Photo Credit: Frederick Dennstedt via

This past week, rumors swirled around whether or not a Colorado Businessman was going to acquire Arizona Snowbowl. Instead, James Coleman of Durango, CO will become a partner at the northern Arizona ski area instead, reports The Arizona Daily Sun.

By bringing in Coleman as a minority shareholder, the ski resort will not be required to apply for a new special use permit with the US Forest Service. 

Initially, Coleman hoped to purchase the ski resort and add to his portfolio of southwestern ski areas that include Purgatory (Durango, CO), Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort (Taos, NM), as well as Pajarito Mountain (Los Alamos, NM) but other partners were resistant to sell their stakes. Coleman will now serve as a minority shareholder and partner for the Arizona ski resort.

Photo Credit: Arizona Snowbowl
Photo Credit: Arizona Snowbowl

As part of the deal, season pass holders at Arizona Snowbowl will be able to access all four mountains under Coleman’s ownership.

In the immediate future a series of overdue improvements will accompany Coleman’s investment.

According to the resort’s website, the improvements (totaling $10 Million) include:

  • Snowbowl’s First New Lift in 30 Years. The new Humphreys Peak Quad, Snowbowl’s first quad and Snowbowl’s first new lift in three decades, will span nearly a half mile with a vertical rise of 775 feet while providing access to some of the mountain’s newest and best terrain.
  • Laying the Groundwork for New Lifts. Engineering and planning for the approved Grand Canyon Express, Snowbowl’s first high-speed lift that will serve 90% of the terrain currently served by the popular Agassiz chairlift, is currently underway, and mountain crews are adding snowmaking infrastructure now to support the future lift.
  • Expanding Snowbowl’s Most Impressive Run. Mountain crews are widening and grading the popular Ridge trail, which provides sweeping views of the valley – all the way to the Grand Canyon – as well as the intermediate Phoenix trail.
  • Snowmaking That Will Open Midway Faster. In addition to building snowmaking infrastructure for the future Grand Canyon Express, mountain crews are increasing their snowmaking capacity on key trails below Midway, such as Casino, Tiger, Black Jack and Phoenix.

Some of that $10 million investment will find its way to his New Mexico resorts as well.