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“Go during the week”
Review of Angel Fire Resort

Angel Fire Resort
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Angel Fire Resort is a year-round destination located in Northern New Mexico. In the winter, Angel Fire features skiing and snowboarding with a wide-variety of terrain on 560+ acres. Amenities include a ski & snowboard school, lodging options, tubing and dining facilities. After the snow melts, the resort features on of the premier downhill mountain bike parks in the country as well New Mexico's only zipline, an 18-hole golf course and more!
Texas
Level Contributor
88 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Go during the week”
Reviewed 14 April 2014

We visited Angel Fire Resort for a ski trip at the end of January. My 5 year old son spent the first day in ski school and we were extremely pleased. Although a little pricy, he had a full day of learning and his instructor only had two children. (He attended on a Friday, and on Saturday, we noticed that the class sizes were a bit larger.) By the end of the day, he was going up the bunny hill lift on his own. While he was at school, my husband and I skied the runs. There was a large portion of the mountain not open, but many of those were blacks on the back side and we had no problem finding plenty of paths to take. The Chile Express lift was closed for a while due to high winds, but they were taking shuttles up to the back of the mountain, so no worries there. The key is to go with the flow. Had we wanted to find fault, we could have complained about the closed lift, etc. but instead we enjoyed the beautiful days and wide-open ski runs.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank TravellingTexasMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Not worth the money... go to Colorado for a real skiing experience”
Reviewed 6 April 2014

We recently spent spring break in Angel Fire with family and friends. While we knew the skiing conditions were not ideal (high temps and lack of snow), the skiing at the top of the mountain was still pretty good.

What really surprised me was how rude the people working at the resort were -- from lift operators to bartenders, restaurant staff and even the ski school personnel. You could ask for directions, and employees acted put out that you would ask for assistance. I had made reservations for ski lessons several weeks before our arrival, and when we checked in we learned that the lessons had never been booked despite the fact that the resort had charged my credit card. Trying to move the lessons to another day was not possible because all the teachers were now booked. After standing in line for 40 mins and escalating to the manager, the charges were finally refunded.

The resort is small, poorly managed and did not seem prepared for spring break crowds (even though these crowds were small compared to what I have seen in Colorado). On multiple days, the restaurant/bar at the Summit ran out of ice, napkins, and even eating utensils!! They would come on the loud speaker and make jokes about the menu now being all finger foods (meaning we have no forks - you have to eat everything with your hands!).

We have skied in different locations in Colorado and Utah, and were hopeful that Angel Fire / New Mexico might be a location a little closer to Texas, but we will NOT return. I am really not a "ski snob", but even when going to a smaller, more economical resort like Angel Fire, skiing is not a cheap vacation, and one should expect a basic level of customer service, politeness, professionalism and organization.

Whether you are a beginner or experienced skier, I would recommend spending the extra few hours on the road to get to Colorado where they know how to treat visitors, and the ski resorts are much better managed.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank TxFamily3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Angel Fire Snowbear Camp”
Reviewed 24 March 2014

We enrolled our 3 and 5 year old in Snowbear Camp at the Angel Fire Preschool and Daycare in March of 2014 during our Spring Break week. I was feeling a little guilty about going on a family vacation and dropping them off for "child care" while my husband and I went off and skiied the first day. When I dropped them off, I could hardly get them to turn around and tell me goodbye, they were so enamored with the facility.

They have a very large wooden indoor climbing gym with a full size slide, a home center, a dress up center, several train tables and building block areas, a race track/car scene carpet and the cars to go with it, and an nice area for circle time for short lessons and rest/nap time. You can tell there is actual lessons being taught and learning happening in this place-more than just glorified baby-sitting. Kids that are a little older, can opt to have quiet time while watching a movie. They had a full schedule of activites for the day, just right for the preschool set. The weather was really nice for the tail end of winter, so I know the kids spent some extra time on the large, fenced and very secure outdoor playground.

Examples of snacks served: Carrots and ranch, goldfish, and cheese quesadillas.
Lunch: Spaghetti, hotdogs and macaroni and cheese, not straight from a box.

When I returned to pick them up at the end of the first day, they were still not ready to leave. I interacted quite a bit with the staff, the teachers and even the director of the preschool. They were absolutely lovely women that seemed to really love their job and it showed through to the kids in their care. They greeted us with a smile, even at the end of the day after I know they had to have been wrangling kids of all ages and needs all day long. Not one of the staff members ever seemed tired or worn down, again, even at the end of the day.

Day 2 of drop off, I definitely didn't get a goodbye from my kids. I picked them up a little early for a ski school lesson and they were much happier to be at Snowbear Camp than to gear up and head on over to the mountain because I was interrupting their super-fun day at Snowbear Camp. Day 3, I wasn't planning on taking them to Snowbear Camp because they had already spent 2 days with them, but they were begging to go back. We didn't have a Day 3 reservation but I mentioned to the staff that the kids were really wanting to come back for a few hours at a minimum. They said they were pretty full, but would work with me to accomodate them as "drop-ins" so I didn't have to pay the full day rate and we could come and go as we needed. We had designated Wednesday as Family Day, so we got our Family fun in the morning and the kids spent the afternoon at Snowbear Camp to round out the end of their time in Angel Fire. I highly recommend this facility and the staff. I think I have a pretty high standard of what I look for in child care and I was very happy with this facility. Some would say that the skiing in Angel Fire isn't quite as good as what could be found in Colorado, but my peace of mind is worth so much when it comes to my kids. I would return to Angel Fire, just knowing my kids were happy, safe and secure at Snowbear Camp.

As a side note, my kids just barely hit the 42 inch height requirement for Polar Coaster Tubing Slide ($25/per person for 1.5 hours, as many times as you can ride). This was their first time skiing so while they did the lessons and were starting to get a comfort level on the skis, I wanted something really easy for them but fun for all of us. I was afraid that my 5 yr old nervous nellie would do the slide one time, get scared and sit the rest of the paid time out. She loved it! My 3 year old is fearless, and he absolutely loved it! If your kids aren't great skiiers or want the fun of skiing without all the gear and uncomfortable equipment, I recommend the tubing. All the fun, none of the awkward equipment.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Jacquelyn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dswanson30, Manager at Angel Fire Resort, responded to this review, 28 March 2014
Dear Jacquelyn W,
Thank you very much for the review of Angel Fire Resort and the Snowbear Camp. We pride ourselves on the family experience and the camp is a huge part of that. We're thrilled to hear that you and your family enjoyed your vacation and home that you come back for the great summer or winter activities!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Round Rock, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Not really just bad weather...”
Reviewed 3 March 2014

I really should have known better than to stay at a place that had a non-refundable charge. Unfortunately, I didn't know I never received the e-mail confirmation about the skis/boots/sci school, etc, so I did not realize they were non-refundable as well. Since this was not something I HAD to reserve in advance, I did not realize it would be a big deal, but nope, no refund. And very little customer service when I tried to even call in about it. The phone would ALWAYS go to voice mail and there was a 3+ hour delay for a return call (on weekdays). These people were always very nice to speak with, just hard to reach.
The room was really nice, but they put us in a room with no insulation around the emergency door in the adult bedroom part, right next to the elevator...so "ding ding" every time someone came up or down, and any chatting (sounded like it was in the room with us) at 4:30 am did not bode well for sleeping. There was also no lock on the door other than the card key entry, which made us uncomfortable. Oh, and very few lights. So if you needed to get your stuff together that night for the next day...forget it.
The restaurants were fabulous. The door staff was unable to answer any questions, which was annoying, but the food throughout was very very good.
The people in the ski rental area were nice, except one guy who came by literally every 20 seconds and said I had to take one boot off so they could fit the skis. That's great buddy, but I was trying on a bunch of different pairs b/c they didn't fit right. He must have thought I really enjoyed walking around in circles in ski boots to pass the time. It was ridiculous.

The really really bad part was the skiing. I waited 14y and drove over 12h to go skiing. I understand that the lack of snow, mostly ice on the slopes, and DUST blowing everywhere was not their fault, but it was sad. So I get up on the slopes trying to make the best of it...make a practice run waiting for the big lift to open...what? Nope, not opening, take the bus to the backside. No problem. Nope, backside is shut down due to high winds. Oh wait, other tiny little lift is shut down... At this point I'm about to have a heart attack. I did NOT come to play around on the resort trails or what have you, I came to SKI and you just shut down the WHOLE mountain. So we spoke to the head guy in the ski school office and he said we could go on the bunny slope with our kids (who were in ski school), and then come get a refund before 5. Good. So we go down the bunny slope a few times with the kids and come back around to get the refund and the lady says no b/c it was used all day even though the lifts never opened. On the bunny slope???? Yes. And the lady next to her was making VERY snarky comments, and it wasn't in response to me being rude b/c I didn't know what was going on. I was pretty much through with this place by now, but my husband came in and found the guy who said we could get a refund and he was very nice and honored it. I just wanted to leave.
So I went to go pick up my 4 kids, really loved 3 of the instructors. The first thing the instructor for my 5yo said, however, was that she didn't speak English. Now it is fabulous that they have a Spanish speaking person to help those that need it, but my daughter is in no way Spanish speaking, and at 5, still learning English for goodness sake! She told me my daughter was a little lazy, so they gave her medals to get her to participate. Unbelievable. Of all ages of ski school classes, I would think the 5yo kids would need the most guidance. And for $150 a day no less. I was speechless, but had already decided to go elsewhere to ski, so again, I just wanted to get away as fast as I could and forget that I just lost one of the three days I had to ski.
We did up going elsewhere to ski for the last two days of our trip since I wasn't going to be out the money AND not get to ski. We ran into other people who had stopped going to Angel Fire b/c they were prone to shutting down the lifts. They must have a lot of high winds that other places don't get. We went to southern CO and there was a ton of snow, $66 a day ski lessons for the kids AND my 5yo flourished! She could hardly stand on skis after a whole day at Angel Fire, but after 4h in CO she was skiing with us close by and by the next day was taking the entire green run from the top of the mountain completely by herself!

Another side note is that all of their credit card charges show as transaction date 2-3 days after you actually make the charge. I am currently having my credit card company find out about an almost $200 charge that shows a transaction date of Saturday when we left the Wed before. I called all day to their billing dept and got no one to answer, and have left 2 different messages on two numbers trying to get someone to tell me what it was for to no avail. It says lodging, not food, and I was trying desperately to not give them any more of my money after we decided to go somewhere with more snow (and open lifts), so I can't imagine what I would have spent $200 on...after I left. The front desk only showed my prepayments. All other charges I can account for, but someone calling me back would have been awesome. And I probably would have given it 2-3 stars if they had.

I'm sure I could have worked out various things and overlooked things if there had been snow, but since it's so far south, I guess this is a chance you take. I can not review how good the actual ski runs are since I never got up there. I would suggest going elsewhere if you really want to ski. As a resort to hang out at, it's ok. We were there President's Day weekend.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
9 Thank Khaavi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dswanson30, Public Relations Manager at Angel Fire Resort, responded to this review, 28 March 2014
Khaavi,
Thank you for your honest comments regarding your experience at the resort. We will use these comments to learn from and improve our service. Thank you for your honest and candid reviews.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“They only care about ripping off the guests”
Reviewed 23 February 2014 via mobile

Don't make reservations at this resort. Because if you have an emergency and have to cancel or reschedule they don't care. I asked for refund because we are sick and don't want to try to ski under the weather. They had told me they can't help me and only give me 30 days to use my reservation and if I didn't use it I would lose the $300 I already paid. I asked if I could extend my reservation until maybe April or May and they declined that too. Saying I only have 30 days to use the reservation or I will lose it again. I then asked to talk to a manager and I was told they are not in and could leave a voice message, so I did, requesting a call back by them. But instead the same receptionist called me back saying the manager said no refunds or extensions. This company has no decency or training of the the management to at least talk to the guest. I realized that these people won't budge I decided to inquire about lift tickets and services even though we were going under the weather. As I inquired the receptionist gave me totals and I said I would call back with later after I found out what we wanted. I checked my bank account later and they went ahead and charged my account for my inquiry without my authorization. This company is all about their money. If you do make a reservation at their resort don't get the lift tickets with the package. Tickets are an extra $40 from the resort than at the ticket office. I will be heading there tomorrow with my sick girlfriend and hopefully we can talk to a manager. This has already been a horrible trip and we haven't even arrive. This will be our last time there.

Helpful?
4 Thank Jared T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dswanson30, Manager at Angel Fire Resort, responded to this review, 25 February 2014
Dear Jared T,

I am surprised at this posting as when you made the reservation on Wednesday, 2/19/14, for an arrival on Monday, 2/24/14, you were advised that the winter reservations are non-refundable. When you originally called to cancel we offered to allow a date change but you declined. The first I heard of anyone being sick is when you left me a voicemail on Saturday, 2/22/14. Based on the multiple conversations and emails that I received and knowing that this wouldn't be a good experience for anyone, while not our policy, I made the decision to give you a full refund.

I hope that your girlfriend is feeling better and that you are able to travel somewhere together at a later time.

Sincerely,
Joe Kendall
Director of Lodging
Angel Fire Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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