Northstar and Heavenly Offer Most Open Terrain, Best Early Season Snow Conditions in Tahoe

07 December 2011
Resorts’ Upgraded Snowmaking Systems Provide Most Consistent, Reliable Conditions at Lake Tahoe

TRUCKEE and SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Dec. 7, 2011 – With the ski and snowboard season underway, Northstar and Heavenly are currently offering the best snow conditions and most open terrain at Lake Tahoe thanks to continuous upgrades to the two resorts’ snowmaking system, paired with consistently cold temperatures.

Northstar plans to open the Backside Express lift with two additional trails this weekend, providing access to 1,800 vertical feet of advanced terrain and bringing the open lift count to 11 and the open trail count to 17. Northstar now offers top-to-bottom (2,280 vertical feet), front-to-back skiing and riding on beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain. Snow depths range from 18-24 inches on open trails, and snow coverage is wall-to-wall on every open trail.

“Thanks to the commitment by our snowmaking and grooming teams, and the improvements to our snowmaking system, we’ve been able to provide our guests with the most consistent, reliable conditions in the region,” said Bill Rock, chief operating officer at Northstar. “We’ve already made significant progress on other parts of the mountain, and as temperatures continue to cooperate, skiers and riders can expect us to open more terrain soon.”

The snow conditions at Northstar are so good in fact, the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) have moved their Fall Rally and Alpine and Snowboard Resort Trainer Events from neighboring Alpine Meadows to Northstar on Sunday, December 11 and Monday, December 12.

At Heavenly, the West Coast’s largest snowmaking system is currently marching its way to the California side of the mountain, with plans to open Sky Express and Canyon Express in the near future. On the Nevada side, Heavenly’s snowmaking crew is focusing on the lower Nevada side, with the hopes of having Stagecoach Express, Olympic Express and Northbowl Chair by early next week. In the meantime, they’ve “upped the ante” on Ante Up Terrain Park, widening it to add a progression line and re-building the jumps to be in the 40- to 50-foot range.

“When you talk about quality conditions at Lake Tahoe going into the holidays, the conversation begins and ends with Vail Resorts,” said Pete Sonntag, Heavenly’s general manager. “Snow surface conditions on our open trails are fantastic, and the re-built Ante Up Terrain Park is a legitimate, mid-season park.”

The most economical way for skiers and riders to enjoy both Northstar and Heavenly this season is to take advantage of the Lowest Price Guarantee on lift tickets. When purchased seven days in advance online at or through Vail Resorts Central Reservations, guests are guaranteed the price will be the lowest available for that day – and significantly lower over the holiday period – compared to the window rate.

Ski and Stay Free lodging packages are available at Northstar, starting at $115 per person, per night (some restrictions apply). Heavenly is currently offering 50 percent off lodging and a free day of skiing or riding if you travel before the Christmas holiday.

For conditions updates or more information, visit and

About Heavenly Mountain Resort
Heavenly Mountain Resort is a world-class destination offering guests a one-of-a-kind combination of scenic beauty and exhilarating on-snow experience. Heavenly is a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc., the leading mountain resort operator in the United States.  One of the largest resorts in North America, Heavenly spans 4800 acres, climbs to Lake Tahoe’s highest elevation at 10,067 feet and features more than 94 trails for every level of skier or snowboarder.  For more information on Heavenly Mountain Resort, please visit or call 800-HEAVENLY.

About Northstar California Resort
One of the finest year-round mountain resorts in North America, Northstar is host to a base area village featuring unique shops and restaurants, a conference center, 9,000 square foot outdoor skating rink, movie theaters, on-site lodging, special events and more. A winter sport enthusiast’s paradise, Northstar offers 97 ski trails spread across 3,170 acres, award-winning terrain parks and snow sports including alpine and Telemark skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tubing. Summer activities include mountain biking, golfing, scenic lift rides for sightseeing and hiking, horseback riding, fly-fishing and more.
Northstar is located on Highway 267, just six miles north of Lake Tahoe and six miles south of downtown Truckee. For more information, call 1.800.GO.NORTH (1.800.466.6784) or visit

About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, and the Heavenly Ski Resort and Northstar California in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort property and hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is and consumer website is


Russ Pecoraro

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