Vail Resorts to invest $30M at Northstar-at-Tahoe


Good stuff from Vail Resorts.  Northstar is where I learned how to ski.  It is a fun resort.  This is great news for the resort.  I’ll need to visit.

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado — Vail Resorts announced Wednesday its plans to spend $30 million on major capital improvement projects at its newest mountain resort, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, near Lake Tahoe, Calif.

The projects will “enhance the guest experience” both on the mountain and in the Village at Northstar for the 2011-2012 winter season, according to a statement released by the company Wednesday.

Plans include the installation of a new high-speed chairlift that will service expanded gladed terrain and additional ski trails, increasing the skiable terrain by 10 percent. Plans also include the construction of a new 500-seat on-mountain restaurant, new national retail outlets and a restaurant in the Village at Northstar.

“Northstar-at-Tahoe has been a great addition to our portfolio of world-class resorts and its performance since we acquired it in October 2010 underscores the rationale for our purchase,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “The initial consumer response to the combination of Northstar-at-Tahoe with Heavenly resort drove strong increases in season pass sales for both resorts, and that has translated into higher visitation, as Northstar-at-Tahoe is currently on track to achieve a record season in terms of visitation and revenue. We believe we are in the early stages of realizing tremendous potential at that resort and are moving aggressively to further elevate the profile of Northstar-at-Tahoe through the addition of a number of new signature amenities for the 2011-2012 ski season.”

Katz said the company is taking an aggressive approach with its Northstar investments.

The new chairlift, a detachable express quad, will be installed this summer on “The Backside” of the mountain.

The new lift will expand the resort’s lift capacity on The Backside, a popular area of the mountain known for its long, uninterrupted advanced trails and gladed tree skiing. Two new intermediate trails will be served by the lift, and new snowmaking will be installed on both Drifter, an existing ski trail that also provides access to The Backside, and one of the new trails.

In addition to the lift, a new on-mountain restaurant will be constructed this summer, offering 500 indoor seats as well as 200 outdoor deck seats. Centrally located on the mountain near the top of the Tahoe Zephyr Express lift, the new restaurant will have an open floor plan, large timbers and a big window wall. Guests will be able to access the new restaurant when skiing or riding off of the Tahoe Zephyr Express, Backside Express or Comstock Express lifts as well as the new express lift.

Since Northstar is located entirely on private lands, Vail Resorts can bypass the lengthy U.S. Forest Service approvals process for the new developments.

At the Village at Northstar, plans for next season include opening national retail outlets of Patagonia and Burton, as well as expanding the North Face store in a new location. The company also plans to add a new restaurant in the village.

Construction of the proposed capital improvement projects will begin this spring and summer, with completion expected prior to the start of the 2011-12 ski season.

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