Sipapu opening ‘record-breaking’

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By The Staff

For the seventh consecutive year, Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort, located northwest of Las Vegas and Mora off N.M. 518, earned the title of first resort to open in New Mexico while having a record-breaking opening weekend.

More than 700 eager skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes last weekend, which more than doubled last year’s record-breaking attendance for both opening day and opening weekend, according to a news release from the resort.

Thanks to cold temperatures and a couple of October winter storms, snowmaking operations began earlier than usual this season, which enabled Sipapu to open more terrain than any other opening day over the last seven years.

“This is the most snow we’ve ever made since I’ve been at Sipapu,” said John Paul Bradley, Sipapu’s general manager. “Consequently, we were able to open Lift No. 1 so guests could ski from top to bottom. We installed that lift in ‘82 or ‘83, and that’s the very first time we had it operating on an opening weekend. It was crazy.”

Mountain crews are taking advantage of the cold temperatures in the forecast for the upcoming week, and they are working overtime to get additional terrain open. Bradley expects to open more runs, including Lower Thumper, Sassafrass, an additional beginner route, and at least one terrain park by early this week.

“This was, by far, our best opening day ever,” Bradley said. “I am proud of our team at Sipapu and really excited that we were able to deliver the first skiing and snowboarding in New Mexico.”

Sipapu will be open everyday during Thanksgiving week, through Sunday, Nov. 29. The resort will re-open for the weekend on Dec. 5-6, and daily operations begin Friday, Dec. 11. Early season lift tickets (available opening day through Dec. 11) are $15 for adults (ages 20-59) and seniors (ages 60-69). Teens (ages 13-20) and children (ages 7-12) pay $10. Fourth graders (report card required), kids ages six and younger, guests who are 40 years old, and seniors 70 or older ski and ride free every day at Sipapu.

Season passes are also available at discounted rates for a limited time only, the resort reported.