Ski Santa Fe set to open on Thanksgiving with new tech

SANTA FE, N.M. — A lot of skiers and snowboarders in New Mexico will be having their turkey after a day on the slopes this year.

Multiple ski resorts in the state are set to open Thursday. One resort is doing more than making snow – it’s also debuting some new technology.

This year Ski Santa Fe will be using new RFID passes. If you have one, you can bypass the line at the ticket office and, hopefully, the lines at the lifts move quicker.

The new gates that read the passes are going up in front of every lift at the ski resort.

“No longer need to wait for a lift op to manually come and scan your pass, you put your pass in your left-hand pocket, approach the gantries the new gates will read the chip in your pocket via radio frequency, and the gates will automatically open for you,” Ski Santa Fe Marketing Director Eric Thompson said.

The goal of these gates is to keep the lines moving with less hassle, and these cards are reloadable so when you come back you can skip the line at the ticket office too.

“It’s really a focus on making things as easy as possible for our guests, getting our guests up on mountain and enjoying the slopes as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Thompson said.

While the RFID cards and gates are the main change skiers and snowboarders will see this year, even more changes are on the way.

“The high speed detachable lifts are, that’s kind of what everyone’s building these days. So modern lifts. They are easier to load and unload. And then they have a faster transport time,” Ski Santa Fe President Ben Abruzzo said.

The high speed lift will be replacing the main quad at Ski Santa Fe and it will cut the ride time to the top of the mountain in half – from 10 minutes down to just four minutes. But it’s not ready to go this season.

“We’re gonna start as soon as we close the skier and next winter, so sometime in April, and we’ll start by removing chair one and we’ll be getting after it from there. Hopefully, completion sometime in October of 2024,” Abruzzo said.

Even without a new lift this year, the new RFID passes are sure to speed things up.

“I’m actually feeling pretty good. And our staff has been hard at work, making sure everything is in place. Staff has been testing we’ve had people up here kind of all week. Running through things,” Thompson said.

Ski Santa Fe’s first day will be this Thursday on Thanksgiving. They say they are hard at work making snow so they will have a few runs open and ready to go.