RED RIVER, N.M. (KRQE) – Parts of the state are still recovering from last week’s storm and a popular New Mexico recreation spot, the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area, is just one of them. The entire area was leveled by powerful winds and the owners say the damage is astounding and are calling it utter devastation. Winds up to 100 miles per hour brought down massive trees, blocked pathways, and left buildings severely damaged.
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“There are spots where it used to be a forest and there are no trees left. Almost 100 percent are on the ground,” Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski General Manager, Mike Ritterhouse said.
“It takes your breath away seeing things that you would normally not see because there were trees between you and this view and now there are none,” said Owner, Ellen Miller-Goins
Enchanted Forest officials say the devastation has wiped out between 3,000 trees across trails and about 30,000 other trees spread around the remaining area. On top of that, areas, where guests could cool off in the summer or warm up during the winter, are no longer safe.
“Of our five yurts we have lost three of them and the other two have sustained damage as well,” said Ritterhouse.
Miller-Goins says it’s a heartbreaking situation for her and her parents who are the founders of the enchanted forest. She says, after being opened every year since 1985, this is the first season the resort will be closed.
“My dad is 87 now and I don’t know If he fully comprehends that this has happened, but I’m kind of glad that he doesn’t. My mom cried though,” said Miller-Goins.
She adds with the holiday season being the busiest for the cross country ski area, they had been making plans for a Christmas day opening, even taking reservations since September.
“I have a whole bunch of refunds and I just ask people to be patient with us because they made their reservations in September and all of us were optimistic we were going to have a winter,” said Miller-Goins.
The owners of the Enchanted Forest say they are hoping for a partial reopening on February 1. They are still working with insurance to figuring out a dollar amount on the damage.