Ski Area / Mountain Resort Planning & Design Environmental & Land Use Permitting


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.

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/dropoff 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.

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.

Project Highlights

From Vision to Implementation

  • 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.