of the breathtaking Kachina Basin. The Bavarian restaurant offers an array of authentic German fare and a compelling list of unique German beers, as well as fun dining events throughout the season such as its famous fondue dinners.
Taos is also further extending its award-winning conservation effort, known as Taos Verde, which is one aspect that contributed to the resort’s status as the only ski resort in the world to become B-Corp certified, an honor it earned this year. This comprehensive and groundbreaking environmental initiative has led to Taos reducing its energy consumption by almost 11 percent in just two years. This year Taos will continue to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to achieve its goal of a 20 percent reduction by 2020. The geothermal heating and cooling system that was an instrumental part of the Blake is part of that effort.
Additionally, the resort, in cooperation with the US Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy, has restored the Arroyo Hondo river through the ski valley and undergone several forest health initiatives while expanding the skiable acreage for the upcoming season.
“The benefits of the Taos Ski Valley revitalization investments are coming to life more than ever,” said David Norden, CEO of Taos Ski Valley. “Our goal throughout the upgrading process has been to enhance visitors’ experiences without losing the intimacy, adventure and soul of Taos. This destination is unique and visitors who come to Taos often leave transformed by the beauty, culture and friendliness of the area. The improvements this season only further enhance that experience for people of all ages and abilities.”
Events and Celebrations
2017 also represents the 10th year of snowboarding at Taos Ski Valley. This anniversary will be celebrated throughout the season culminating in a party on March 19 that honors Taos’ commitment to all snowsports and adventure seekers who want to have fun on the mountain skiing, riding, snowshoeing, tubing or playing.
The ski valley’s scheduled opening day will be Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, and improved, energy-efficient snowmaking equipment will help Taos prepare for early-season conditions.
Noteworthy in-season events include:
- Dec. 15-16, Public Demo Days
- Dec. 15-17, Women’s Weekend
- Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
- Jan. 6, 22st Annual Brewmasters Festival
- Jan. 16-21, Not Forgotten Outreach Week
- Feb. 17, Shred the Love: Fifth Annual K2 Bumps Challenge and the Eighth Annual Paint for Peaks: A Snowboard Art Auction
- Feb. 28 - Mar. 2nd Taos Freeride Championships
- Mar. 6-10, B Fest – B Corp Celebration
- Mar. 10 – Ernie Blake Birthday Celebration
- Mar. 19, 10th Anniversary of Snowboarding Celebration
- Mar. 23 – 24, Ridge-A-Thon
- Mar. 29 – Apr. 1, End of Season Celebration Featuring Pond Skimming
- Apr. 1, Closing Day
[Dates subject to change, please check the Taos Event Calendar online].
Mountain Collective Benefits, Taos Card
Taos Ski Valley continues to offer one of the best values in skiing. Season pass holders get reciprocal privileges of 50 percent off one-day ticket prices at all Mountain Collective resorts as well as three days each at Copper Mountain and Arapahoe Basin. There are a variety of season pass options including the Zia Pass for those 18-29, starting at $400, and the Taos Value Pass for those 30 – 65 starting at $695. For those seeking the most flexible Taos experience, the Kachina Pass is the full season adult offering that includes additional benefits such as lodging discounts and no blackout days, available for $995. As always, Taos will continue to offer military discounts, lower-pricing for seniors and children, and free skiing for those under age 6 and over age 80.
In addition, the Taos Card gives guests $20 off the single-day ticket rate during regular season, and lets skiers and riders go straight to the lift, charging their credit card automatically. Taos Cards will be available later this fall at select partner resellers and online.
Taos’ season passes also offer a variety of valuable discounts at restaurants, rentals and retailers as well as discounted summer activities.
About Taos Ski Valley
Nestled among the pristine peaks of northern New Mexico, Taos Ski Valley is undergoing a $300 million renaissance making it one of North America's premier vacation and adventure destinations. With over 300 inches of average annual snowfall, 300 days of sunshine and more than 1,200 skiable acres, Taos Ski Valley offers a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, breathtaking scenery and exhilarating terrain for every ability level for a spirited mountain experience unlike any other. The resort is maintaining its authentic charm while investing in new amenities both on-mountain and in the base area. Taos Ski Valley is proud to participate in the Mountain Collective, a collaboration of iconic, independent ski destinations. To learn more about Taos Ski Valley, and see the future plans for the Ski Valley, please visit www.skitaos.com.