Mountain Resorts

Taos Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley
Skiers on a mountain

SE Group has long enjoyed a trusted advisor relationship with Taos Ski Valley and is honored to be an active member of the team that is shepherding the many projects that mark the renaissance of this iconic resort. Following the resort’s mandate of “better, not bigger” all projects have been focused on maintaining the features of the mountain’s natural environment that make it unique, and updating the resort while preserving its unique essence, mystique, and soul.

Recent projects have included mountain planning and design of recent lift and trail improvements, guest services planning for the upgraded Rio Hondo Learning Center, multi-season recreation planning and strategy for positioning the resort as a year-round destination, site planning for improved vehicular and pedestrian circulation at the main base area as well as for the “beautification” of the Kachina base area, and on-going permitting and entitlement strategy and support.

An aerial view of Toas Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley’s 2010 Master Development Plan Environmental Impact Statement

Taos Ski Valley is renowned for its steep terrain, uncrowded trails, and a laid-back atmosphere. In 2010 SE Group’s mountain planning team prepared a new Master Development Plan (MDP) for TSV, which transitioned to our Environmental Team for NEPA analysis with the Forest Service. The MDP honored the uniqueness of TSV while addressing how to best meet growing guest expectations in a highly competitive industry.

A person skiing through powder

Working with the Carson National Forest and TSV, SE Group prepared and facilitated an EIS that analyzed proposals for two new high Alpine lifts (on Kachina Peak and West Ridge Basin), three lift upgrades, two new gladed areas, alternative winter and summer recreation opportunities, and parking/drop-off improvements. The proposal to lift serve Kachina Peak elicited passionate comments from the public—both supportive and oppositional. Some felt access to Kachina Peak needed to remain a hiking-only experience; on the contrary, people had strong opinions that TSV must gain back the reputation it once had among ski resorts in the Rockies, and that lift-serving Kachina Peak and West Ridge Basin was essential.

View of a chairlift at night with the milky way in the sky

A Record of Decision approved all projects in August 2010, and the Main Street Lift (serving Kachina Peak) will be operational for the 2014/15 ski season.

The concept for lift-serving the iconic Kachina Peak portion of the ski area can be traced back to the resort’s original owner and operator, Ernie Blake, and his vision for TSV when he founded the ski area in 1955 (reference the 1974 trail map shown above).

In approving this project, the Carson Forest Supervisor expressed that TSV understands current trends in the ski industry and the needs/expectations of its clientele.