At Palisades Tahoe, the much-anticipated base-to-base gondola will open this season. Long a dream of resort owners, the 2.4-mile-long eight-seat gondola will take skiers and riders from the former Squaw Valley base area to what was once Alpine Meadows base.
Alterra Mountain Co., the parent company for the resorts and Ikon Pass purveyor, says the new lift will cut down on traffic in the area by eliminating the need to drive or take a shuttle on the six miles of roadway between the resorts.
The gondola runs from the base of the newly upgraded Red Dog chair at the main Olympic Valley base area up and over the ridge to the backside base area. The ride takes about 16 minutes depending upon length of stops at the top of the KT-22 Express on the front side. Lift capacity would approximately be 1,400 people per hour in both directions.
Since taking over the two California ski and snowboard areas in 2018, Alterra has begun to spend the $17 million it pledged to upgrade and link the two distinctly different mountains -- the Olympic Valley front side with its cliffy steeps and glades, and the back side with expansive powder bowls.
The merging of the two areas will expand Palisades Tahoe's skiable terrain to about 6,000 acres, making it the second largest U.S. resort behind Park City Mountain (also a combination of two mountains).
At Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, the focus this summer has been on the Lakeview zone of the mountain (skier's left). Replacing the fixed-grip Lakeview chair, the replacement high-speed chairlift will deliver skiers and riders to the resort's high ground in less than half the time -- unloading higher up than the previous top terminal.
The new detachable quad will bring novice skiers and 'boarders to some of Mt. Rose's best blues and green runs, including its longest Around the World at 2.5 miles. Also, as the name suggests, the new chairlift will afford skiers and 'boarders a classic view of Lake Tahoe.
Three years after being acquired by big ski conglomerates, Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain faced their biggest test yet: COVID-19.
Many of the usual summer activities -- mountain biking, ziplines, hiking, scenic lift rides -- will be in place in the West during the warm months. But the Covid-19 pandemic has forced resorts to tone down or fully eliminate offerings for the time being.
March is the second-highest revenue-generating month of the ski season after December. It makes sense; many schools are on spring break during that month, and skiers and snowboarders gravitate to the good conditions and sunny skies.
The uncertainty of when, where and for how long the COVID-19 outbreak will last has forced much of the country into flexible mode -- and the two behemoths in the multi-resort season pass business are no different.
After opening up sales for 2020-2021 passes in early March, both Epic Pass and Ikon Pass have evolved over the last month as conditions change.
The multi-resort season pass gauntlet has been thrown down: The Ikon Pass goes on sale March 5 with a new four-day boutique "session pass" and additional East resorts coming into the fold.
For the second season at Park City Mountain, options for expert skiers and riders heading up into Jupiter Bowl to catch some steep-and-deep will be fewer.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have been linked by ownership for a while, but soon they may be connected by a gondola.
It looks to be a busy summer at resorts owned by Denver-based Alterra Mountain Co. as the firm begins to catch up on much-needed improvements both on and off the mountain.
The Steamboat Gondola has been the main transport onto the northern Colorado mountain since 1986, prompting new owner Alterra Mountain Co. to install a new gondola to get skiers and riders up and on the slopes more quickly.