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good year in New Mexico

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
from New Mexico Business Weekly

Monday's snowfall pumps up NM's ski industry

Sean O'Hara
NMBW Staff

Monday's winter snowstorm, added to the best season since the Civil War era for precipitation, has rewritten the record books in New Mexico for the state's ski industry, which is taking advantage of what Mother Nature is dishing out. Two of the state's ski areas also have extended their seasons.

Just last month, Ski New Mexico called this year's conditions the "century's best" and, according to Steve Lewis, spokesperson for the association, on Tuesday, the number of skier days was expected to surpass last year's.

Lewis said last year, the ski industry experienced about 807,000 skier days, which had a $270 million economic impact on the state.

"It's too soon to tell now, but I definitely think we're going to see more than 807,000 skier days this season. We're doing better than last year, for sure," he said.

Lewis said Ski New Mexico bases its figures on a per skier/per day figure and a formula established by the National Ski Association with input from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The economic impact is based on a Commerce Department multiplier factor that presumes each $1 spent on skiing generates $2.57 in additional spending on things like food, entertainment or accommodations. Ski New Mexico also combines the average amount spent by in-state versus out-of-state skiers and says that average amounts to $132.65 per skier/per day that is spent in the state during the season.

The formula is based on in-state skiers who only purchase lift tickets versus out-of-state skiers who buy lift tickets, hotel rooms, etcetera.

Ski Apache officials said they will stay open through April 3 rather than close on March 27, as previously planned.

Taos Ski Valley will remain open until April 10. The extension is a first for Taos whose ski officials said it will discount its lift tickets by $25, dropping them to $30 per day during its final week of the season.

Ski Apache General Manager Scott Goeller said the snow is holding up well and that the resort hasn't experienced any spring conditions yet. Ski Apache, located near Ruidoso in south central New Mexico, has received more than 160 inches of total snowfall.

In the last 24 hours, Taos Ski Valley, located north of Santa Fe, saw more than 11 inches of new snow, combined with more than 220 inches so far during the season. Taos's base, as of March 15, is between 85 to 101 inches.

Albuquerque's Sandia Peak Ski Area, which had fallen on hard times in the last few years due to the drought conditions in the Southwest, received 21 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours. The ski area located minutes away from Albuquerque, has a base of 89 inches.

Elsewhere, Angel Fire, 17 miles northeast of Taos, received 16 inches of new snow and has a 58-inch base, Ski Santa Fe received 13 inches of white stuff and reports a 110-inch base while the Red River Ski Area, just northeast of Taos, received 10 inches of new snow and now has between a 53-inch and a 65-inch base.

post #2 of 6
Sandia Peak is reporting a 95-inch base today.

post #3 of 6
That's our snow! It belongs up here in the PNW. Maybe next year it will come back. I keep telling people Bachelor will get to 100 inches this year....we'll have it by Dec. 31 2005.
post #4 of 6
good for NM! they needed that.

when i spent the winter there in 2001/2002 the Pajarito hill opened for skiing just twice for the entire winter.

good thing I didn't mind driving 3hrs to Wolf Creek
post #5 of 6
Skied Pajarito on Saturday, and they have fantastic coverage. They are closed all week until Friday, and they just got a 20" dump the last two days. Sounds like the Land of Enchanted Powder to me.
post #6 of 6
Anybody been to Taos lately?

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