Tahoe area ski resorts to open early | TheUnion.com

Tahoe area ski resorts to open early

Submitted Photo by Warren Asher

Season pass information

Lake Tahoe ski resorts

Resorts have a number of packages based on the age of the buyer, the amount of holiday days blacked out or available or the amount of ski resorts a consumer wants to access. The best way to get answers to specific questions regarding season pass deals is to head to the website of the resort you are interested. The following is a run-down intended to provide general guidelines for resort prices for the upcoming season.

The big news in the offseason, was Vail Resorts further push into California with the purchase of Kirkwood. Consumers can buy and Epic Pass at $699 (ages 13 and up), which provides access to Northstar, Kirkwood, Heavenly and five Vail-owned resorts in Colorado or they can choose the Tahoe Local Pass for $459 which provides access to the three California resorts. The prices are only available through Sunday, Nov. 18.

In an interesting season pass deal, the two resorts owned by Colorado-based KSL Capital, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley, have teamed up with Sierra-at-Tahoe to offer passholders access to all three mountains at one price. Adults can pay for $749 for unlimited access to all three resorts, or $519 for limited access and $429 for restricted access.

At Sugar Bowl, adults can pay $899 for unlimited access, $629 for access aside from holiday dates and $529 for non-holiday access aside from Saturday. Discounts are available for individuals that are renewing passes.

For Homewood Ski Resort, adults will pay $399 for the regular season pass.

Mt. Rose is charging $427 for a regular adult season pass. Diamond Peak is charging $449.

Prices vary according to a variety of factors so readers are encouraged to visit the websites of each resort to find further deals and price points.

Last ski season, if it can even be called that, did not witness a substantial amount of snow drop on the Lake Tahoe ski resorts until Valentine’s Day.

Those in the ski industry
will point out that once snow came in mid-February, it did not stop until early May, making March and April replete with powder days.

But those in what ski resorts call the “drive-up market” — residents of the Bay Area, Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada foothills — have typically moved onto other recreational activities by the late spring, said Jennie Bartlett, a spokeswoman with Sugar Bowl Ski Resort.

This year, the precipitation has hit early and often, causing many ski resorts to open early and others to strongly consider it.

“(The early snow) has done wonders for getting skiers and snowboarders excited about the upcoming season,” said Paul Raymore, spokesman for Homewood Ski Resort.

“The new snow and cold temperatures mean all the Tahoe resorts are making a concerted effort to open as soon as possible.”

Northstar-at-Tahoe and Heavenly Mountain Resort, both owned by Vail Resorts, have already opened their gates, moving their opening day up to Nov. 14.

The resorts had originally planned to open Friday.

Kirkwood, purchased by Vail Resorts in February, will open Friday.

“With the recent snowfall and incredibly cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing … our two resorts are opening early,” said Jessica VanPernis in an email.

Sugar Bowl, which is the nearest major resort to western Nevada County, will begin spinning the ski lifts Saturday.

“As diehard skiers and riders, the starting line is a beautiful thing … filled with the anticipation of deep powder days, high-speed corduroy cruisers, solitary tree runs and the undeniable, alluring and utterly compelling beauty of winter in the mountains,” wrote John Monson, spokesman for Sugar Bowl, on the resort’s website.

Last year, Sugar Bowl opened briefly in November but had to wait until mid-December until operations began in full force, and even then, the entire resort was not open, Monson said.

“Obviously, we are off to a way better start,” Monson said.

Squaw Valley also pushed its opening date up, as preliminary plans call for the resort to open Friday.

Alpine Meadows, which is owned by the same company as Squaw Valley, has tentatively scheduled its opening date for Dec. 7.

However, an earlier start date is possible, said Jenny Kendrick, Alpine spokeswoman.

Homewood Ski Resort still plans to open Dec. 14, but serious consideration is being given to moving up the opening date, Raymore said.

Sierra-at-Tahoe has plans to open Nov. 22.

Mt. Rose Ski Resort in Nevada has yet to announce an opening date, and nearby Diamond Peak plans to open Dec. 13.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email mrenda@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4239.

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