A banner southwest Colorado ski season? | AspenTimes.com

A banner southwest Colorado ski season?

Jason Blevins
The Denver Post

This Jan. 17, 2012 photo provided by Colorado Ski Country USA shows skiers gathered at the lodge at Purgatory Ski Area in Colorado. A disappointing snow year in much of Colorado ski country last season has the state's resorts and hotels hoping that snowboarders and skiers will burn off some pent-up demand for deep snow this winter. (AP Photo/Colorado Ski Country USA/John Trousdale)

New owners. New bosses. Big snow. Big money.

This is the year for skiing in the southwest.

From Taos to Purgatory to Wolf Creek to Silverton to Telluride, new energy is joining the El Niño snow gun to champion the ski experience in a region that labors in the shadow of Rocky Mountain megaresorts.

At the renowned Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico, billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon is spending $300 million on improvements like a new chairlift up the resort's famed Kachina Peak and a new hotel anchoring a base area redevelopment.

James Coleman, the new owner at Durango's Purgatory, spent $6 million over the summer, adding a new high-speed lift and better snowmaking. Coleman, whose investment team also owns Parajito Mountain and Sipapu in New Mexico and Arizona's Snowbowl, has boosted traffic into Durango with an unlimited season pass to all four ski areas.

Read the rest of this story at http://www.denverpost.com.

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