During our spring season pass sale, we entered everyone who purchased a season pass into a drawing for a trip to our sister mountain, Tordrillo Mountain Lodge in Alaska, for a Kings and Corn heli-ski and fishing trip this summer. Last week, we randomly drew a winner, and it is none other than 38-year passholder and Taos local Scott Sanger. Taoseños may know him from his law practice in town, or from winter mornings at the ‘Dog Pound’ St. Bernard locker room. A pillar of the community, we couldn’t be more thrilled to announce this winner.
Scott moved to Taos with his wife in 1979 from Chicago on a whim. “I had visited once before and loved it, and I was looking for a change of life course.” After graduating Northwestern School of Law with a JD in 1973, Scott came to Taos and set up his own law practice in 1979. Since then, Scott has touched nearly every part of the community with his dedication to helping his neighbors.
His first project in Taos was in 1981 when he bought and restored the Taos Inn and had the Inn recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Mayor Lovato, who was at the ribbon cutting ceremony, was so impressed that he asked Scott to help make downtown Taos a historic district. So he did, paving the way for 20 additional buildings to become National Historic Landmarks today.
Over the years, Scott has aided the community in coordinating the funding for the Youth and Family Center, the hospital, and the Taos County Economic Development Corporation Complex. He helped secure funding for Taos’s special education program in community schools, organized Taos’s youth soccer program in the 1980s, and even became an Honorary Member of the Taos Pueblo in 2016. In the meantime, he was skiing as much as he could, and in 1986 was a driving force behind setting up the ski program for local schools. “We went to see Ernie and told him we wanted to set up something for the school kids,” said Sanger. “He had a grin on his face and tears in his eyes.” Like Scott, Taos Ski Valley founder Ernie Blake had a passion both for skiing and bettering the community.
Scott learned how to ski growing up in Chicago. One winter a neighbor saw him standing on his sled going down a hill in Lincoln Park, and took him on their next weekend trip to Wilmot Mountain in Illinois. In Taos, he became known to the kids as one of the ‘ski parents,’ who hung with the kids around the mountain and knew all of the instructors. These days, Scott is still in the Ski Valley nearly every weekend, still skiing with his now-grown children. “I try to get in at least 40 days every year. The kid in me still loves it.”
Tordrillo couldn’t have come at a better time; Scott and his wife will be celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary during the trip. Needless to say, he is excited. “I’ve skied all around the world, but I’ve never been to Alaska. For me, skiing is like nothing else. It’s complete therapy.” Equipped with a brand-new camera that his daughter gifted him for the trip, he is ready for the adventure.
We want to thank everyone who purchased a 2018/19 season pass during our Spring Sale and we’re looking forward to hearing Scott’s stories about heliskiing, salmon fishing, and celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife in Alaska.