All but a few of the slopes and trails at mountain Southwest ski and snowboard areas lie within the national forest, and cannot be developed any further.
The exception is Angel Fire Resort in northern New Mexico, where the privately owned development owners are offering something that is rarely available: mountaintop land.
The cost of the lots, which range from three-quarters to one acre in size, seems like a real deal at $999. However, the catch is that there are no roads or utilities to the lots, at this time, so the real value of the purchase will be entrance into membership at the resort, which costs $2,350 a year per family, according to spokeswoman Christy Germscheid.
Local real estate agent Gary Krueger called ownership of the land on the mountain "a bragging rights commitment to outdoor fun and recreation for the entire family." In the future, owners may be able to form a homeowners association and bring utilities to the sites, Krueger said.
Only people who own property within the resort's 1,200 acres can become a member of Angel Fire Resort and the Association of Angel Fire Property Owners, and they must pay the annual membership fee to receive the benefits.
What comes with membership at Angel Fire Resort are unlimited skiing and golf, fitness center and swimming pool access at the new Angel Fire Golf & Country Club, 14-day advance tee-times, free use of the RV park, access to riding stables, preferred ski and country club parking, locker storage, fishing at Monte Verde Lake, and 20 percent off all resort food, beverage, and retail purchases.
The ski and snowboard mountain has just a bit more than 2,000 vertical feet that is serviced by two high-speed quads and three double chairlifts.