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What’s new at the Ski Lake Tahoe resorts for 2013-14

Nov 4th 2013

Squaw Valley Base Area | Photo: Chris Bartkowski

Did you know that that the Ski Lake Tahoe resorts are rolling out a lot of cool new developments this season? Think new lifts, new resort properties, new base area renovations and new modern amenities. All of this is designed to ensure that you have a more enjoyable and memorable Tahoe ski and snowboard vacation.

Alpine Meadows and its sister resort Squaw Valley are undergoing a five-year, $70 million renaissance. For Alpine Meadows, this means expanded snowmaking and new state-of-the-art grooming snowcats, along with a revamped mid-mountain lodge into a Bavarian-style beer garden serving regional brews, sausage plates and even raclette. It will also introduce a new Snow Rangers program offering season-long backcountry touring and avalanche awareness training for ski team kids ages 12-18.

In the first two years of its five year renaissance, Squaw Valley has invested over $38 million in new lifts, on-mountain improvements and base area renovations. It’s continuing this trend with a new Wanderlust Yoga Studio, as well as a fleet of Mtn Roots Food Trucks serving an eclectic menu of regionally and sustainably sourced food. Parents looking to introduce the next generation to skiing and riding will want to check out the new Teaching Tykes private lessons that instructs them on how to teach their young ones how to ski or ride.

Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe has added a few tech-friendly upgrades this season, including expanded wifi service throughout the base area and the ability to pre-purchase lift tickets and lessons in advance through a streamlined e-commerce site.

Over the last five seasons, Northstar California has made some significant upgrades, including the Promised Land Express high-speed detachable quad chairlift and the new Zephyr Lodge. This season it’s renovating the cabins on its Big Springs Gondola and welcoming the Ripperoo Riglet Park for its first full season of operation, featuring specialized terrain to help 3-6 year olds become comfortable on a snowboard sooner.

Heavenly has a lot going on, both on the mountain and off. At the top of the gondola, it is expanding its Adventure Peak offerings to include a four-lane zip line center, a treetop canopy tour, two ropes courses along with an additional 3,000-foot-long zip line as part of the resort's new Epic Discovery program. If you haven’t been to Heavenly’s après ski party, Unbuckle at Tamarack Lodge, you’ll definitely want to check out the expanded excitement on the outdoor deck this season. Off the slopes construction is underway on a number of new retail shops as part of The Chateau project being built adjacent to Heavenly Village. In addition, there’s a new hotel in town. The Landing Resort and Spa is a luxury, boutique lakefront resort complete with marble bathrooms, gas fireplaces and a Greek taverna.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort
has once again been chosen as one of only two North American stops on the Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) pitting the best big mountain skiers and riders in the world against the forbidden and permanently closed chutes and cliff bands found in The Cirque. The resort is also partnering with slopestyle legend Bobby Brown and Red Bull to bring twelve of the best riders on the planet together for MegaSlope 2.0 to showcase their skills on a custom-built course on the resort's backside that will be twice the size of the Olympic course in Sochi.

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort has invested over $4.5 million in a new base area facility and adjacent plaza that will add more than 9,000 square feet of retail space, demo centers and restaurant options. As part of this expansion, you’ll be able to enjoy a new sun deck complete with comfy lounge chairs and cozy fire pits. The venue will also be the site of a new Spring Concert Series that will showcase top touring acts from around the region. Thanks to the popularity of Sierra’s Yoda Riglet Park, it’s expanding it to include a Burton Star Wars™ Echo Base giving kids ages 7-12 the opportunity to quickly learn how to snowboard.

New associate member Sugar Bowl Resort is installing the $3 million Crow's Peak Chairlift that will add more than 150 acres of advanced/expert terrain including two new groomed runs, wind-protected glades and committing steeps and chutes. The resort is also building a new $4.5 million Sport Haus Aquatic and Fitness Center available for use by those lodging guests staying within the resort's snowbound village.

Homewood Mountain Resort, located on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, is another new Ski Lake Tahoe partner. For the upcoming season it has expanded its grooming fleet to ease the learning curve for first-time skiers and snowboarders by incorporating man-made berms and gullies as part of the resort's beginner terrain. It has also teamed up with Pacific Crest Snowcats to offer a new specialty lodging package, The Backcountry Experience, combining a full day of powder turns on more than 3,000 acres of private terrain with luxury lakefront lodging at the West Shore Café and Inn.

So much new - which ski resort to visit first? Let us know in the comments.




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