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Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico


Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Taos Ski Valley from Wheeler Peak
Taos Ski Valley from Wheeler Peak
Location of TaosSkiValley, New Mexico
Location of TaosSkiValley, New Mexico
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico is located in USA
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Location in the United States
Country United States
State New Mexico
County Taos
 • Type Elected city council
 • Mayor Neal King
 • Village Administrator Susan Steele
 • Total 2.4 sq mi (6.1 km2)
 • Land 2.4 sq mi (6.1 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 9,321 ft (2,841 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 69
 • Density 28.75/sq mi (11.31/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 87525
Area code(s) 575
FIPS code 35-76480
GNIS feature ID 0899303

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 prohibit snowboarding.[1][2] 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.[3] It has a one to one ratio of expert to beginner/intermediate terrain, and has the highest rated ski school in North America.[4]


  • Geography 1
  • History 2
  • Economy 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


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,[5] 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.


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.[6] 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.


Tourism is the village's main industry. As of the 2011-2012 season Taos Ski Valley Corporation employed approximately 700 people during winter months. In an average year $47 million are spent in the local economy of Taos Ski Valley. About $12 million is from ski operations alone. The community is a popular summer and fall vacation destination. In 2005, 55 businesses operated in Taos Ski Valley. Lodging options include hotels, private home rentals, condominiums and alpine styled bed and breakfasts. The town of Taos, located 30 minutes drive down the canyon, provides year round services.


As of the 2010 census,[9] the Village held 69 people and 272 housing units, with only 14.3% occupied. From 2000 to 2010 population increased 23.2%. The population density was 28.75 inhabitants per square mile (11.10/km2). The racial makeup was 75.4% White and 24.6% Hispanic or Latino.

In 2000, 12.5% of 32 households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, while 59.4% were non-families. 46.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.75 and the average family size was 2.46.

Only 4.3% were under age 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 50.0% from 45 to 64, and 1.8% who were 65 years or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 166.7 males. The ratio of males to females was 1.66.

The median household income was $67,708, and the median income for a family was $103,422. Males had a median income of $65,833 versus $24,375 for females. The per capita income for the village was $43,143. None of the population were below the poverty line.


  1. ^ "SkiTaos (official website)". 
  2. ^ "Taos Ski Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center (official website)". Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  3. ^ Jason BlevinsThe Denver Post. "Blakes sell Taos Ski Valley to billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  4. ^ New Mexico Magazine, October 2006, Volume 84, Number 10
  5. ^ "About Taos Ski Valley". Taos Ski Valley Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  6. ^ [2] Archived February 17, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder".  


  • Beardsley, Davis Associates (1973). Taos Ski Valley: Kachina Village Master Plan
  • Carson National Forest (1981). Taos Ski Valley Master Development Plan: Environmental Impact Statement, USFS
  • Flannery, Nathaniel. "Colorado Hedge Fund Billionaire Louis Bacon Buys Taos, New Mexico, Ski Resort". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  • Jordan, Louann C. (1978). The Legend of Taos Ski Valley
  • Needham, Richard (2006). "Ernie Over Easy" Skiing Heritage Vol 18 #4:13-17

Further reading

  • Nathanson, Rick. "Taos Ski Valley Founder Happy To Add Intimate European Ambience to N.M.'s Skiing Scene". Albuquerque Journal, December 15, 2005.

External links

  • Official website
  • Taos Ski Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • 3dSkiMap of Taos Ski Valley
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