ANGEL FIRE, N.M. (KRQE) - New Mexico ski resorts aren't just about skiing anymore.
Due to the drought, owners have been looking at other ways to make money year round and at Angel Fire Resort, it’s paying off.
Red Bull picked Angel Fire out of more than 20 places around the world to hold its one-of-a-kind event featuring the best BMX'ers taking dirt jumps carved out in the middle of the mountain.
Angel Fire Bike Park Director Hogan Koesis said he sent Red Bull some dirt from the resort in the mail, and due to its unique clay base, the Angel Fire was chosen for the event.
“The event is so rare,” said Anthony Napolitan, creator of Red Bull Dreamline. “It's not very often that you find dirt jumps as big as these anywhere in the world.”
Angel Fire Mayor Barbara Cottam said the event “definitely puts us on the map. Our summer industry is very slow normally and it's growing.”
While riders soared flying 30 feet into the sky at Angel Fire, sales soared, too.
More than 1,500 people showed up for the bike race. The resort was sold out and its restaurants were packed.
“We'll probably increase our sales by about 400 percent today,” said Annie Laulainen, an employee at the Angel Fire Coffee Shop & Bistro.
For the resort, the money helps, especially after winter seasons that have been lacking in snow.
“This last year we didn't have as much snow accumulation,” Koesis said. “I think our base was 110, 120 inches which isn't good.”
Resorts across the state have turned to making up some winter losses in the summer.
Angel Fire recently added ziplining and mountain biking and thousands of people are taking advantage.
“Just a few years ago, It was only 1,200 [bikers visiting] but we're approaching 10,000 mark now. My goal is 20,000 biker visits,” said Koesis.
Whether in the summer or winter, Angel Fire is hoping to see more first-time visitors after this competition airs on national television in October.
The town will be in the backdrop.
The bike race track took six weeks, and 17,000 tons of dirt to build for the Red Bull competition at Angel Fire Resort is no longer there.
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