5 Southwest Ski Areas Get $15 Million in Improvements

If you’re a fan of skiing or snowboarding in the southwest, there are a lot of reasons to be excited about the 2017-18 season. It was recently announced that five southwest ski areas are going to get $15 million in improvements for next year. The projects include upgrades and additions for both the winter and summer seasons across five mountains that are included in the Power Pass.

Here’s a look at what you can expect to see at Purgatory, Hesperus, Pajarito, Sipapu, and Arizona Snowbowl next year:

Purgatory Resort, Colorado
Purgatory Resort in Durango is already a Colorado favorite for families with its 2,500 acres of terrain and noticeably smaller crowds. And it’s about to get even better with these upcoming improvement projects:
• Expanded terrain for intermediate and expert skiers on the mountain, plus glade skiing!
• A new midway lift (Needles Lift 6) will improve access to the upper half of the mountain
• Additional snowmaking infrastructure to maintain optimal snow conditions
• Improved cabins for guests on Purgatory Snowcat Adventures

Additionally, Purgatory has earmarked some of its budget to improve summertime amenities, with projects including:
• Summer tubing
• A giant airbag that you can jump on
• A 4,000-foot-long mountain coaster that will operate on the steepest slope of any mountain coaster in the U.S. It’s expected to operate during both the winter and summer seasons.

Hesperus Ski Area, Colorado
Just West of Durango, Hesperus Ski Area is a smaller slope that’s best-known for its night skiing. Most of the improvements at this ski area are going toward infrastructure that will solidify its reputation as the best after-hours skiing in the San Juan Mountains. These improvements include:
• New lights to improve night skiing
• Additional terrain for night skiing
• Upgraded ski and snowboard equipment
• Improved ski and snowboard rental shop
• Additional guest space
• Re-opened tow rope

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, New Mexico
Pajarito Mountain is a 751-acre resort on the edge of the Jemez Mountains, just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s famed for its beautiful views of the Rio Grande Valley, but skiers and snowboarders will have more plenty more than good vistas next winter. The recent investments will go toward:
• Better snowmaking infrastructure
• Continued forest maintenance, tree restoration, and fire prevention efforts following the lingering impact of the Las Conchas fires in 2011
• A new mountain bike pass for improved access to its trail system all summer long

Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, New Mexico
Just 20 miles southeast of Taos, Sipapu is the fastest-growing resort in New Mexico. To keep up with the number of people who want to visit the resort and enjoy its amenities, while also keeping crowds to a minimum, Sipapu is making a number of important updates with this investment:
• Improved snowmaking infrastructure to continue its 14-year streak of being the first resort to open for the season in New Mexico
• Renovations for its historic lodge
• Ticket office improvements
• A new rental shop
• Additional ski rooms
• Gathering space for guests

Arizona Snowbowl
Arizona Snowbowl may not be one of the most famous mountains in the United States, but it holds another important accolade. It’s one of the oldest, continually operated ski areas in the country, founded back in 1938. With such a long history, it certainly deserves upgrades to keep skiers and boarders in the southwest happy. During the 2017/2018 season, it will be getting:
• Upgraded ski and snowboard rental equipment
• A new shuttle program
• New dining options

All of these improvements will level up your Power Pass. It’s exciting news for anyone who loves to ski and ride in the southwest region, and it gives everyone else a reason to check it out for themselves. Browse our site for more information, or to find deals at these resorts.

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