Tahoe is still buzzing about the
announcement that Vail Resorts added Northstar-at-Tahoe to
its collection of world class resorts. With the introduction of the
Tahoe locals are in pass bliss. The new multi-resort pass unites the South and
North shores of Lake Tahoe like never before with access to a combined 7,800
acres of amazing terrain, 49 lifts, 187 trails, eleven terrain parks, and over
1,000 acres of sweet backcountry, all within about an hour drive. The universe
is finally aligned. (As an added bonus for the 2010-11 season Sierra-at-Tahoe
is also included in the deal). The Heavenly peeps are looking forward to
riding one of North America's best Superpipes; whereas the Northstar crew is
stoked to gain access to Heavenly's steeps found in Killebrew and Mott Canyons.
By no means is it to be assumed that
these two awesome resorts can't stand on their own; but do note that as a team,
nothing in Tahoe can compare. Both resorts have phenomenal snowmaking systems
which allow for early opening dates and the best early-season conditions at
Lake Tahoe. This season Heavenly is scheduled to open Friday, Nov.19, and
Northstar just a day later on Saturday, Nov. 20 (both weather permitting).
Heavenly prides itself on having the West Coast's largest snowmaking system and
can cover 73 percent of its 4,800 acres of terrain with machine-made snow. Northstar's
snowmaking system is the largest on the North Shore, with the ability to cover
50 percent of its 3,000 acres. Both resorts use state-of-the-art Prinoth grooming
fleets which include low-emission Prinoth 350, Bison X, and Beast machines.
Combine this technology with the expertise of the grooming staffs and you've
got yourself some incredibly smooth corduroy.
But the benefits don't stop there. Last
season Northstar unveiled the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, located at the resort's
mid-mountain. This became the area's first five-star resort, features 170 guest
rooms, a 17,000 square foot spa and workout facility, ski-in/ski-out access and
ski concierge services. The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe property is the epitome of
luxury and is connected to the Village at Northstar by the inter-mountain
Highlands Gondola. The property also features restaurant MANZANITA by Traci Des
Jardins, a renowned San Francisco celebrity chef.
In just a few months Heavenly
plans to open the new Tamarack Lodge, a 15,000 square foot day lodge and
restaurant with a 4,000 square foot outdoor patio. Located at the top of the
Heavenly Gondola, the Tamarack Lodge will be just steps away from Tamarack
Express; as well as Adventure Peak, which is home to Tahoe's largest extreme
tubing hill. The lodge will provide uphill views of Cascade run, home to a new
100% recycled feature terrain park "Ante Up". Both resorts continue to develop
and grow to fit the needs of their guests.
So now we just wait...
With snowstorms on the horizon and cold
fronts heading to Lake Tahoe, the ski and ride season is just days away. Cold
temperatures and early-season October snow enabled Heavenly to fire-up their
snowmaking system two days earlier than last year. The hum of the snowmaking
guns signal the beginning of winter and Tahoe locals are waxing their skis and
boards in anticipation of opening day. Now those lucky souls who have a
Heavenly/Northstar pass can experience back-to-back opening days this season
and celebrate in perfect harmony.
Bring on the snow!
For reservations at the Ritz-Carlton,
Lake Tahoe call 877.780.2040.
For Heavenly vacation packages call
-- Aimi Xistra-Rich