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New On-Mountain Upgrades and Extensive Base Area Renovations in Tahoe

24th of October 2013

Mountainwatch | Press Release

The nine Ski Lake Tahoe resorts have arrived at an exciting nexus between recently completed capital improvements that greatly enhance the guest experience and even more grandiose expansion plans on the immediate horizon. This trend extends far beyond the ski resort boundaries to include significant new destination-wide development, upgrades to regional infrastructure and additional air service into the region, all together bolstering Lake Tahoe's bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Skiers and snowboarders headed to the slopes of Lake Tahoe this season will be welcomed by more than $100 million in ongoing capital improvements including new ski lifts, new resort properties, extensive base area renovations and new modern amenities. These latest upgrades make Lake Tahoe a must-ski destination this season with the promise of the ultimate winter vacation in terms of variety, accessibility and affordability.

Non-stop family fun and unrivaled 24/7 nightlife
The resorts continue to add new family-friendly attractions and fun-filled diversions for skiers and non-skiers alike including ice skating rinks, tubing parks, mini-snowmobile trails, zip lines and treetop canopy tours. Long synonymous with Vegas-style nightlife and big-name entertainment, Lake Tahoe remains America's winter destination with truly unmatched 24/7 nightlife and entertainment options for partygoers and fun-seeking travelers. As a region, Lake Tahoe will be upping the ante this winter with award-winning daily après ski parties, new concert series and even an appearance by renowned recording artist, Snoop Lion, as part of the annual SnowGlobe Festival - the biggest slope-side block party on the planet leading up to New Year's Eve.

Share a chairlift with an Olympian
Steeped in Olympic tradition, Lake Tahoe will be hosting one of the last qualifying events on U.S. soil in advance of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding and Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix. The region will also be welcoming back the U.S. Alpine Championships and the U.S. Freestyle Championships to the slopes of Lake Tahoe this season, both serving as homecoming celebrations for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams after competing in Russia. Lake Tahoe will be sending a large contingent of athletes to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics and guests can rub shoulders with both current and former Olympians during signature events at the Ski Lake Tahoe resorts such as the Daron Rahlves Banzai Tour, Heavenly's High Roller Hold 'Em event hosted by Shaun White and Ski with Jonny Moseley Days.

Improved destination access
Getting to Lake Tahoe is easier this season thanks to new air service options to the region, ongoing airport enhancements and the recent opening of new Interstate 580. The Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RTIA) is revitalized thanks to more than $27.5 million in upgrades designed to streamline the security process, ensure reliable baggage handling and provide a wider variety of shopping and dining options. Recently named one of the "Best Airports for Skiers" by SKI Magazine, RTIA has also added a number of new flights from key gateway air cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Denver, simplifying travel from the East Coast and international destinations.

The most affordable, quality ski vacations in America
Affordability continues to be a long-standing hallmark of a Lake Tahoe ski vacation thanks to the discount air service into the region, affordable lift ticket prices at local resorts and the unbeatable stay-and-ski packages offered at resort casino properties starting as low as $79 for lift ticket and lodging. For complete details on booking a winter getaway to Lake Tahoe, please visit www.SkiLakeTahoe.com to conveniently access resort profiles, weather forecasts, real-time snow reports, webcams and online discounts on both lift tickets and lodging.

The following encapsulates key offerings at the individual Ski Lake Tahoe resorts for the upcoming 2013-14 season.

Alpine Meadows continues to benefit from its recent merger with neighboring resort Squaw Valley as both resorts are in the midst of a five-year, $70 million renaissance. This season's upgrades will include expanded snowmaking and new state-of-the-art grooming snowcats for impeccable snow surfaces across the mountain. The resort is also transforming its mid-mountain lodge, The Chalet, into a Bavarian-style beer garden serving regional brews, sausage plates and raclette to the delight of diners. Taking advantage of the resort's open boundaries and access to incredible backcountry terrain, Alpine Meadows also welcomes the new Snow Rangers program offering season-long backcountry touring and avalanche awareness training for ski team kids ages 12-18. For more information, please visit www.skialpine.com.

Heavenly Mountain Resort will see a number of new developments taking shape around its lively, pedestrian-friendly village located at the bottom of the resort's two-mile long gondola. Construction is underway on a number of new retail storefronts as part of The Chateau project being built adjacent to Heavenly Village that will greatly enhance the already popular shopping and dining options. Slated to open in mid-November, The Landing Resort and Spa will be the latest South Lake Tahoe motel to be transformed into a luxury, boutique lakefront resort complete with marble bathrooms, gas fireplaces and a Greek taverna. At the top of the gondola, Heavenly is expanding its Adventure Peak offerings to include a four-lane zip line center, a treetop canopy tour, two ropes courses and an additional 3,000-foot-long zip line as part of the resort's new Epic Discovery program, a campaign designed to connect families and non-skiers with the national forests in active, fun and engaging ways. In keeping with its "wild child" of Vail Resorts image, Heavenly will be turning up the volume on its high-energy, daily Unbuckle at Tamarack après ski parties by extending the action to the outdoor deck at Tamarack Lodge, featuring the Heavenly Angels on Thursdays-Saturdays and special guest DJ performances throughout the season. Log on to www.skiheavenly.com to learn more.

Homewood Mountain Resort, located on the scenic West Shore of Lake Tahoe, has expanded its grooming fleet in order to ease the learning curve for first-time skiers and snowboarders by incorporating man-made berms and gullies as part of the resort's Smart Slopes™ sculpted beginner terrain. The resort has also teamed up with Pacific Crest Snowcats to offer a new specialty lodging package, The Backcountry Experience, combining a full day of powder turns on more than 3,000 acres of private terrain with luxury lakefront lodging at the West Shore Café and Inn. The resort also welcomes new Executive Chef Mike Davis to the West Shore Café and Inn this season along with a new menu that draws from the best California has to offer - fresh, seasonal produce, seafood and meats - all prepared to accentuate the flavors inherent in each item. These latest upgrades are quite literally the tip of the iceberg as Homewood is awaiting final approval of a multi-million dollar expansion plan that will include new lifts, a new mid-mountain day lodge and a completely overhauled base area complete with a 75-room boutique hotel and up to 25,000 square feet of retail space. Visit www.skihomewood.com for the entire story.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort has once again been chosen as one of only two North American stops on the Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) pitting the best big mountain skiers and riders in the world against the forbidden and permanently closed chutes and cliff bands found in The Cirque. The resort is also partnering with slopestyle legend Bobby Brown and Red Bull to bring twelve of the best riders on the planet together for MegaSlope 2.0 to showcase their skills on a custom-built course on the resort's backside that will be twice the size of the Olympic course in Sochi. This season the Kirkwood Ski and Ride School is embracing the latest evolution of Vail Resort's EpicMix technology, EpicMix Academy, which provides an interactive platform for participants in ski and snowboard lessons to earn pins, track their progress and get tips on how to become more proficient on the slopes. The resort is also participating in the Epic Race rewarding the first ten season pass holders to ski all 26 Vail Resort properties with lifetime season passes. Click on www.kirkwood.com for more information.

Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe boasts Lake Tahoe's highest base elevation and the closest skiing to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, only 25 minutes from the tarmac to the slopes. New this season, the resort has added a few tech-friendly upgrades in the way of expanded wifi service throughout the base area and the ability to pre-purchase lift tickets and lessons in advance through a streamlined e-commerce site. The resort has partnered with a number of Reno casino properties to offer stay-and-ski packages starting as low as $79 per person while the nearby Cal Neva Resort, once owned by Rat Pack leader Frank Sinatra, is getting a multi-million dollar renovation. Log on to www.mtrose.com for further details.

Over the last five seasons, Northstar California has been in the midst of a robust growth period that has seen the addition of the mid-mountain Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and more than $30 million in capital improvements including the Promised Land Express high-speed detachable quad chairlift and the stunning new Zephyr Lodge. This season the resort is renovating the cabins on its Big Springs Gondola and welcoming the Ripperoo Riglet Park for its first full season of operation, featuring specialized terrain to help 3-6 year olds become comfortable on a snowboard sooner. The resort will be hosting the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding and Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix January 9-12, one of the last Olympic qualifying events before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Guests can also drop-in on the resort's 22-foot custom halfpipe designed for Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White as well as challenge themselves against the race times of World Champion skier Lindsey Vonn thanks to the latest generation of Vail Resorts' EpicMix technology, Epic Racing. For complete details, visit www.northstarcalifornia.com.

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort has invested over $4.5 million in a new base area facility and adjacent plaza that will add more than 9,000 square feet of retail space, demo centers and restaurant options. As part of this expansion, guests will be able to enjoy a new sun deck complete with comfy lounge chairs and cozy fire pits. This lively venue will be the site of a new Spring Concert Series put on in conjunction with OnCourse Events and Tahoe South showcasing top touring acts from around the region. Sierra is also expanding its highly successful Yoda's Riglet Park to include a Burton Star Wars™ Echo Base giving kids ages 7-12 the opportunity to quickly learn how to snowboard by incorporating terrain-based teaching, Burton's proven Learn to Ride methodologies and iconic Star Wars characters. Surf on over to www.sierraattahoe.com for details.

With more than $38 million invested in new lifts, on-mountain improvements and extensive base area renovations during the first two years of its five-year, $70 million renaissance, Squaw Valley has committed an additional $8 million this season toward new amenities and resort upgrades. Squaw has unveiled a new Wanderlust Yoga Studio building on the success of its annual Wanderlust Festival, the fastest growing music and yoga festival in the world. The resort is also welcoming a fleet of Mtn Roots Food Trucks serving an eclectic mix of regionally and sustainably sourced food that can be enjoyed on nearby outdoor tables. The Village at Squaw Valley has completed more than $1.2 million in room renovations to its luxury, slope-side condominiums boasting a full kitchen, fireplace, balcony and bathroom in each and every bedroom. On the slopes, families can explore the new Teaching Tykes private lessons instructing parents how to teach their little ones to ski or ride. Squaw has also added numerous electric car charging stations at the resort which will allow eco-minded skiers and snowboarders to recharge while charging on the slopes. Further information can be found at www.squaw.com

New for the 2013-14 season, Sugar Bowl Resort is installing the $3 million Crow's Peak Chairlift adding more than 150 acres of advanced/expert terrain including two new groomed runs, wind-protected glades and committing steeps and chutes. The resort is also building a new $4.5 million Sport Haus Aquatic and Fitness Center available for use by lodging guests staying within the resort's snowbound village. Now entering its second year of managing the adjacent Royal Gorge Cross Country Center, Sugar Bowl continues to expand the offerings available at the largest XC center in North America to include more than 200 km of trails, snowbike-specific trails and the Sierra Snowkite Center, the first and only resort-based snowkiting center in California. The resort is also constructing a new permanent campus for its Sugar Bowl Academy, the nation's only ski-in/ski-out academy that consistently places athletes on the U.S. Ski Team and in the country's best universities. For complete details, please visit www.sugarbowl.com.

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