Iconic Destination Continues to Deliver Unique Winter Experience, Five-Star Amenities and Unbeatable Vacation Packages
Lake Tahoe, CA/NV - October 7, 2010 - Following a season of near-record snowfall and skier visits, the seven Ski Lake Tahoe resorts head into the 2010-11 winter season with new resort improvements and guest amenities that enhance the mountain experience and set the industry standard for the ultimate winter vacation. Couple these accomplishments with new five-star caliber lodging properties, restaurants, one-of-a-kind attractions and the most affordable, quality ski vacations of any U.S. ski destination and Lake Tahoe is the obvious choice for a truly memorable ski vacation. More than merely a getaway, the visitor experience in Lake Tahoe centers around an active-minded, sustainable lifestyle enriched with outdoor adventure, entertainment, luxury and a welcoming sense of camaraderie found only on the West Coast.
Lake Tahoe continues to remain a top choice among winter destination travelers as evidenced by the region being named the #1 ski and travel destination from mainstream travel booking web sites such as TripAdvisor, Orbitz and Travelocity over the last four years. Lake Tahoe's affordable vacation packages and unbeatable value proposition contributed to the 17-percent growth in skier visitation numbers last season, more than four times the increase reported on a national level.
The destination offers a savings phenomenon that lures travelers back through the combination of discount airfares into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RTIA), incredibly low priced rooms at area hotels and casino resorts, affordable local transportation and generally lower priced lift tickets that in total enable significant savings. Continuing to respond to economic trends, the Ski Lake Tahoe resorts have positioned recession-minded offers including the most affordable ski-and-stay packages in the country starting at $79 and learn to ski and ride packages at $25 per day in addition to special deals and incentives for kids, families and novices.
For the 2010-11 winter season, the Ski Lake Tahoe resorts plan to unveil a number of breakthroughs designed to further enhance the guest experience including significant investments geared toward families and new entrants to winter sports. Guests will find new interactive technologies to aid the on-mountain experience, a first-of-its-kind in North America youth lift safety system, new high-flying attractions and new beginner-friendly terrain and lifts. Capital investments continue from shore-to-shore at all seven Ski Lake Tahoe resorts including new on-mountain developments, base area improvements, sustainable energy initiatives, slope-side amenities and new lifts that demonstrate the progress of several of the resorts' master development plans.
Once off the mountain, Lake Tahoe continues to bolster its status as America's winter destination entertainment capital by combining 24/7 nightlife with award-winning restaurants and world renowned chefs. Close to a dozen new restaurants are slated to open around the shores of Lake Tahoe this year and the region continues to draw big-name entertainers such as Elton John, Kenny Chesney, Stevie Nicks and Snoop Dogg. The slopes surrounding Lake Tahoe will once again play host to the largest and longest lasting winter destination New Year's Eve celebrations imaginable, ranging from unique restaurant and nightclub parties to massive, outdoor block parties within walking distance.
Still celebrating their recent Olympic success, local Olympic athletes will be involved in clinics and public ski and snowboard events this season as well as competing in several top ski and snowboard competitions that are slated to take place at the Ski Lake Tahoe resorts. In addition to its longstanding events in the disciplines of downhill, mogul and freeskiing, this season Lake Tahoe will also play host to a number of new events based on the growing sport of Skier Cross and also welcome one of the premiere Nordic competitions in North America.
While many airports have been forced to reduce or discontinue air service through the changing economy, RTIA actually increased the number of airlines and added 17 new flights into the region this year, including additional service from the East Coast.The recently remodeled airport now offers 72 daily departures to 15 non-stop cities and one-stop service to almost anywhere in the world. Located less than an hour from the slopes, RTIA has never experienced a closure due to snow and the discounted airfare and "Bags Fly Free" policy of its dominant carrier, Southwest Airlines, resonates well with winter enthusiasts.
Following is a brief overview of what's new for the 2010-11 season at the seven Ski Lake Tahoe resorts including Alpine Meadows, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and Squaw Valley USA.
For further details, log on to www.skilaketahoe.com. The recently re-launched web site serves as an interactive portal for destination travelers planning a winter vacation to the Lake Tahoe region with travel booking engines, real-time snow reports, interactive maps, event calendars and live newsfeeds from all seven resorts and regional partners. Be sure to check out the "Lake Tahoe Chatter" page for the insider perspective on what's happening around the lake.
Alpine Meadows continues its technological advancements for guests by becoming the first North American ski resort to offer a breakthrough children's chairlift safety system. Designed by Magnestick®, the new technology uses an electromagnetic seatback and magnetic vest worn by children riding a chair lift. This latest announcement continues the resort's technological offerings such as the flāik™ GPS tracking system for children, radio frequency identification (RFID) chair lift gates, reloadable lift ticketing capabilities from home, and the all new Alpine Club Fast Trax program, which allows members to purchase a lift ticket simply by skiing through an RFID gate.
The resort will also unveil a newly expanded children's indoor center including interactive educational stations for kids and automated registration stations for parents; as well as a new outdoor snow play area including the addition of a new magic carpet surface lift, multiple tubing lanes and a mini terrain park. Alpine Meadows also plans to expand its groomed surfaces to new areas of the mountain. For more information, log onto www.skialpine.com.
Heavenly Mountain Resort
The resort has begun construction on its new 14,980-square-foot Tamarack Lodge located mid-mountain at the top of Heavenly's Gondola. Slated for completion in February of 2011, the lodge will offer 500 indoor seats along with 250 outdoor patio seats and completes Heavenly's Adventure Peak family recreation area, where guests can enjoy enjoying snowshoeing, ski biking, sledding and Heavenly's Super Tubing Hill. The Tamarack Lodge is the crown jewel of Heavenly's major revitalization over the past eight years which has included new and upgraded lifts, increased snowmaking and grooming, additional on-mountain amenities and improvements.
Heavenly Mountain Resort recently unveiled the new EpicMix technology, an online and mobile application which will allow guests to capture their ski and ride experience and digitally share it with friends and family. EpicMix will record the activity of guests using radio frequency (RF) scanners installed at each of the resort's chairlifts and automatically calculate vertical feet, number of days skied and other achievements by reading RF-enabled chips embedded in season passes and reloadable lift tickets. Guests can then log in to view and share results on social networks as well as post private messages and locate friends on the mountain, including a real-time locator for parents with children. Visit www.skiheavenly.com for complete details.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Kirkwood Mountain Resort's new ZipTahoe Treetop Canopy Tour seeks to offer new thrills high above the slopes this season through more than 10 zip lines, aerial spans, bridge networks and a final zip line that will whisk guests over skiers and snowboarders while descending over 1,100 feet. This new offering is one of a number of new family-focused attractions housed in the resort's new High Alpine Adventure Center including tubing, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, dogsledding, evening snowcat tours, sleigh rides and snowmobile tours. The resort also offers a new "Daycare Dilemma" lift ticket allowing parents to split shifts on the slopes and a new "Intro to Snow" program that gives toddlers an active alternative to traditional daycare.
Improvements aimed at increasing resort capacity and elevating the guest experience include upgrades to the resort's food and beverage outlets, new parking lots and a facelift to the resort's chairlifts. Kirkwood will once again host the North American Freeskiing Championships and the North Face Masters of Snowboarding showcasing the best skiers and snowboarders in the world. New this season, Kirkwood will also be one of the stops on the new Banzai Series inspired by U.S. Olympian Daron Rahlves that blends skier/boarder cross with a traditional downhill race. Log on to www.kirkwood.com for further information.
Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe
Fresh off its first season of operations, the panoramic new Winters Creek Lodge will benefit from a new sustainability initiative including three "extreme energy windspires" along the lodge's walkway that will help offset energy costs to the new facility while contributing to a greener environment. Located only 25 minutes away from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe continues to partner with a number of resort casino properties to offer some of the most affordable stay-and-ski packages in the entire country starting as low as $79 per person. The resort is also in the process of launching a new application for smartphones that will feature an interactive trail map, current conditions and allow guests to save time and money purchasing products online. Visit www.mtrose.com for details.
This season will mark the first full year of operations for the recently completed Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe located mid-mountain at the resort with access to the Village at Northstar via the new Highlands Gondola. Improving upon this experience for the upcoming season, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort has announced a number of new stores and outlets as additions to the Village at Northstar including the expansion of its demo shop, and a hands-on pottery studio. The resort also upgraded its fleet of rental equipment with the latest offerings from leading manufacturers.
On the slopes, guests can experience a handful of new instructional programs designed for advanced skiers and snowboarders to explore the resort's Backside and Lookout Mountain. In addition, the resort plans to expand its women-specific snowboarding clinics to include successful techniques once taught exclusively as part of the Burton Snowboard Academy. Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort has also been chosen to host the spectator-friendly Nordic Super Tour in mid-March, the premiere cross-country race series in North America. For further details, please visit www.northstarattahoe.com.
Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort continues to improve upon the experience for beginners with the addition of two new surface lifts for the upcoming 2010-11 season. Totaling 700 feet, the two new carpet conveyor lifts will allow beginning skiers and snowboarders to access 11 acres of sculpted Smart Terrain™ that shorten the learning curve for beginners. The resort has also announced the return of its popular $35 Learn to Ski or Ride package for adult beginners. Families looking to experience everything Sierra-at-Tahoe has to offer can take advantage of the resort's Kids Ski Free package.
Sierra-at-Tahoe's recently incorporated expert-only Huckleberry Canyon will continue to see complimentary guided tours on Fridays throughout the season, conditions permitting. Park and pipe enthusiasts continue to flock to the resort's cutting edge terrain parks and freestyle zones which recently received industry-wide recognition. Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort is the recipient of NSAA's Silver Eagle Award for Environmental Education for its efforts aimed at passionate youth and the resort will celebrate the achievement this season. Check out www.sierraattahoe.com for the entire lowdown.
Squaw Valley USA
Guests can celebrate with Squaw Valley USA's resident Olympic athletes on "Ski with Jonny Days" when Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley takes guests on complimentary tours of his favorite runs and with recently-crowned Olympic medalist, Julia Mancuso, who will host an unforgettable spring event. The resort will expand its night skiing and has also created a new mountaintop kids terrain park, complete with a snow fort, kid-friendly jumps, whoopty-doos and even a new kids-specific trail map.
Squaw Valley USA has significantly upgraded the mountain's dining facilities and base village. The legendary Olympic House base lodge has been brilliantly remodeled to include an upgraded bar and redesigned menu. The resort has also completed the final stage of its more than $3 million renovation to the Gold Coast Lodge located at the top terminal of the resort's Funitel. Other upgrades include an extensive remodel of the Olympic Village Lodge & Conference Center, renovations to the Squaw Kids Children's Center, and upgrades to the resort's snowmaking system. Squaw Valley USA will also welcome a host of new shops to its village including a new demo center and three new retail stores. For further information, log on to www.squaw.com.
About Ski Lake Tahoe
Surrounding North America's largest alpine lake, the seven resorts that make up Ski Lake Tahoe are Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, Kirkwood, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and Squaw Valley USA. Lake Tahoe boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year, and the region has some of the highest annual snowfall amounts in North America. The seven resorts, all offering unparalleled scenic vistas of panoramic mountain and lake views, are located less than an hour from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. For further information and to directly book travel, lodging and transportation for Ski Lake Tahoe resorts and its travel partners, visit www.skilaketahoe.com.