Taos Ski Valley’s beginnings

Our Beginnings

The Village of Taos Ski Valley’s early beginnings are based in mining. In the late 1600’s, the Spanish mined the area until they were unable to extract any more ore.  With new mining methods arising in the early 1900’s, the area was re-opened to industries. During this time, the Rio Hondo district was advertised for the mining of timber and ore (gold and copper) and as early as 1905, the American Consolidated Mines Company, Fraser Mountain Company, and San Cristobal Company were in operation. Mining continued to be the primary activity in the Village until 1906 when it dwindled due to weather limitations.

Ernie Blake 1950’s


Shortly after World War II, Orville E. Pattison purchased land east of the Lake Fork reach of the Hondo River. The Pattison family still owns a large area of the Village of Taos Ski Valley.  In the mid-1950’s, Ernie Blake arrived in the valley and developed the ski business, which created a demand for home sites and lodging. The Pattisons recognized this demand and began subdividing portions of their property into residential and commercial lots for sale.  In the 1960’s, they began to develop the lower village, by selling and leasing lots for homes in the core commercial area.  In the early 1970’s this group purchased water rights downstream and transferred them for consumption in the Ski Valley and worked with the Ski Valley Corporation (TSV) to develop Kachina Village. The Pattisons have continued to be involved in the development of the Village through present day.

Ernie Blake initiated the development of what is now Taos Ski Valley Resort in 1955.  The first lift was installed in 1956, and in 1957 the first run was opened in the location of what is now the Snakedance run. In the fall of 1957, a Poma (“platter”) lift went up Al’s

Run and ended where the Tower 8 of Lift One is now. Today, TSV is one of the premier ski resorts in America and remains one of the few family-owned and operated resorts in North America.

Finally, the Village was incorporated into a municipality during 1996, pushing it forward as one of the premier multi-season resort destinations in New Mexico and North America.