Taos, New Mexico, continues to appear on my radar here in Los Angeles. A friend spent Thanksgiving there with his family, another is looking for real estate for a vacation home, and my regular team of ski buddies are pushing for Taos this year for our annual bro-snow-cation.
Honestly, I didn’t know much about town in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, so I reached out to Tania McCormack, Marketing Director for Taos Ski Valley, to find out what’s new, what’s changing, and why it’s worth it. worth rethinking my essay. and real LA ski getaways (I’m looking at you, Beaver Creek and Deer Valley) for something a little new and different.
LA skiers like me usually think of Mammoth and Big Bear, then Lake Tahoe. If we go any further, it’s usually towards Park City or Vail. Is it hard to break the mindset and get people to Taos?
Tania McCormack: In fact, Taos has a strong and loyal contingent of visitors from Southern California for several reasons: Taos Air, our 100% carbon-offset airline, is a quick and convenient way to get from LA or San Diego to Taos. In fact, when flying on Taos Air, Californians can leave in the morning and ski in the afternoon. Additionally, Taos is a member of the IKON and Mountain Collective passes, which many Californians own.
Interesting. Taos Air has flown twice a week between Hawthorne Airport and Taos this year. The perks make fast flights of 30 people almost feel like flying in private. What’s your quick introduction to people who might be playing with the idea of ââa winter or spring trip?
Tania McCormack: Taos Air is the easiest route to the Rockies and flying out of Hawthorne, as you said, is a charter plane experience at a commercial airfare price. Taos Air is extremely convenient and straightforward: no TSA, no hassle at the airport, and great customer service. Again, you can leave in the morning and be on the slopes in the afternoon with free premium rentals and door-to-door service from the plane to the award-winning Blake Hotel in Taos Ski Valley. And all this for a price comparable to that of a major commercial airline.
What if I need to be convinced? As a ski destination, how is Taos different from, say, Utah or Colorado?
Tania McCormack: Taos Ski Valley is fiercely independent, and it shows from the moment you arrive. In an industry where ski towns have evolved into ‘ski towns’, Taos stays true to its roots and offers customers the intimate, personal and authentic ski vacation they dream of. It’s no exaggeration to say that Taos has some of the best pitches in North America. There’s a reason the World Pro Ski Tour and Freeride circuits take place here. It’s homey on an intimate scale, with personal attention, and most importantly, a unique vibe once you get to town. Some call it the Mystical Taos.
SKI Magazine is touting it as one of the top 10 ski resorts in all of the Rockies, and it is also touted by experts for the value, unique sense of place, and guest experience in Taos. It is partly a question of culture and community aspect. Taos has a confluence of Native American, Hispanic and European cultures and these are reflected in the people, cuisine, art and atmosphere. In addition to skiing, visitors can visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the 1,000-year-old Taos Pueblo), eat German spÃ¤tzle at the award-winning Bavarian restaurant, admire world-famous works of art from around the world. ‘famous artists and be trained by world renowned experts Ernie Blake Snowsports School. All of that to say: there is no such thing as a ski destination like Taos Ski Valley and once you know, you know.
I understand that. Friends I know bought vacation homes in Taos during the pandemic. For those who haven’t been, what are your favorite places in town to eat, drink and have fun?
Tania McCormack: Well, one place you won’t eat is in chain restaurants or overpriced, mass-produced restaurants. Taos prides itself on being home to only unique and independent eateries and eateries. The Bavarian is an award-winning restaurant well known for its aprÃ¨s-ski and lunch on its terrace with stunning mountain views. You can take a comfortable sleigh ride for a three course dinner at “Bav” as the locals call it. 192 at The Blake serves sharing dishes and carefully selected wines, and is centered around a communal fireplace. Image: European alpine architecture folded into a colorful New Mexico design. On the casual side, the Mucho Gusto donut shack is my favorite and serves hot mini donuts and hot chocolate, coffee, and tea. And for a special night out, Medley in nearby El Prado offers award-winning wines and thoughtful seasonal dishes. Pastry Chef and Co-Owner Colleen Medley makes every bite worth the calories! Oh, and The Love Apple is a must-see destination touted by international food writers for its local and organic fare inside an old adobe church.
You make a compelling case. Big plans for Taos for summer 2022 or even for next winter?
Tania McCormack: Taos is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the summer and is growing as a summer destination. It has one of the few via ferratas in North America [a climbing route with ladders and metal cables to clip into] and it continues to expand its mountain biking trails, scenic chairlift rides and summer activities.
Thanks Tania. Let me go talk to the snow brothers!
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.