The California ski industry went through a stretch of lean, dry years, but last season’s banner snowfall allowed a few resorts to stay open well into the summer. For example, Mammoth Mountain closed on August 6 for its second-longest season on record. Various off-season enhancements for California resorts— along with those in Nevada on the east side of Lake Tahoe— also make for a promising ski season.
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows
Located on the west side of Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley is coming off its latest closing day ever, July 15. For the coming season, the resort has completely renovated the Terrace Restaurant and Bar at High Camp. At sister resort Alpine Meadows, the Alpine Meadows Lodge also has been updated.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Overlooking Reno on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, Mt. Rose has invested more than $2 million in improvements and snowmaking for the upcoming season. The highlight is MAGIC, a dual-conveyor surface lift in an enclosed gallery that is located in the Show-Off beginner area near the Main Lodge. The new lift replaces the Flying Jenny surface lift and doubles the uphill capacity with a new two-belt system. This lift is the first of its kind in North America.
“This lift will provide a more enjoyable experience, particularly during stormy conditions, and will allow our team to offer more consistent operation of this key learning area since the lift is fully enclosed,” said Mike Pierce, director of marketing at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe.
Down the road from Mt. Rose, Diamond Peak will introduce a new terrain park on the Lakeview run. As the trail’s name suggests, the terrain-park features will have a lovely Lake Tahoe scenic backdrop.
Bear Valley in the Stanislaus National Forest plans a new six-pack lift to be ready this season. The lift will replace the Bear chairlift going from the mid-mountain ski lodge to the summit of the mountain.
China Peak ushers in its 60th-anniversary season with the new Buckhorn Quad chairlift on the upper part of the layout. The central California resort plans a 60th Anniversary celebration on Dec. 16.
The biggest news at Mammoth for 2017-18 is simply its new ownership. California’s largest resort was acquired by a newly formed entity controlled by Aspen Skiiing Company and KSL Capital Partners.
Snow Valley Mountain Resort
Snow Valley debuted southern California’s first six-pack on December 23rd. The new lift replaces Chair 1, a double on the mountain’s front side.
Bear Mountain will improve its beginner area on the east end of the mountain with two new moving-carpets. The resort has also remodeled dining areas in the main lodge.