California and Nevada are the big players in the Far West this winter with new lifts at Northstar California and Heavenly, both owned by Vail Resorts and getting new lifts courtesy of its huge nationwide Epic Resorts Program plus the long-awaited gondola tying Alpine Meadows and Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley).
Northstar California in Truckee will get a new high speed 6 passenger Comstock Lift to replace the former quad chair. It will increase uphill capacity by 50 percent. Heavenly, across the lake in South Lake Tahoe, will replace its fixed grip triple chair with a new high speed quad. That chair will increase capacity by 40 percent and have a good effect on reducing wait times on other lifts.
The “finally arrived” base-to-base gondola is now a reality, opening up virtually uninterrupted access to all 6,000 acres of skiable terrain at both Palisades-Tahoe and Alpine Meadows. The base-to-base gondola will climb and descend nearly 2,000 vertical feet over a 16-minute ride, creating a fast tie-up between the Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows resorts, linking the two mountains for the first time in history.
Nearby, Sierra-at-Tahoe was in the path of the Calder Fire that swept through the Lake Tahoe region in late August 2021. The damage was so intense the resort has yet to reopen. But plans are to re-open for the new season. The West Bowl area that sustained the most severe damage saw 5 million board feet of timber removed from the ski slopes in 55 days. The entire team is dedicated to ensuring that Sierra will be able to re-open. Stay tuned for the good news.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, the often overlooked Lake Tahoe ski resort near Reno, Nevada added a new Leitner-Poma detachable quad lift as part of their $7.5 million capital investment to expand the Lakeview area of the resort. It replaces a triple and increases uphill capacity from 1,800 passengers per hour to 2,400, and quickening rider time.
Making our way down California, Mammoth Mountain has been up to a lot in the off-season, including $5 million in new and improved snowmaking equipment. The new snowmaking equipment allows for better east to west connectivity across Mammoth Mountain, and a quicker build for the Unbound Terrain Parks. Other Mammoth Mountain enhancements include renovations and expansion to Woolly’s Tube Park, which sees new snowmaking fan guns and a new elevated conveyor lift. Later this season The Village at Mammoth will be opening The Voltaggio Brothers Restaurant, from Michael and Bryan Voltaggio from Top Chef.
Finally, Snow Valley has expanded snowmaking on its sledding hill, allowing for 14 lanes.