Officials plan $15M in ski resort improvements to 5 mountains

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Resort officials with the largest ski area collective in the southwest announced capital improvements that will be made for the 2017/2018 season at five southwestern mountains located in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, plus Colorado’s largest cat skiing operation.
James Coleman, managing partner of  Purgatory Resort in Durango, Colorado;  Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff, Arizona; Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort near Taos, New Mexico; Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hesperus Ski Area, west of Durango; and Purgatory Snowcat Adventures, Colorado’s largest snowcat skiing operation, announced the company is investing an additional $15 million for the 2017/2018 season, continuing the aggressive multi-mountain improvement campaign for a grand total of $35 million over three consecutive seasons.  Capital improvements include additional trails, enhancements to snowmaking systems, new summer activities, and new offerings to boost the overall skiing and guest experience at the resorts.
The 2017/2018 capital investment plan outlines new trails, snowmaking, new summer activities, and more at these mountains:
Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort
Sipapu’s renovations that included a new 2,141 square foot addition to the historic Lodge will debut during the 2017/2018 winter season, housing a new rental shop with upgraded ski and snowboard rental equipment, a new ticket office, retail space, and improved traffic flow with more gathering space, new bathrooms, and a ski locker room. Enhancements to Sipapu’s snowmaking system will help Sipapu continue to be the first ski area to open in New Mexico, a title the resort has held for the past 14 seasons.
Pajarito Mountain Ski Area
This summer, Pajarito Mountain and Purgatory Resort are offering a new mountain bike pass, available for $149, which is valid at both Pajarito and Purgatory Resort for unlimited uplifts with access to a variety of trails. For winter, Pajarito will continue to improve its snowmaking infrastructure with enhancements to the holding pond, and the snowmelt collection system. A brand new pump has been fitted into the pond filling system. Pajarito continues to manage the ski area’s hazard trees that were damaged by the Las Conchas fires, while improving future fire mitigation and forest revegetation. 
Purgatory Resort
Building on the success Purgatory has seen in recent years with summer activities becoming more popular, additional summer activities are planned for Purgatory Resort. Two new summer activities will be offered in the Columbine area at the resort: summer tubing, accessed via the Columbine Lift 9 and a new 50 foot by 50 foot airbag that guests jump on to from a platform. Coming later in 2017, Purgatory will feature a new mountain coaster, which will be located just north of the Twilight Lift 4 and will operate during both winter and summer seasons.  This is the first mountain coaster to be built on this steep of a mountain slope in the U.S.  The coaster will be 4,000 feet in length.  For winter, Purgatory is expanding its terrain with new intermediate and expert trails on the back- and front-sides of the mountain, and will add new gladed tree skiing terrain.  The triple chairlift, Needles Lift 6 will offer a new mid-way loading zone that provides an easier way to access terrain for ski teams, terrain park users, and skiers/riders who want to make laps on the front upper half of the mountain.  Improvements will be made to the snowmaking infrastructure, including additional pumping capacity, pipe, electric and additional energy efficient snow guns.  The new snowmaking equipment improves the resort’s ability to make snow and open the resort more efficiently.  For more information, visit Purgatory’s website.
Purgatory Snowcat Adventures
Colorado’s largest snowcat skiing operation with access to 35,000 acres based at Purgatory Resort will be improving its snowcat cabins.  Durango’s cat skiing operation will also provide a new portable shelter to be utilized during breaks and at lunchtime.
Arizona Snowbowl
Arizona Snowbowl plans to continue making additional major improvements to its skiing experience for next winter, including projects previously approved in the Master Development Plan. New dining options, improvements to the overall shuttle program, and a new rental ski and snowboard fleet are also in the works.
Hesperus Ski Area
Next winter, Hesperus will install additional lights, increasing the amount of terrain for night skiing. The mountain will re-open the rope tow and install a new yurt, which provides additional indoor space for guests. The rental shop will be expanded and reconfigured for a more customer-friendly experience, and the ski and snowboard rental equipment will be upgraded.