The new Chief Operating Officer of Taos Ski Valley is going to be overseeing a lot of massive projects. Taos News reports that they the New Mexico ski resort hired John Kelly as their Chief Operating Officer. Kelly, who previously was the Ski Valley’s Vice President of Operations, will lead all resort departments and continue the focus on refining and enhancing the Taos Ski Valley mountain recreational experience, year-round.”

Hidden in this story is an interesting tidbit: the Ski Valley will be installing two new chairlifts this offseason. The primary replacement will be Lift 4. In its place will be a detachable high-speed quad from Leitner-Poma. This will give Taos a major speed and capacity improvement out of Kachina Basin.

The second lift replacement is the Pioneer chairlift. This will be replaced by a fixed-grip triple chairlift from Leitner-Poma. This lift services the beginner terrain over at the Resort Center.

The old Pioneer chairlift, which opened back in 2012.

Taos Ski Valley also has many planned projects on the horizon. Back in March, they sent in a proposal to the U.S. Forest Service for a multitude of projects. These proposals included a base-to-base gondola, replacements to Lifts 2 & 8, the development of a cross-country ski & snowshoe center, building new on-mountain facilities, and more. The Forest Service is currently going through a second comment period for these proposals.

Now, back to John Kelly. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a Finance degree, John Kelly became a lift operator at Deer Valley. He earned his MBA while working at Telluride Ski Resort over a span of ten seasons. He joined Taos in 2015 as their Director of Operations and became Vice President of Operations in 2021. Here’s what John had to say about Taos and his new position:

“Taos Ski Valley is an iconic destination, long-known as a skier’s mountain steeped in history, culture and community. I’m thrilled to take on this leadership role. My connections with the local community, my deep respect for our staff, passholders and guests, and most of all, my passion for skiing and this mountain will influence me every day.”

He will report to David Norden, who is the CEO of Taos Ski Valley. The plan is for Norden to step back from day-to-day operational activities and focus more exclusively on strategic direction, and high-priority initiatives such as the resort’s B-Corp commitment to environmental and social efforts, while taking on additional responsibilities with the resort’s parent company.”

Image/Video Credits: Taos Ski Valley

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