One more Lake Tahoe ski resort has decided on an early opening this season. Squaw Valley announced today that it will begin running its lifts Friday (Nov. 16) – six days earlier than expected.
For its opening, Squaw will operate Searchlight, Red Dog, Squaw Creek and FirstVentures lifts, and more terrain is expected to be open for skiing and snowboarding before Thanksgiving.
Squaw was the first Lake Tahoe ski resort to open this season on Oct. 25 for a one-day special fundraising event.
“We are genuinely thrilled to welcome winter back to Lake Tahoe,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. “Thanks to last week’s two feet of snow and cold temperatures that have allowed us to optimize our new vast and fully automated snowmaking system, we’re pleased to announce that we will be opening this Friday – nearly a week earlier than anticipated.”
Operating hours are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult and child ski and snowboard lessons (age 5 and above) will be available. Half-day beginner packages will be offered in the morning and afternoon (starting at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.) for $129. Private lessons will also be offered at reduced rates of 40 percent off. The rental shop will also be open for equipment rentals.
Squaw Valley will be expanding operations for the Thanksgiving holiday to include additional terrain, Aerial Tram rides and SnoVentures operations – which includes snowtubing and mini snowmobile rides.
“I’ve asked our mountain operations teams to prepare the upper sections of the mountain including Gold Coast, Mountain Run, and with every effort possible, potentially down into the Shirley Lake area,” Wirth said. “Our snowmakers and snowguns have been absolutely going gangbusters and conditions continue to look great.”
Squaw’s sister resort – neighboring Alpine Meadows – will also open earlier than the announced Dec. 7 date. The date is expected to be announced soon.
The 2012-13 winter season brings $24 million in improvements to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, including three new chairlifts at Squaw Valley, Tahoe’s only mile-long terrain park at Alpine Meadows, and improved snowmaking systems at both resorts.
The investments are part of year two of The Renaissance, a five-year and $70 million capital improvement plan to enhance every aspect of the guest experience at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
For more information on ticket and activity pricing and the most up-to-date conditions and operations, please see www.squaw.com or call 800-403-0206.
Heavenly and Northstar will both open on today (Nov. 14). On Friday (Nov. 16), Kirkwood ski resort will open one lift and five trails, accessing another 40 acres.
Sugar Bowl ski resort also pushed up its opening date and will be welcoming skiers and riders on Saturday. Mt. Rose is scheduled to open the day before Thanksgiving – Wednesday, Nov. 21.
Boreal ski resort reopened last Saturday and Mammoth Mountain in Eastern California opened two days earlier.
Here are the projected openings for Lake Tahoe ski resorts:
Kirkwood: November 16
Squaw: November 16
Sugar Bowl: November 17
Diamond Peak: December 13
Homewood: December 14
Mt. Rose: November 21
Donner Ski Ranch: TBA
Soda Springs: TBA
Dodge Ridge: TBA
Bear Valley: TBA