Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Taos Ski Valley is a village and alpine ski resort in Taos County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 69 at the 2010 census. Until March 19, 2008, it was one of four ski resorts in America to prohibitsnowboarding. The Kachina lift, constructed in 2014, serves the highest elevation of any triple chair in the North American Continent, to a peak elevation of 12,481 feet (3,804 m).
The village was originally settled by a group of miners in the 1800s, but in 1955 Ernie and Rhoda Blake founded the area as a ski mountain. The village was incorporated in 1996.
In 2013, Taos Ski Valley, Inc., was sold by the founding family to billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon. It has a one to one ratio of expert to beginner/intermediate terrain, and has the highest rated ski school in North
Geography of Taos Ski Valley
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all land. Taos Ski Valley is the highest municipality in the US, sited at an elevation of 9,207 feet (2,806 m); however, the village limits reach 12,581 feet (3,835 m) and the highest residential dwelling is at 10,350 feet (3,150 m). Kachina Village, at over 10,350 feet, houses Bavarian Restaurant and two condo complexes and accommodates six permanent residents and visitors in 30 condo units; 70–80 home sites are planned for development.Wheeler Peak, the tallest mountain in New Mexico at 13,161 feet (4,011 m), overlooks the village.
Taos Ski Valley History
In the 1800s the area was a mining town, later abandoned. Present day Taos Ski Valley was founded in 1955 by Ernie and Rhoda Blake. They lived in an eleven foot camper in the absence of any buildings in the area except almost-completed Hondo Lodge (now the Inn at Snakedance). Even after moving into the lodge, they lived without power until 1963. Ernie and Rhoda had been living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ernie was managing the Santa Fe Ski Basin.
The first ski lift, a J-Bar, was installed in 1956. Until 1957, the ski resort featured only one ski slope, Snakedance. In 1957, the resort installed a second lift—a Poma (platter) lift. Blake was for a time involved in the day-to-day management of the resort, answering the phone and telling prospective visitors whether the skiing was expected to be good in advance of weekend trips.
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