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Area resorts offer new and upgraded amenities for the 2007-’08 season.
Photo: Rachael Woods (Alpine Meadows Ski Resort)
Skiers and boarders from around the globe flock to Lake Tahoe every season for some of the best snow and terrain in the world, and with new chairlifts, trails, restaurants, shops, and even a zip line, they will be glad they made the pilgrimage in 2007-’08.
Lake Tahoe is known for its spectacular vistas and world-class skiing, and Heavenly Mountain Resort is giving visitors a different view of the slopes and Lake Tahoe scenery from its new 3,100-foot zip line, the longest in the lower 48 states. The Sky Flyer sends harnessed passengers on a 50-mph thrill ride with a 525-foot vertical drop. Heavenly’s new Olympic Express high-speed chairlift gives skiers access to three new intermediate and advanced trails in a short three-minute ride. Eleven new snowmaking machines will help improve snow consistency and coverage around Heavenly. Visitors can look forward to more new chairlifts, trails, and on-mountain restaurants in the coming seasons. skiheavenly.com, 800-HEAVENLY
Mount Rose-Ski Tahoe opens the season with improvements to Slide Bowl on the east side of the resort. Snowmaking and selective re-contouring will continue down Silver Dollar Trail with the primary goal of achieving early season access to Slide Lodge. mtrose.com, 800 SKI-ROSE
This season Diamond Peak is teaming up with Burton Snowboards to make learning to snowboard easy and fun by using Burton’s specially designed snowboards, which are softer flexing and easier to turn than a conventional model. diamondpeak.com, 775-832-1177
This winter Squaw Valley USA’s Shirley Lake can be reached via the Shirley Lift Express, an upgraded detachable six-person chairlift. The chairlift opens 375 acres of intermediate terrain. Other improvements at Squaw include a new trenched superpipe in Central Park at Riviera. Equipped with lights, it will be the only nighttime-accessible superpipe in the region. For a change of pace, visitors can try the new full-moon snowshoe tours to upper mountain peaks. squaw.com, 530-583-6985
Northstar-at-Tahoe added four new trails to its Northwest Territory lineup. Other on-mountain improvements include trail-widening on parts of Mount Pluto, trail expansions on Lookout Mountain, and an expanded snowmaking system. Off the mountain, The Village at Northstar has expanded to include new eateries and retailers, such as Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Oliver Napa Valley, Tahoe Creamery, and Spirits in Stone, and 5,000 additional square feet of meeting space. northstarattahoe.com, 800-GO-NORTH
Sierra-at-Tahoe added 320 acres of new backcountry terrain for the 2007-’08 ski season, working with the U.S. Forest Service to incorporate the forested terrain of Huckleberry Canyon for expert skiers. Private family lessons are available to help guests get the most out of their ski vacation with the kids. After a long day on the slopes, skiers and boarders can recharge at the new 360 Smokehouse Barbeque or the remodeled, renamed Baja Grill, formerly West Bowl Bar and Grill, for Mexican fare. sierraattahoe.com, 530-659-7453
Feeling the crunch of higher gas prices? The Kirkwood Mountain Resort carpool forum, the “K-pool,” might be just what you need. Guests from San Francisco, Sacramento, Reno, and around the lake can find rides to Kirkwood online. Improvements in line for a December 2009 completion include a new chairlift to provide quicker access to Emigrant Basin, an upgrade of the Sunrise chairlift, and the construction of Expedition Lodge. Plans for the lodge include an outdoor Jacuzzi, childcare, and a private wine bar. kirkwood.com, 209-258-6000
This season, skiers and boarders at Homewood Mountain Resort will be able to access North Side runs faster with the new high-speed detachable quad chairlift, the Homewood Express. Future improvements at Homewood include a mid-mountain lodge, gondola, and pedestrian village. The village is slated to include an ice rink, amphitheater, 50-room hotel, 40-condo complex, and retail space. skihomewood.com, 530-525-2992
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort will host Tahoe’s first season-long telemark ski team for kids this winter. Kids as young as 10 can learn this traditional sport, sometimes overlooked by boarders and skiers. skialpine.com, 530-583-4232
If the thought of barreling down a snow slope on thin pieces of wood leaves you queasy, Boreal Mountain Resort has you covered with a new tubing area. The Playland Tube Park includes a new, acrophobic-friendly surface lift and kids’ carousel. Other improvements include expanded night lighting and a new grooming machine for terrain parks. rideboreal.com, 530-426-3173
Sugar Bowl is putting the finishing touches on the first phase of their new Mount Judah Condominiums at the Jerome Creek Lodge. The lodge hosts 23 ski-in/ski-out two- and three-bedroom luxury condominiums with underground parking. sugarbowl.com, 530-426-9000
The following sites provide up-to-date snow conditions, information, and links for area ski resorts:
SKI AND STAY
Visit ski.travelnevada.com for more information on ski packages in the Reno-Lake Tahoe area.