Nevada officials have agreed with California officials to make a run at hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics at Lake Tahoe. If successful, this would bring the Winter Olympic Games back to where they were held in 1960.
The Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition has a memorandum of understanding with California and Nevada leaders to try to convince the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to back their bid. It would then go to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The USOC has not committed to any location for the 2022 bid as of September. Denver and Salt Lake City have also approached the national committee about hosting. The winning bid will be announced in 2015 at the 127th IOC Session.
The Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition's goal is to continue efforts to enhance tourism and recreational offerings, which will make Lake Tahoe even more attractive to host the 2022 Games. North Tahoe mountain resorts, Squaw Valley and Northstar California, announced last spring their plans for more than $80 million in improvements, lifts and lodges in an effort to make Lake Tahoe competitive both nationally and internationally.
In fall of 2010, Northstar was bought by Vail Resorts, which also owns Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly. The Village at Northstar has been thriving since the previous owners put in over $1 billion in improvements between building the Ritz Carlton, redeveloping The Village and on-mountain improvements. The new owners decided to go a few steps further by adding another $30 million in improvements that began in the summer. The Zephyr Lodge was built as a 700 seat ski-in, ski-out eatery and lodge. They are also looking to build new lifts, expand terrain and offer guided snowcat skiing.
KSL Capital Partners purchased Squaw Valley last season and put $15 million into repairs over the summer. An additional $35 million will go in between the years 2012 and 2015, with plans to rebuild High Camp, build new lifts and make the mountain easier to access on stormy days.
In September, after much speculation, KSL announced their plans to also purchase Alpine Meadows. No real improvement plans for Alpine have been announced yet, but they are hoping to expand on things that work well and fix areas that need improvement. One of those areas is the Hot Wheels chair, which is in need of an upgrade.
Many speculate whether the two mountains will eventually merge like Whistler and Blackcomb. As of right now, combining the two resorts isn’t possible, because a local man named Troy Caldwell owns the area between the two resorts dubbed White Wolf. The resorts will operate under the same lift ticket and will have frequent shuttles between the two. Many people speculate negotiations between KSL and Caldwell are to come.
Other plans are underway to improve the North Shore, such as $40 million in infrastructure improvements to Kings Beach over the next three years in an effort to increase lake clarity, scenic views and walkways, and alleviate traffic. Caltrans has also been working with Squaw’s management to improve access to North Lake from the Bay Area.
Vail Resorts and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings (which runs Squaw and Alpine) intend to raise the bar in North Lake in an effort to get more tourism to Lake Tahoe.
These are just a few of the many improvements being made to North Lake in an effort to up the ante, and put the Lake Tahoe area on the international map. These are steps in the right direction for Reno/Tahoe to successfully bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.