Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows: New Hot Wheels lift
$17 Million of New Investment Planned for 2019-20 Season at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
[Olympic Valley, Calif.] – Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Alterra Mountain Company have announced over $17 million of capital investment in the resort for the 2019-20 season, including a new $10 million chairlift at Alpine Meadows. Following the first full season of operations on the Ikon Pass, Alterra Mountain Company plans to invest $181 million in capital improvements across its 14 North American mountain destinations for the upcoming year. These capital projects are part of an ambitious improvement plan totaling more than half a billion dollars through the 2022-23 season, focused on elevating the guest experience at all destinations, after an initial $170 million investment for the 2018-19 season. At Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, improvements focus on guest access to amenities and terrain for all ability levels.
New detachable high-speed chairlift at Alpine Meadows
Alpine Meadows will see continued investment following last year’s $1.4 million renovation of its Base Lodge. A new high-speed detachable quad chairlift will replace the existing Hot Wheels triple chair, adding a mid-station at the current terminus and a 1,300-foot extension up to the east ridge of Ward Peak, landing between Art’s Knob and the top terminal of Sherwood Express. A total ride time of about five minutes will give skiers and riders direct access from the base area to both the Alpine and Sherwood sides of the ski area. The new express chairlift will be a four-minute ride from the Alpine Meadows base area to the mid-station, providing convenient access to some of the area’s best low-intermediate terrain. At the top terminal, just one-minute’s ride from the mid-station, guests will have immediate access to the Sherwood Cliffs, Art’s Knob and all of the terrain served by Sherwood Express, which boasts the closest view of Lake Tahoe anywhere in the resort. Here, intermediate and expert guests can experience one of the mountain’s most spectacular areas, with wide open glades and access to the secluded Ice Bar, an on-snow hangout that comes alive for spring skiing.
“The new lift will benefit the Alpine Meadows experience on many levels,” said Ron Cohen, president and chief operating officer at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Terrain currently served by Hot Wheels is frequently used by learners and ski and ride school as the next progression after the beginner terrain in the base area. A detachable lift will make loading and unloading much easier for these groups, and the ride time will be more than cut in half. Alpine Meadows is a fantastic place to learn how to ski, and I am proud that we are continuing to foster that quality. In addition to those clear benefits, the new lift extension will directly connect guests to some of Alpine’s best intermediate and expert terrain.
The lift’s location is favorable in high winds and inclement weather,” Cohen continued, “and the extension creates access to the Sherwood area without the need for the current multi-step process that requires a long and sometimes nearly impassable traverse.”
Construction will begin this spring, as soon as conditions allow.
New surface lifts and terrain enhancements at Squaw Valley
Squaw Valley will also see improvements to on-hill connectivity with new surface lifts in the High Camp area. A new rope tow will create fast and convenient access to High Camp, avoiding the need to traverse uphill to get to the High Camp facilities. At 8,200 feet, the recently renovated High Camp is home to multiple dining locations, the High Camp Pool & Hot Tub and a 30-acre beginner area, all with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. High Camp’s extensive beginner terrain will be further enhanced for 2019-20 with infrastructure improvements, including a new “magic carpet” surface lift, snow fencing, and other skier experience enhancements that will help novices and Ski & Snowboard School students to fully utilize the terrain with less interference from other skier traffic. Construction will begin this summer, as soon as conditions allow.
“$17 million in capital improvements by Alterra Mountain Company represents a strong commitment to continue to invest in Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, optimizing our infrastructure in a way that provides great access for everyone, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a first-time visitor,” said Cohen. “This big investment at Alpine Meadows shows an enduring focus on the family-friendly atmosphere, great snow conditions and incredible terrain that make Alpine one of Tahoe’s favorite resorts. We are coming into the second half of what has proven to be an incredible season so far, and with these changes on the plate, the outlook for 2019-20 is wildly optimistic.”