Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resort, which are owned by the same group, will have a nearly combined $24 million in capital improvements for the 2012-13 winter season.
Squaw has benefitted from an early opening this year and currently has a good amount of terrain available for skiing and snowboarding.
Here’s what’s new at Squaw this season:
Big Blue Express, Six-Passenger Chairlift: Squaw is investing in new chairlifts and lift line improvements to greatly enhance the beginner and the terrain park experience, as well as to improve the overall flow of the upper mountain.
The resort has installed the Big Blue Express, a new, high-speed six-pack chairlift, to replace the High Camp chairlift. The base terminal of Big Blue Express will start where the base of the High Camp lift was formerly located and will extend to the top of the Shirley Lake ridgeline – providing easy access to the Shirley Lake, Solitude and Granite Chief chairlifts.
This new alignment will not only provide quicker and easier travel to Shirley Lake and beyond, but it will also give skiers and riders access to beginner and intermediate terrain that was previously inaccessible via the old High Camp chairlift. The new Park Pulley telecord, a modern day version of a tow lift, will be also installed to provide easy access to the Belmont terrain park and to eliminate traversing across the mountaintop meadow.
The Links double chairlift has been removed and replaced with a triple chairlift named Mountain Meadow, which will be realigned to bring skiers and riders up to the ridgeline near the top terminals of the Solitude and Silverado lifts. The primary purpose of this realignment is to provide a more suitable and accessible learning area with a better fall line for Squaw’s beginner skiers and riders.
These lift improvements combined with Squaw’s $2.6 million snowmaking improvements and grooming initiative will provide more efficient and convenient travel and flow on the upper mountain – and a better overall experience for skiers and riders this coming winter
Substantially Improved Snowmaking: To ensure snow surface conditions regardless of Mother Nature’s plans, Squaw Valley invested in the resort’s snowmaking system for the 2012-13 winter season.
Squaw will be pursuing a variety of system-improvements, including the installation of new, high-technology air/water guns, replacement of manual fan guns with fully automated versions, rebuilding of pumps and compressors, and installing state-of-the-art monitoring and control equipment.
Together, these improvements will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness throughout the entire system, from Squaw Creek and Red Dog to Gold Coast and the Mountain Run, ensuring the best possible snow surface from top-to-bottom.
Olympic Plaza Bar: The bar will be completely remodeled to feature table service dining for lunch and après ski in an upscale “mountain contemporary” atmosphere. With $300,000 in renovations, the redesigned Olympic Plaza Bar will pay tribute to the resort’s Olympic heritage with collage murals commemorating the 1960 Olympics, and the bar’s new comfortable lodge furniture (think rustic chic) for relaxing after a day on the slopes.
Menu items will include signature flatbread pizzas, artisan meat and cheese platters and delectable finger foods.
Parallel Sports Shop: Located in a prime location just steps away from the slopes, the Parallel Sports Shop featuring the latest ski technology as well as a complete line of outdoor wear and street wear for the whole family.
With over 5,000 square feet of floor space, the new ski shop will be the place to find the industry’s most coveted brands, including innovative technical apparel and sophisticated fashion for on and off the mountain. The shop’s staff will serve as ambassadors of adventure – ready to share info on their favorite secret stashes and tips for a great day on the mountain.
The new shop will work in conjunction with the resort’s demo program – meaning skiers can try as many demo skis as they like and deduct the rental cost off of a brand new pair of skis in the retail store. Trying as many skis as possible couldn’t be easier with Squaw’s two demo centers – one located on top of the mountain, and the other at a ski-up location in The Village.
Ledge Board Shop: Designed with riders in mind, Squaw Valley’s new snowboard shop will be filled with a cool vibe and welcoming staff ready to talk about the latest technology and snowboard fashion.
From the latest snowboards to street wear, this store will be stocked with all the essentials from both big names and niche brands. The new shop is just over 2,000 square feet and will be located in the heart of The Village at Squaw Valley.
Burton Learn to Ride (LTR) Center: Squaw is partnering with Burton and their acclaimed Learn to Ride (LTR) program for winter 2012-13.
Burton’s LTR program is designed to make learning to snowboard fun and easy by combining proven teaching methodologies with beginner-specific equipment. As part of the LTR program, Squaw will be offering specially designed equipment for beginner snowboarders (both kids and adults). Burton’s LTR catch-free technology helps establish control and confidence which ultimately leads to linking turns faster.
LTR boards feature a softer flex, radical sidecut and forgiving edge bevel, all of which are designed to reduce the likelihood of catching an edge. Along the same lines, LTR boots and bindings are extremely comfortable with softer flexing, allowing the rider to more easily guide the board into a turn. Already a staple of Squaw’s Snowboard School, Burton’s LTR teaching methodologies help new riders to learn to make and connect their turns faster – making for a great first time experience on the hill.