Bear Valley, a nine-lift, 1,280-acre central Sierra resort that's a popular destination for families, made some significant on- and off-mountain improvements during the off-season.

The resort laid out $100,000 to create a new terrain park on Westworld that is geared toward intermediate to advanced riders, a beginner progression terrain park near the day lodge and a dedicated park cat.

Bear also picked up a 14-passenger snowcat and will conduct regular tours into pristine backcountry terrain for advanced to expert skiers and snowboards. The snowcat tours may run before, during, and after regular lift hours, taking riders to different locations. Runs will vary depending on snowfall and conditions.

The resort beefed up its snowmaking system with new guns that offer energy-efficient, high-flow technology capable of covering more than 100 acres of terrain.

The entire guest area of the lower lodge has been remodeled to provide streamlined access to rental equipment, lift tickets, lessons, and age-specific child activities. The new design creates two major new facilities: the Rental Center and the Snow Sports Learning Center.

The child care area, located upstairs in the main lodge, has been refurbished, giving parents and child care providers a more comfortable place to entertain and take care of little ones in a safe and fun environment. The center comes equipped with arts, crafts, toys, games, and a library of kids' books and movies.