Mt. Shasta Ski Park has had to turn skiers and riders away on big weekends. The turn-away hasn't been due to capping ticket sales or slope crowds, but simply due to lack of space to park cars. Visitors to Mt. Shasta this winter should not be turned away.

The resort added a new parking lot, one that can accommodate 300 more vehicles. The new third parking lot sits adjacent to the second parking lot, and a new shuttle bus will be running from the parking lots to the lodge to alleviate the slog to the lifts. The shuttle is scheduled to operate continuously all day long.

Big days at Mt. Shasta have topped out at approximately 3,000 skiers and snowboarders. The lack of parking to accommodate weekend and holiday surges forced visitors away despite uncrowded conditions on the hill.

"The lift lines are never long, so we had plenty room for skiers--just nowhere to park them," spokesperson Jim Mullins explained to us. "With the added parking lot, we can put an additional 500 to 800 skiers on the hill."

The resort has also made other changes for this winter. A new Prinoth Bison X snowcat was added to Mt. Shasta's grooming fleet. The new cat, purchased because for general grooming, snow feature construction, and climbing, runs with low fuel consumption and minimal emissions, making it more environmentally friendly. The new cat is expected to improve the quality of the terrain park in addition to normal grooming on runs.

Mt. Shasta also remodeled BC's Pizza and Espresso, loocated in the main upper lodge. Guests will find easier access with a larger counter. A new high-speed oven will heat the hand-made pizzas faster, and the new espresso machine can crank out the caffeine.

The resort plans to open Dec. 17, conditions permitting. Mt. Shasta operates its lifts daily with night skiing available Thursdays through Sundays.

More information. Or call 530-926-8610.