Over the years, the World Pro Ski Tour has evolved to become a true celebration of ski racing’s past, present and future. With roots dating to the late 1960s, the race series transcends current athletes on the Olympic and World Cup stages, says Jon J. Franklin, CEO of the World Pro Ski Tour. Its unique format provides athletes from all world-class competitions the rare opportunity to race head-to head. This means a field stacked with NCAA champions, national team members, World Cup stars, Olympic competitors, and decorated former Olympians coming out of retirement. For some, the Tour is a chance to race against a childhood idol, like two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety. For others, it’s an opportunity to resurrect their career or simply get back out on the slopes and have some fun.

The festivities around the World Championships, which are held in Taos, New Mexico, feel like a who’s who of skiing history, featuring champions from every era, says Franklin. Last year, around 20 Olympic and World Champion medalists from around the globe attended the championship event. “It was like autograph row,” he recalls. Legends like Austrian Franz Klammer, whose accomplishments include 25 World Cup downhill wins and a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics, posed for photos during lunches at the Bavarian. And American ski icons, including Olympic champion twin brothers, Phil Mahre and Steve Mahre, and Debbie Armstrong, who took home gold at the 1984 Olympics, signed autographs alongside current American ski sensations like Paula Moltzan. The 2024 World Championships take place March 28 to 31 and Armstrong is one of the big names who have already RSVP’d, says Franklin.

Attracting best-in-class athletes is far from the World Pro Tour’s only accomplishment. Franklin believes the Tour has a responsibility to shape the future of ski racing. To that end, men and women race the same courses for equal prize money with over $500,000 up for grabs for the season. And the Tour selected Taos Ski Valley as its World Championship venue because of its epic slopes, as well as its innovative approaches to sustainability and commitment to equity and inclusion.

The world’s first B Corp-certified ski resort, Taos is leading the way in sustainability. The ski area employs a Net Zero director and has invested heavily in green initiatives such as electrifying its snowcats, retrofitting older buildings to reduce energy impact, and using 100 percent renewable daytime solar power to run chairlifts and snowmaking operations. These efforts have paid off in a big way. In 2022, the resort achieved carbon neutral certification from Climate Impact Partners, a major milestone in its efforts to become Net Zero by 2030.

Achieving B Corp status goes beyond environmental stewardship. It also involves shining a light on inequity in the outdoor industry and becoming part of the solution when it comes to social justice and race equity. New diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership has helped make Taos one of the most diverse ski resort’s in the industry, with more than 35% of its workforce self-identifying as People of Color, and more than 50% of the management team identifying as female. Recognizing the next generation will be the protectors of our winters, the resort has also launched a new initiative to provide local children of the Taos Pueblo with free skiing. “With the resurrection of the World Pro Ski Tour in the modern era, we are dedicated to embracing partners who share our values,” says Franklin. “This will be our third year hosting the worlds in Taos. We believe the resort is a model for responsible ski operations.”