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Sipapu Master Development Plan

summer view of Sipapu

Planning for the Future

In 2012, we submitted a Master Development Plan (MDP) to the Forest Service outlining a long-term plan for improvements at Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort. Major components of this plan include expansion of the special use permit (SUP) boundary, terrain and lift development in the expansion area, as well as an additional guest service facility, and a number of improvements within the existing SUP boundary. The MDP was accepted by the Forest Service in the Spring of 2012.

Public Meetings:

Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort will be making presentations regarding changes to its Master Development Plan.

There are two meetings for the public to attend, and the opportunity for individual meetings.

In-person Meeting

Monday, January 10
5:30-8:00 pm

Virtual Meeting via Zoom

Wednesday, January 12
5:30-8:30 pm

Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, Vadito, New Mexico | 5224 Highway 518

Proposed MDP Changes

  • overlay map of proposed MDP summer projects
  • overlay map of proposed MPD winter projects

The proposed changes to Sipapu’s MDP are based on feedback from the community. The changes have not been accepted nor approved, Sipapu would like to understand how the community feels about these changes before submitting them to the Forest Service for acceptance.

Public Meeting Agenda for January 2023: 

  • Welcome
  • Introduction to the purpose of the meeting
  • A review of the procedures and ground rules that will govern the meeting
  • Sipapu will provide an overview of Winter and Summer MDP Changes

Master Development Plan History

These are the improvements that were accepted in the 2012 MDP:

  • Increasing the special use permit area by 924 acres
  • 52 new trails totaling an additional 199 skiable acres
  • 11 gladed runs
  • 3 new lifts
  • Snowmaking infrastructure
  • 1 On-Mountain Restaurant and Guest Services Facility
  • Additional Parking
  • Multi-Season and Summer Activities: Additional disc golf course, mountain biking, climbing wall, bungee trampoline, summer tubing operation, zip line tours, and special evening stargazing

Since Sipapu’s MDP was accepted, we have completed a number of projects within our SUP, including:

  • Installations of Jackalope Lift (formerly Pedro Park Lift)
  • Replacement of Lift #2
  • Trails construction and improvements on Howdy, Beep Beep, East Side, Aisle D, Upper Howdy, Upper Salt Lick, Upper Flower, and Lower Gambler
  • Expansion of snowmaking system on Howdy and upper Loose Caboose

After six years of analyzing and implementing the accepted plan, Sipapu has submitted an MDP amendment to the Carson National Forest Service for acceptance addressing a handful of minor but key changes. 

As outlined in our 2012 MDP, we would like to pursue expanding resort operations at Sipapu into the area adjacent to our existing SUP boundary. We have re-examined this area to guarantee Sipapu is maximizing the potential terrain. As a result, a slightly different lift and terrain network was designed compared to what was originally planned in our 2012 MDP.

How will this benefit the Vadito and Peñasco communities?

Based on a preliminary analysis, with full implementation of the terrain and lift expansion, Sipapu expects an increase of over 80,000 visits per winter and an increase of 5,000 summer visits. This is estimated to generate approximately $31 million to the local economy. This calculation assumes direct and indirect economic spending of $350 per person per day, including $275 per person per day for lodging, food and beverage, retail, gas, transportation, other expenditures spent away from the ski resort. If anticipated annual winter daily skier visits an additional 80,000, and assuming $350 of spending, this accounts for $28 million. Summer activities at the resort are projected to generate an additional $1 million per year with an economic impact to the community of $3 million per summer.

With the implementation of the project, Sipapu anticipates hiring additional workers for administration and operations of the resort. Sipapu projects to hire 100 additional full-time season workers and 20 additional full-time year-round workers. This could generate over $2.25 million in new payroll dollars to the local economy. Based on past experience with resort operations, the full-time season workers projection could be closer to 200. Employees would be needed to operate the restaurant, staff lifts and activities, provide first aid, maintain resort operations and general administration. The economic impacts would be fully analyzed in a future NEPA process.

How do I voice my opinion?

Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort will be making presentations regarding changes to its Master Development Plan. Sipapu has developed changes based on community and stakeholder feedback. There will be two meetings for the public to attend, and the opportunity for individual meetings. Meetings will be held:  

  • In-person meeting at Sipapu on Monday, January 10, from 5:30 – 8:00 pm
  • Virtual meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, January 12, from 5:30 – 8:30 pm

If you’re unable to make it to an open house but still want to share your thoughts, you can get ahold of us in the following ways:

Call:  575-202-4089
Email: [email protected]
Snail Mail:
Attn: John Paul Bradley
Master Development Plan
H.C. 65 Rt. Box 29
Vadito, NM 87579

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