The stars must be aligned in favor of Northstar-at-Tahoe. The resort has posted a record year for snowfall, and its new parent company, Vail Resorts, recently announced an infusion of $30 million to upgrade the resort for next winter.

Northstar is reveling in snow this spring - so much so that the resort smashed a 25-year record. "We've surpassed our season snowfall average of 350 inches by leaps and bounds, and more snow is in the forecast," spokesperson Jessica VanPernis told OnTheSnow. "This is the most snow we've had in 25 years."

The record-setting snowfall sailed beyond the 450-inch mark by early March, amassing more than 8 feet above the resort's average. The consistent snowfall has created a beefy snow pack that should translate into a strong spring, with lifts scheduled to turn until closing day for winter season April 17.

As if snow isn't enough, Northstar will see $30 million to be spent on improvements for next winter. Vail Resorts acquired Northstar in October 2010 and promptly offered a combo Northstar and Heavenly Mountain Resort season pass.

The mountain improvements for Northstar include the installation of a new detachable express quad chairlift on The Backside. Gladed terrain for advanced skiers will be expanded, and two new intermediate ski trails will be added, one that will have snowmaking.

A new on-mountain restaurant near the top of the Tahoe Zephyr Express lift will be built this summer, similar in style to the new Tamarack Lodge that opened this winter at Heavenly. It is designed with an open floor plan and a huge window wall with views of the Pacific Crest. The restaurant will accommodate 500 diners indoors and 200 on the outdoor deck. 

Village improvements include opening national retail outlets of Patagonia and Burton while the North Face store is slated to move to a new larger location. A new signature restaurant will also be added to the village.

Vail Resorts also launched its early season pass sale with the best discounts available until May 30. Several Epic Season Passes grant access to seven resorts, including Northstar. The company introduced a new Tahoe Value Pass for Northstar and Heavenly. It allows seven day per week access to Heavenly and Sunday through Friday access to Northstar with eleven blackout dates at both resorts. An adult Tahoe Value Pass costs $379.

Vail Resorts is the parent company of Mountain News Corp., publishers of This newsroom operates independently of that ownership. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN.)

More information.


Northstar (Becky Lomax)

The Northstar Village, where skiers and riders warm up around the ice rink fires, will see improvements with new national retail stores. Becky Lomax Photo