New partnership could help Sandia Peak Ski Area open this season
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – For decades, New Mexicans have driven up Sandia mountain to hit the slopes at Sandia Peak Ski Area.
“It’s where much of New Mexico has learned to ski over the years,” said Ben Abruzzo, general manager of the Sandia Peak Ski Area.
But, over the last few years, the beloved ski area has been closed.
“We’ve had some challenges with staffing, especially skilled staffing. We’ve also had some aging infrastructure we’ve been trying to address. And then, of course, the climate and snowfall has always had an impact on Sandia peak,” said Abruzzo.
Abruzzo says now his family is partnering with Mountain Capital Partners on a joint venture to bring skiers back to the lifts.
Scott Leigh with MCP says initially the company wants to focus on maintenance of the property.
“The biggest thing that I think we should think about is, you know, being able to support the existing infrastructure that’s in there and ensure that, you know, everything that we have there is being utilized to its, you know, fullest capabilities to run ski areas,” said Leigh.
Leigh says MCP will run all operations at the ski area. It’ll be one of several across the southwest MCP runs, including sister ski areas: Parajito and Sipapu.
Existing staff will stay on, but more positions will be available.
Abruzzo says it’s a bitter-sweet feeling.
“There’s a definite emotional component. Family has been doing this a long time. I’ve spent most of my adult life running the ski area. So it is, but it’s exciting. And they bring some new and different energy, and it’ll be exciting to see what they do with it,” Abruzzo said.
But he’s ready to see the return of the beloved ski area.
“It’s a great place to, to get introduced to skiing, and I think we all want to see it, continue. And it’s, it’s got a special place and everyone’s heart,” said Abruzzo.
Leigh says right now they’re finalizing the deal. He’s hopefully optimistic that they’ll be able to open this season, but it’s still very up in the air.