For 50th anniversary, it’ll be Purgatory

New owner bringing back old name at Durango resort

Skiers slide toward the main lift at Durango Mountain Resort. The resort, which offers about 1,300 acres of skiable terrain, recently was purchased by a Durango businessman who pledges to change the resort’s name back to Purgatory Resort.



James H. Coleman Jr. recently purchased Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort and has announced he will change the name to Purgatory Resort.



A Durango businessman is the new owner of Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort.

James H. Coleman Jr., who grew up skiing at what then was known as Purgatory Ski Area since its founding in 1965, has announced he will restore the name “Purgatory” to the resort 27 miles north of Durango.

“Like many of the locals and our longtime guests, I’ve always known this mountain as Purgatory, and with next winter being our 50th anniversary, we believe it’s appropriate to officially change the resort’s name back to Purgatory,’ ” Coleman said in a news release.

Coleman has been the managing partner since 2000 at Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort near Taos, New Mexico. Last year, Coleman partnered with Los Alamos County (New Mexico) to purchase Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos.

Coleman is also in the process of acquiring Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff, Arizona. That sale is expected to be completed this winter.

A news release said the resorts collectively offer more than 3,000 skiable acres, and guests will be able to access all resorts with the Purgatory Power Pass.

Durango Mountain spokeswoman Kim Oyler said no changes will occur this winter in the cooperative pass program with other resorts, including Powderhorn Mountain Resort.

The resort’s previous owner retains possession of Durango Mountain Realty and certain real estate around the resort.

Durango Mountain Resort offers about 1,300 acres of skiable terrain and attracts about 280,000 visitors each winter. The resort employs around 900 workers at its seasonal peak.


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