Southwest Ski Resort merger news

Written by Greg and Heather Burke • Oct 31, 2014

Big ski news from Southwest Colorado: Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort and Arizona Snowbowl announce they will sell their ski areas to James Coleman of Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area of New Mexico. These four new found ski resorts sisters will represent the largest ski mountain collective in the Southwest. Together, the four mountains make up 3,088 acres, 26 lifts, over 200 trails and 13 terrain parks. This alpine ski resort announcement follows news of Boyne and Powdr resorts 19 ski resort marketing merger on the heels of Vail Resort’s purchase of Park City Mountain Resort to bring their ski collection to 11.

Purgatory at Durango is located in southwest Colorado in the San Juan mountains, with an 11,822’ summit and 1,320 acres of skiing and just over 2,000’ vertical. Arizona’ s Snowbowl is located in the San Francisco Peaks just outside of Flagstaff, with an 11,500’ summit and 2,300’ vertical on an impressive 770-acres. Sipapu Ski Resort is located near Taos and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Coleman has a reputation for opening his New Mexico ski slopes before any other ski area, and Snowbowl has historically had the longest ski season in Arizona, so that will be a priority at these other ski resorts now. To be the first ski resorts in the southwest to open for skiing!

“Skiing is my first priority and, like many of our guests, I’m always eager to get the winter season started,” Coleman said. “I’m committed not only to opening these mountains early but also creating an exceptional experience for skiers and snowboarders – be it local or destination resort guests – while making each of these ski areas the most family-friendly, family-fun ski resorts in the Southwest and the best value in the nation.”

This season, Sipapu and Pajarito unveiled the New Mexico Power Pass, New Mexico’s only season pass with unrestricted access to two ski areas plus free skiing at more than 25 partner mountains in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and throughout the country. Coleman said that Purgatory and Snowbowl will maintain their existing pass partnerships, which offer free or discounted lift tickets to select season pass holders. I would anticipate a Southwest ski pass in the future, perhaps with airline benefits from Southwest Airlines, to access all four of these newly joined ski areas. Once again, like Vail’s Epic Pass and the latest Boyne Powdr marketing merger, the skier is the winner with more ski resort options and competitor pricing.