Pajarito Mountain ski area still unable to open

Created: 02/04/2014 7:00 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

All that snow today, and it's still not nearly enough to allow one New Mexico ski area to open.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area near Los Alamos hasn't been able to open in two years. They just haven't had enough snow, and it has them starting to look at some other options.

General Manager Tom Long has been running Pajarito Mountain Ski Area for 10 years and has never seen it this dry for this long.  

"It's a nice change to see some moisture falling out of the sky. We've picked up about an inch. We need more, but at least it's snowing."

When you have to completely rely on real snow, all you can do is wait and hope for enough snow to open your gates. Long said it would take at least a foot for them to open. Without these ski lifts running up and down the mountain, it offers no boost for the local economy. There are some ideas floating around that would help when Mother Nature doesn't.

"The issue is to have enough support financially to be able to continue to operate, plus to do the necessary improvements: Snow making, snow making water, those types of things that could insure our operation here," Long said.

The history of Pajarito Mountain goes all the way back to the "Manhattan Project" and the Los Alamos National Laboratories. Pajarito Mountain was carved out by the scientists wanting a place to ski.

Not being able to open for two years has people in local government like Los Alamos County Administrator Harry Burgess asking if or how they could help.

"Our hope is to, that the business continues in whatever form that might be. It is a tourist attraction for the community. It also provides some gross receipts tax from their sales," Burgess said.

They want them to continue that, whether it ends up in the hands of the county or some other entity.

Being a ski club and a not for profit business has them needing some help, whether that help comes from Mother Nature or even if that help is manmade.

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