Two Lake Tahoe area ski resorts expanding this summer

Posted By: The Ski Channel on April 12, 2010 3:12 pm

Both the Heavenly Mountain Resort and the Diamond Peak Ski Resort in the Lake Tahoe area are prepping for some construction jobs this summer. They’re hoping some new developments will boost business.

By mid-June, construction on a new lodge at the top of Heavenly’s gondola should begin, and by May, Diamond Peak should start building a new skier services building.

Casey Blann, vice president of mountain operations at Heavenly explained that the new lodge will be 14,720 square feet and will be a year-round home to food and drink services and restrooms. 484 people can fit in there, and they’re hoping it will be a welcome sight to folks who wish to hide away from the bite of a winter day at the top of the gondola. “Often times they don’t come quite clothed for it,” Blann says. “The bottom of the gondola is 6,300 feet, and the end is at 9,100 feet — it’s a whole different world up there.”

The lodge should only take one season to complete, as opposed to the normal two-season-long construction time. Infrastructure such as water, gas and sewer lines are already in place, expediting the process.

For Diamond Peak, the new skier services building will cost them $3.7 million. Current buildings will be destroyed so this building can take their place. To get construction started by May 1st, the resort had to close a week earlier than expected. “We could have stayed open to April 18, but we need every day in April to be prepared for construction to start May 1,” says Bill Horn, general manager of the Incline Village General Improvement District, which manages the ski resort. “I am sure United [construction company] would agree that the building season is very tight, and they certainly cannot and don’t want to waste one single day.”

Horn goes on to explain what the new building will comprise: “Our children’s ski center has been very successful and will double in capacity so we don’t have to turn families away; we’ve upgraded ticketing, which makes less time purchasing tickets; and we have created a greater sense of entrance into the resort. We are very excited about it,” Horn continued. “Somebody told me recently that they have been waiting 15 years for us to finish this final piece of the master plan.”