We discovered Ski Santa Fe in 1987 and did numerous weekend jaunts to the area - air travel was easier back then. The small ski area offered some nice runs for skiers of all levels of ability and the children's programs were reasonably priced and well staffed. It was totally unknown to outsiders at the time - a real local's spot. The only real drawback ws the 35-45 minute drive to and from town.
Fast forward through the years. We still love Ski Santa Fe, but, over the years, it has been discovered. The area has developmental issues due to Native American concerns and is still the small area, but it can get much more crowded than the old days. Spring Break can be especially tough, as the novice skiers and snowboarders rage out of control. Nearby Pajarita became our preferred choice, if they were open.
This year, Santa Fe made the most sense based on travel time and snow conditions. The website warned of large crowds and suggested strategies, which is a nice benefit. In addition, the base lodge has been expanded and improved. but, for us at least, nothing will ever measure up to the laid back vibe at Totemoff's, an easy lift shortly up the mountain.
We rented equipment in town to avoid the expected crowds at both the mountain and Cottams along the way. There are some lift ticket discounts available for more frequent skiers, but the full-day price for adults is $69, a bargain compared to many Colorado and even New Mexican resorts. There are also special prices kids, preteens, and seniors. The day care and children's ski school rates are also reasonable in relation to other destination resorts.
This is not the place for high speed quads whisking huge crowds. Ski Santa Fe does have a reasonably fast quad (conveyor loading) and a couple of resonably speedy trios. The doubles can be slow.
We were actually surprised that the crowds were fairly reasonable during our trip - few out-of-control college boys, although parking was a pain (although free) and there were some slight lines. The views are often gorgeous and the runs range from tame to totally wild. This was the first place that I ever skied a black, Upper Parachute, which was groomed that day decades ago.
The Day Lodge has probably doubled in size, and does offer more "food court" options, as well as more electircal outlets. The best I had was a $5 bowl of posole, one of the soups du jour. Burgers and hot dogs are priced fairly reasonably and can be purchased on the outside grills at both spots. Made to order deli sandwiches, by contrasts, seemed expensive. I do miss the daily specials that the bartender of Totemoff's served on the side of excellent drinks (Note: the day lodge is alcohol free).