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Taos Ski Valley Free Torchlight Parade

They’re commemorating the birthday of Taos Ski Valley’s founder Ernie Blake with a free Taos Ski Valley Torchlight Parade and fireworks on Saturday March 24, 2012.  The action starts at 8 pm, but arrive early because traffic can be slow winding up the ski valley road, and you’ll need time to scope out your spot to watch!

This is a great free show with torchlight parade skiers descending down the mountain, followed by a fireworks display.  Kids love it! My own favorite place to watch is from the deck at the St Bernard Hotel, and I can attest to the comforting glow of their spiked hot chocolate. But you’ll get excellent views from Rhoda’s Deck or just about anywhere in the ski valley… unless you deliberately hide yourself behind a tree.


Inn of the Mountain Gods Lodging Deals

The Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino near Ruidoso is a pretty spectacular place to stay, set on a lake with great views of Sierra Blanca. The AAA Four Diamond resort is owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, which also runs Ski Apache.

Current Inn of the Mountain Gods lodging deals include:  

  • Valentines Packages are available for stays throughout the month of February, 2012, but they must be booked by February 8. The packages start at $149 for one night on Sunday to Thursday in a superior or luxury room, including champagne and six red roses.
  • A Great Escape $99 package for stays through April 30, 2012. The package includes a one night stay, breakfast buffet for two people, and two free margaritas in Wendell’s Lounge.
  • A Ski Apache package until March 1, 2012. When you book a three night stay, you get the fourth night free, plus two free adult lift tickets. Use the promo code SEASON when booking and note there are some blackout dates.

Book online at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort or call 1-800-545-9011.

Inn of the Mountain Gods is located on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, just a few minutes outside Ruidoso, New Mexico.


Sipapu Ski Deals and Free Lodging

Sipapu Ski Resort deals for this 2012 season include:

  • Parents Ski Free Week this week through January 13, 2012. A parent gets a free lift ticket with each purchase of a teen or child full price lift ticket.
  • Car Load Days Deal Everyone in one car skis for $50 on January 11, 18, and 25, plus later dates in February through April. Up to 6 skiers can ride in one vehicle.
  • Two for One Tuesdays  Purchase a full price lift ticket and get one lift ticket free on Tuesdays to February 28,  and also for one day on March 20. (Check the current dates at the link, in case they change.)
  • Get one night’s free lodging at Sipapu when you buy a $44 lift ticket.  You and up to three ski buddies can get a free room with two queen beds at Sipapu’s motel, lwhether or not the other people in your party ski. The offer is valid on specific dates: find details of the Sipapu free motel dates.
  • Free lodging in Taos at the Sagebrush Inn, El Pueblo Lodge, Quality Inn, or Indian Hills Inn, or free lodging in Las Vegas, NM at the Super 8.  To get a free room, you need to make a minimum purchase of two $44 adult lift tickets, valid on specific dates. Check the links for details.

Military, kids, and skiers and snowboarders of a certain (exact) age also get free ski privileges.

Mention the relevant offer when purchasing.  Sipapu is about 20 miles southeast of Taos. Get directions to Sipapu Ski Resort.


New Mexico Ski Card

The New Mexico Ski Card for the 2011/2012 ski season costs $125 for 10 adult lift tickets to ski resorts in New Mexico and Colorado.

The New Mexico Ski Card is a deal from The American Lung Association in New Mexico, and for $125 you get one adult lift ticket for each of these ten Colorado or New Mexico ski areas:

  • Angel Fire Resort
  • Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
  • Taos Ski Valley (this is actually a two for one offer – buy one lift ticket at $75 and get another lift ticket free)
  • Red River Ski Area
  • Sipapu Ski Resort
  • Ski Cooper
  • Ski Apache
  • Sunlight Mountain Resort
  • Enchanted Forest Cross-Country
  • Monarch Mountain Ski Area

All the ski resorts have various blackout dates, with the exception of Enchanted Forest and Ski Cooper, neither of which (thank goodness) has any date restrictions.

You can only ski each destination once with the card, but even if the card is only used at a few of the New Mexico ski resorts, the savings are worth it. As an example, adult lift tickets at Angel Fire usually cost $64, and at Red River it’s $64.  Those two alone total $128, so by using the $125 New Mexico Ski Card to ski both, you save $3, and any other New Mexico ski resorts you get to are free icing on the cake!

Plus, it’s for a good cause as a fundraiser for The American Lung Association in New Mexico. There is a limit of 1,000 New Mexico Ski Cards for sale.

If you only plan to take to the slopes at a couple of NM ski resorts and ski those more frequently, it’s probably better to check their websites for ski deals.


Ski Deals: Angel Fire, Sipapu, Red River

New Mexico ski fans will no doubt already be gearing up for the 2011/2012 season. If you’re purchasing passes to New Mexico ski resorts, it makes sense to buy in advance and take advantage of early bird specials on lift tickets.

It’s the last chance to get a $100 discount on Angel Fire season pass for adults, good on purchases through November 6, 2011.  The Angel Fire pass is discounted to $399 (usually $499) for adults. Passes for kids, students, and active duty military also get a $50 price break, reduced to $249 from $299. But you have to buy fast as the deal is only until Sunday November 6.

Sipapu Ski Resort also has its season passes on sale until November 6, at $349 for adults, that’s a $50 discount. A ski pass for students costs $249, and for kids and seniors it’s $109. Sipapu’s season passes also include three free days of skiing at partner ski resorts, including Angel Fire, Pajarito Mountain near Los Alamos, Red River, Ski Apache, and several Colorado resorts.

Finally, Red River Ski Area offers 10% off lift tickets until November 18, using the Red River Ski promo code: EARLY2011

Sipapu Ski Resort is 20 miles southeast of Taos, about a 90 minute drive north of Santa Fe.  Angel Fire and Red River are both on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. Angel Fire is 24 miles east of Taos, and Red River is either about 36 or 48 miles northeast of Taos, depending which way you go around the Enchanted Circle!


New Mexico Ski Swap: Albuquerque

Sandia Peak Ski Patrol Ski Swap takes place in Albuquerque on October 29-30, 2011, and you can get in free using the New Mexico ski swap free admission coupon. That saves $2 per person on the usual admission, but make sure you take one coupon for each winter sports lover attending the ski swap!

The New Mexico ski and board swap raises funds for the Sandia Peak Ski Patrol, with items for sale including skis and winter sports clothing, snowboards, helmets, and other equipment and kids’ stuff.

A presale on Friday October 28, from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm provides an early bird pick of the winter sports equipment. But there’s a donation involved, to Sandia Peak Ski Patrol. Print the First Tracks VIP Invite and take it with a $20 donation per person.

Sandia Peak Ski Patrol Ski Swap 2011 is on Saturday October 29 from 9 am – 4 pm, and Sunday October 30 from 11 am – 4 pm, at EXPO New Mexico, Albuquerque.