Vail Resorts to drop $30M on Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort | SummitDaily.com
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Vail Resorts to drop $30M on Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Vail Resorts has announced a $30 million investment plan for Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort that will include new restaurants, national retail outlets and 10 percent more skiable terrain for the 2011-12 winter season.

Vail Resorts – which purchased Northstar in late 2010 and also owns Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe – made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

“The initial consumer response to the combination of Northstar-at-Tahoe with Heavenly Resort drove strong increases in season pass sales for both resorts, and that has translated into higher visitation, as Northstar-at-Tahoe is currently on track to achieve a record season in terms of visitation and revenue,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, in a statement.

Katz said the investment marks the first of many improvements in line for Northstar in future years.

On-mountain improvements

With a vertical rise of 1,440 feet, a detachable express quad chairlift will be installed this summer on “The Backside” of the mountain, providing access to expanded terrain and new ski trails.

Two new intermediate trails will be served by the lift, Vail said, and new snowmaking will be installed on Drifter – an existing ski trail that also provides access to The Backside – and one of the new trails.

An on-mountain restaurant will be constructed near the top of the Tahoe Zephyr Express lift, according to Vail, offering 500 indoor seats and 200 outdoor deck seats. Menu items will include pizza and specialty soups and sandwiches.

“Installation of the new express lift and construction of the new on-mountain restaurant will offer more terrain and greater access in Northstar’s most popular lift area, and add much needed seating on the mountain,” said Bill Rock, chief operating officer at Northstar.

Village enhancements

Northstar village will also receive a facelift, Vail said, as plans for next winter include opening national retail outlets Patagonia and Burton, as well as expanding the North Face store in a new location. Vail also plans to add a new restaurant in the village, where work will begin this spring and summer.

According to the press release, all the proposed capital projects are subject to the appropriate regulatory approvals.

With a vertical rise of 1,440 feet, the new detachable express quad chairlift will be installed this summer on “The Backside” of the mountain, providing access to expanded gladed terrain and new ski trails. The new lift will significantly expand the resort’s lift capacity on The Backside, a very popular area of the mountain known for its long, uninterrupted advanced trails and gladed tree skiing. Two new intermediate trails will be served by the lift, and new snowmaking will be installed on both Drifter, an existing ski trail that also provides access to The Backside, and one of the new trails.

In addition to the lift, a new on-mountain restaurant will be constructed this summer, offering 500 indoor seats as well as 200 outdoor deck seats. Centrally located on the mountain near the top of the Tahoe Zephyr Express lift, the new restaurant will be built in Tahoe great lodge style with an open floor plan, large timbers and a huge window wall offering spectacular views of the Pacific Crest. Guests will be able to enjoy a variety of menu options including a Napa salad bar, gourmet pizza and specialty soups and sandwiches. They will access the new restaurant when skiing or riding off of the Tahoe Zephyr Express, Backside Express or Comstock Express lifts as well as the new express lift.

“Installation of the new express lift and construction of the new on-mountain restaurant will offer more terrain and greater access in Northstar’s most popular lift area, and add much needed seating on the mountain, making it much easier for guests to have a great lunch experience,” said Bill Rock, chief operating officer of Northstar-at-Tahoe.

The Village at Northstar will continue to evolve with a new retail and restaurant tenant mix, the press release said. Plans for next season include opening national retail outlets of Patagonia and Burton, as well as expanding the North Face store in a new location. VR also plans to add a new signature restaurant in the Village, and will be making further enhancements to the village experience to add vibrancy and new excitement to an already state-of-the-art base area.

Construction of the proposed capital improvement projects will commence this spring and summer, with completion expected prior to the start of the 2011-2012 winter season. All of the proposed capital projects are subject to the appropriate regulatory approvals.


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