Updated: January 13, 2021

The Slopes are OPEN and the skiing is great with more opening daily!

The Taos Ski Valley ski operations received approval of its operating protocols and opened for skiers on December 11th, 2020.  The resort opened with lifts 1 and 2 with the lower front steeps and lift 2 steeps largely open.  Since that time more terrain and services have been opened and offered.  Our TSV community is being very proactive in its management and surveillance of Covid with daily screening and bi-weekly surveillance testing to which all area staff are subjected.  After 2 rounds of testing over 250 staff members, we have seen no positive test results for our area staff!

And with limits to the number of skiers on the hill each day, I can confirm that the mountain feels much like a private resort with no lines and wonderful conditions!  There were just a few days of the peak holiday season that did sell out so generally you can expect to obtain lift tickets as long as they are purchased a week or more in advance.  Currently lift tickets are available for every day of the season but we do expect them to reach capacity over the President’s Day weekend (February 12-14) and for the peak spring break week (currently projected to be March 15-19).

While the resort’s offerings will be somewhat limited this winter, our entire community is thrilled to be skiing and sliding on our beloved slopes this winter.  The newly released public health order will allow for ski areas to open and operate throughout the winter with varying limits on visitors based on current Covid-19 metrics.

The Taos Ski Valley Resort has updated its Winter Operations Plan and businesses in the area are busy updated and announcing operating plans for the winter.  It appears that existing reservations for equipment rentals through the resort as well as private ski lessons will be honored however additional reservations are not being taken at this time.  Area food and beverage operations will be extremely limited to start the season with the hope of expanding services as conditions and public health orders allow.

The details below regarding on and off mountain businesses and amenities are continuously updated to reflect the latest information we have been able to obtain.  Please review the following information even if you have read it in the past.

 

Winter 2020/21 Ski Season Update: What to Expect (& What Not to Expect)

A Ski Season Like No Other!

Opening day for the winter 2020/21 ski season was officially December 11th, 2020 and thus far the slopes have hosted locals and visitors alike with tremendous success.  The status of many area operations is fluid with changes in offers, hours, and procedures occurring almost daily.  This page is updated regularly in order to attempt to provide the most accurate information on what we think you should expect both on and off the mountain this season.   However, if there is anything we have learned through this pandemic, it is that things change, and flexibility and understanding will be required by all of us as we navigate skiing in this most unusual of times.

This ski season will surely be like no other you have ever experienced, and we know our guests will understand that.  While it is hard to envision exactly how new requirements, protocols, and shifting business practices will change and evolve this year, we want to manage the expectations of our guests to the best of our abilities. One certainty is that sacrifices and compromises will be required by all this year. The ski resort here in Taos Ski Valley currently limits the number of guests on the mountain each day to assure the public a safe, world-class, and largely private on-mountain experience.  Taos has never had problems with long lift lines or crowded slopes and this year will be no exception.

The State of New Mexico, our local resort, our local community, and the Edelweiss have been closely aligned and have all worked together to develop a plan to open our resort community for a safe and enjoyable visitor experience.  The Edelweiss Lodge and Spa, along with Taos Ski Valley Inc, has been certified as a New Mexico Safe Certified Business, and will abide by all required safe practices and more to keep our community and visitors safe.

The focus of our community’s efforts has been not simply to open, but to ensure that we can remain open for the entire ski season.  Unfortunately this means that some aspects of the traditional ski vacation may not be offered, or will be impacted by our approach that takes this long term view into account.  We are counting on you to help us make this a safe and enjoyable season for all our guests. The following is a review of various aspects of the guest experience in Taos Ski Valley this winter and how this year will differ from the past.

 

Transportation Updates:

Unfortunately Taos Air is not operating this winter due to the on going Covid-19 pandemic.  Additionally it should be noted that the regional bus service between Taos and Taos Ski Valley will not be operating this season.

The resort is also not running the traditional parking lot shuttle buses (“cattle cars” as they have been affectionately known).  They have however set up a skier drop off area at the “top” of the parking lots where drivers can drop off skiers and equipment before finding a parking place and walking back up to join the rest of their group.

 

On Mountain Experience: 

Taos Ski Valley has committed to limit the number of skiers on the mountain each day to 25% of the resort’s peak capacity this season (based on state requirements) .  This will greatly reduce the crowds during peak periods (holidays and weekends) and allow visitors to physically distance while enjoying time on the slopes.  The on mountain experience should truly feel like a private mountain for those lucky enough to be here this winter.  Complete and updated details for the resort’s Winter Operations can be found HERE while below we provide a few highlights.

The most important implication of the capacity limits is that visitors will have to purchase lift tickets on line in advance for each specific day they intend to ski in order to insure access to the slopes.  All ticket purchases must be made directly through the resort; the Edelweiss will have no access to purchase or offer lift tickets for our guests this year.  Once the capacity is met for a given day no additional lift tickets will be available.  Please purchase your tickets right away, especially if you plan to visit and ski during a typically busy time period.  Tickets are fully refundable up to 14 days prior to the date of first use so there is no risk in purchasing your tickets early.

Noteworthy ‘on-mountain’ changes for this season include:

  • Properly fitting masks and social distancing will be required at all times on the mountain and all public areas in our community (bandanas do not qualify).
  • All visitors will be required to sign “The Taos Pledge” to assure everyone in our community is doing their part to stop the spread of Covid-19.
  • There will be no group lessons or child care offered by the resort. Private ski and ride lessons (for up to 5 guests) for visitors of all ages will be offered including “Private Ski Weeks”.
  • All lessons will require 24 hour advanced notice and all reservations will be made on line directly with Taos Ski Valley (skitaos.com).  Currently the Snowsports School is offering only private lessons for adults and children.  Contact the Ski School office for more information or to make a reservation.  There are fewer ski school instructors on staff this year so we highly recommend making reservations for lessons as early as possible.
  • All day lift tickets must be purchased on line in advance through the ski resort’s lift ticket sales webpage and will be fully refundable up to 14 days prior to a scheduled visit. Tickets will also be fully refundable in the event of a positive Covid-19 test or travel ban that prevents a guests from visiting (proof will be required).  Lift ticket sales began on line on October 27th and currently tickets are still available for all peak holiday periods.  (The Edelweiss is strongly suggesting that lift tickets be purchased before an advanced deposit for lodging is made to assure that lift ticket availability is not an issue for your visit.)
  • Lift ticket prices for adults will be $85 for most Mondays through Thursdays and $128 for all holiday periods and each Friday through Sunday (prices are before 9.4375% tax).
  • Snow days or other extreme weather events may invoke additional protocols which may include closure of the mountain.  This is an unlikely scenario but one that the resort wants to prepare people for as there are limited indoor locations for shelter in the event of bad weather and/or lift closures due to weather/wind.
  • On mountain food outlets, bathrooms, and warming huts/areas for public shelter will have limited capacities and are currently restricted to outdoor and take-out dining only.
  • Ikon pass holders will have a separate system via the Ikon website for reserving access to the slopes at Taos Ski Valley. There will be a limit on daily Ikon pass holders each day and some dates may be blocked out for Ikon pass holders.
  • There will be no parking lot shuttles this winter.

 

Food and Beverage: Blonde Bear Tavern/Cafe Naranja OnLine Menu

Dining options in Taos Ski Valley will be limited this winter.  Currently NM Public Health orders allow restaurants to offer take out or outdoor dining only while bars are prohibited from being open.  The historic/iconic TSV restaurant ‘Stray Dog Cantina’ also closed its doors for good this summer, and the Saint Bernard has announced that it will not be open at all this winter.  The Bavarian is currently offering outdoor/to go lunch options but is not offering dinner service.

The news is not all bad, however, because the Edelweiss’ Blonde Bear Tavern has developed an exceptional deli/family meal plan that is being offered for takeout only.  The Café Naranja is also offering a delicious breakfast menu for takeout only and a new on line ordering platform coming soon.  Breakfast, dinner, deli, and package liquor service began on December 18th and is currently being offered each Wednesday through Sunday.  The full menu with access to on-line ordering is now available.

It is not likely that any on-site bar service will be offered at the Edelweiss (or anywhere in Taos Ski Valley) however, please note that we are providing extensive package store offerings and will offer a great selection of specialty cocktail ingredient packs for a wonderfully unique take-out service and “in your room Aprés Ski” experience.  For breakfast or dinner orders please contact the restaurant at 575-737-6900 ext. 4 or go to our online menu for ordering and to schedule a pick up.

While we expect there will be fewer people visiting our resort than in typical years, the significant reduction in area restaurant capacity will drastically impact visitors’ ability to dine out.  All of the Edelweiss’ condominiums have fully equipped kitchens and guests should plan to use them this winter. The Edelweiss meal options outlined above have been developed with a safe, gourmet vacation experience in mind.

 

Alpine Xtreme Ski Shop

The Alpine Xtreme Ski Shop located within the Edelweiss will still be offering complete rental services for skis and snowboards and 20% discount for our guests (reserve HERE for an automatic discount).  Advanced reservations will be crucial this year as we endeavor to avoid and/or minimize the need for face to face contact.  Alpine has requested that all reservations be paid in full prior to arrival to speed the process and minimize contact (note that all deposits/payments for equipment rentals are fully refundable for cancellations).  All Alpine Xtreme and all other Cottam’s Ski Shops will not offer overnight equipment storage for multiday rentals.  Two large ski racks will be located in the Edelweiss courtyard and reserved for overnight ski storage for Edelweiss guests only.  The racks will be locked nightly and opened each morning.

 

Spa Services, Hot Tub, and Exercise Room

Due to current public health orders, the Edelweiss’ hot tub, dry sauna, and exercise room are not available for guest use.  While these health orders are subject to change, the Edelweiss reserves the right to keep these facilities closed in the interest of reducing opportunities for the possible spread of  Covid-19.  At this point, we are asking our guests to assume that these facilities will not be available this winter.

The Edelweiss’ Spa opened for daily massage services on December 23rd with a limited number of treatments available daily for both Edelweiss guests and the general public with advanced reservations only.  All reservations must be made prior to 6pm the night before the scheduled treatment.  A strict set of protocols and screening requirements will be in place to assure the safety of our guests and therapists alike.  The list of therapies offered this winter is more limited than those in the past with the full list of offerings and prices found on our Spa Webpage.  Current New Mexico Covid Safe Guidelines will prohibit the offering of facials.  You can contact our spa director at 575-770-8934 or by email at katkett@hotmail.com.

 

The Edelweiss’ Covid Social Contract and Guest Screening

Keeping everyone safe requires that our guests agree to do their part.  This winter all guests at the Edelweiss will be required to sign our “Covid Social Contract by which they agree to all required NM standard safe practices such as social distancing, the wearing of masks, and other simple measures that help keep us all safe and well.   For the coming winter, our local government will require that all overnight visitors to Taos Ski Valley go through a basic screening process upon arrival and those with symptoms of Covid-19 will likely be refused service/entry. Here are the currently approved screening questions that all overnight visitors to Taos Ski Valley guests will be required to complete upon arrival.

Please be aware that New Mexico’s current Public Health Order requires visitors from some states (“high-risk states”) to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to the state.  For the latest information on the affected states, public health mandates and requirements please visit the New Mexico Public Health Covid Information page.  How/if these mandates will be enforced is currently not clear but we hope that everyone who comes to our community will respect all measures that help keep us all safe and keep our operations OPEN!

 

Deposit/Cancellation Policies for Winter 2020/21

All Reservations are subject to the policies and guidelines set forth below.

  • All reservations will be secured with a credit card and an advanced deposit equal to 25% of the total projected stay value.
  • For all holiday season reservations (Dec. 19-Jan. 6 and March 6-20) the advanced deposit will be non-refundable. The balance for holiday period reservations is due and non-refundable 14 days prior to scheduled arrival.
  • For all other periods any cancellation made up to 15 days prior to your scheduled arrival, 10% of the paid deposit or $35 (+tax) whichever is larger will be non-refundable. For cancellations made 14 days or less prior to your arrival, the full deposit is non-refundable.

Special Covid-19 Cancellation Policies: We understand that these are uncertain times and that planning a trip is more complicated than ever.  With that in mind, the following special Covid related policies will be in effect for all coming winter season reservations:

  • In the event of a voluntary or mandated closure of the Edelweiss or the Taos Ski Valley resort operations for safety reasons, a full refund of your deposit less a $35 (+tax) processing fee will be provided.
  • In the event that a guest must cancel their reservation due to Covid-19 illness in the party or a status change of a party member to high-risk, a full refund less a $35 processing fee will be provided with a doctor’s note confirming the reason for cancellation.
  • Changing arrival and/or departure dates or unit types may be considered a cancellation subject to the policies stated above.
  • There are no refunds for late arrivals or early departures regardless of circumstances.
  • All guests’ reservations will require agreement to and adherence to the Edelweiss’ “Covid Social Contract and Waiver” which will be provided at the time of booking. 
  • All guests will also be required to complete a self-screening questionnaire upon arrival at the Edelweiss.

While this season’s visit will be unlike any ski vacation you have ever had, our community believes that we can still create the environment for a safe and fun ski vacation.  Things will be different but by now we are all well used to that, and willing to do what it takes to be able to safely enjoy a ski vacation that is needed more than ever before.  With your help and careful planning (and some sacrifices all around) we can make this winter as safe, enjoyable, and spectacular as a Taos ski vacation always is!

This is what we know now and is subject to change.  We will do our best to keep you informed with changes as they occur.

-Kent Forte, General Manager

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