Heavenly Mountain Resort announced improvements for the 2010-11 ski and snowboard season, highlighted by a spectacular 14,980-square-foot restaurant called Tamarack Lodge, and EpicMix, a ground-breaking online and mobile application that allows skiers and snowboarders to digitally capture and share their mountain experiences. Heavenly is also introducing a new terrain park, upgrades to its grooming operation, and the acquisition of a South Lake Tahoe property management company that will give the guest a more seamless mountain vacation experience.
“While many resorts are pulling back, with the backing of Vail Resorts Heavenly is able to push forward and continue investing in the mountain experience, solidifying our position as Lake Tahoe’s premier destination resort,” said Pete Sonntag, vice-president and general manager of Heavenly. “Tamarack Lodge is going to be truly transformational for Heavenly’s overall resort experience, allowing us to ramp up the quality and variety of our food while increasing comfort for our guests.”
Tamarack Lodge – Transforming Heavenly’s On-Mountain Dining Experience
Set for completion in February 2011, Tamarack Lodge will offer close to 500 indoor seats in a beautiful open dining area designed to overlook the ski runs serviced by the Tamarack Express chairlift through a wall of forty-foot-tall, floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Conveniently located in the middle of the mountain, skiers, snowboarders and sightseers will be treated to an expansive, comfortable dining area featuring large timber framing and high ceilings throughout. On sunny days during both winter and summer, guests will be able to enjoy Heavenly’s ample amount of sunshine on the lodge’s 4,320-square-foot patio which can accommodate another 250 seats. The lodge exterior will complement the surrounding environment by featuring natural colors of the local Tahoe landscape. Aligning with Vail’s company-wide commitment to the environment, Heavenly will submit the project for LEED certification.
Tamarack Lodge also represents a critical component that completes Heavenly’s Adventure Peak family recreation area. Already home to snowshoeing, ski biking, sledding and Heavenly’s Super Tubing Hill – five 500-foot lanes of exhilarating tubing action accessed by a fully-enclosed, elevated magic carpet – the restaurant will provide a home base for a full day of on-snow activity.
“Tamarack Lodge is situated in the absolute ideal location at the top of our Gondola, accessible to skiers and snowboarders, as well as sightseers, both summer and winter,” Sonntag said. “This is the first lodge we’ve built at Heavenly in 31 years and we’re back in a big way. Tamarack Lodge is the crowning achievement of Phase One of Heavenly’s re-development.”
Heavenly’s major revitalization over the past eight years includes new and upgraded lifts, increased snowmaking and grooming, and additional on-mountain amenities. These projects, as well as the improvements for the upcoming season, signal Heavenly’s ongoing commitment to providing the finest on-mountain experience for skiers and snowboarders.
EpicMix comes to Heavenly
Guests who visit Heavenly this season will be able to take advantage of the new EpicMix technology, an online and mobile application which will allow them to capture their ski and ride experience and digitally share it with friends and family. An RF-enabled chip embedded in Vail Resorts’ season passes and PEAKS (http://www.snow.com/peaks) lift tickets will automatically track guests’ lift rides, calculating vertical feet skied and days on the mountain and will recognize special achievements and accomplishments by granting guests commemorative, collectible digital pins. EpicMix will have hundreds of available digital pins for a multitude of unique experiences. Guests can then log in to view and share results on social networks as well as post private messages and locate friends on the mountain, including a real-time locator for parents with children.
The basic functionality of EpicMix does not require Vail Resorts’ guests to do anything but ski and ride as they always have. There is nothing to buy, nothing new to wear and no required check-ins with their mobile devices. The application is embedded into Vail Resorts’ existing season pass and PEAKS lift tickets. EpicMix can be used by any guest at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly, whether they purchase a season pass or a PEAKS single-day lift ticket. EpicMix will launch on opening day at Keystone Mountain on Nov. 5, 2010. Vail Resorts has posted a comprehensive video demonstrating the features and functionality of EpicMix at www.epicmix.com.
The privacy of Vail Resorts’ guests is of paramount importance to the Company and no information collected through EpicMix will be shared unless a guest “opts in” and specifically chooses to share their information. All information collected through EpicMix is subject to the strict privacy policies of Vail Resorts. Guests can choose to disable the RF chip in their pass to prevent any scanning. Children under 14 participating in EpicMix will have limited features and a connection only to their parents’ account.
“Ante Up” Takes Recycling to a Whole New Level
Heavenly is adding a new terrain park under the Tamarack Express Chairlift called “Ante Up.” This true slopestyle park will be comprised entirely of Heavenly’s award-winning* recycled features. This season, the Terrain Park Crew has gone back to the lab to create the most creative, urban-based jibs at Lake Tahoe. Ante Up is the only terrain park in the Lake Tahoe basin whose features will be 100 percent recycled, including tractor tires, water tanks, corrugated and snowmaking pipes. Ante Up will also be in full view of the new Tamarack Lodge – so jibbers will have to take their games to the next level!
* 2008-09 Ski Area Management Magazine, best use of recycled terrain park features
Commitment to Lake Tahoe’s Finest Snow Surfaces
Heavenly has purchased two new Prinoth Bison X grooming machines and two of Prinoth’s new Beast groomers, bringing the world’s largest fleet of most technologically-advanced snow cats to 20. The Beast is equipped with the most state-of-the-art technology to date, allowing it to groom 30 percent more acreage per hour than traditional grooming machines. Already home to the West Coast’s largest snowmaking system, Heavenly is on a continuous capital program to improve overall snowmaking efficiency, this year adding a new Variable Frequency Drive Pump at the East Peak snowmaking dam that will allow for the automatic adjustment of water pressure, ensuring that the right amount of water is being used at the right time, improving overall energy consumption and efficiency. The combination of grooming expertise and snowmaking capacity ensure that Heavenly’s guests are always skiing or snowboarding on the finest snow surface conditions Lake Tahoe has to offer.
Continued Trail Enhancement Projects
Heavenly, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, continues to make advances in selective trail enhancement projects. These projects annually identify key trails for treatment by widening pinch-points and lowering the height of obstacles on trails. This year, upper Ridge Run and upper California Trail were widened to relieve congestion and improve the overall ski and ride experience. Heavenly also cut a new access trail from the top of North Bowl chairlift to East Peak Lodge to facilitate a more direct route to this popular gathering spot.
Heavenly Sports Delivers the Rental Shop to Your Hotel Room
With airline baggage fees now the norm, many skiers and snowboarders are opting to leave their equipment at home and rent at the resort. Heavenly Sports and RentSkis.com have teamed up to take the rental experience to another level. Heavenly Sports Delivery brings the rental shop to the hotel room, condo or chalet, with the same great service and up-to-date equipment as one of Heavenly Sports’ slopeside locations. The Heavenly Sports Delivery team is insured and certified to tune skis and snowboards to the current conditions and provide a custom boot fit. Heavenly Sports Delivery saves the guest time and turns renting from a chore to a luxury.
Vail Resorts Acquires South Lake Tahoe Property Management Company
Vail Resorts, the parent company of Heavenly, recently acquired Accommodation Station, the third-largest property management company in the South Lake Tahoe market. Founded 34 years ago, Accommodation Station has grown to become one of South Lake Tahoe’s premier, full-service property management companies for condos, mountain chalets, cabins and luxury homes for short- and long-term rentals. The acquisition of Accommodation Station is Vail Resorts’ first foray into the South Lake Tahoe lodging market and presents an exciting opportunity to connect the off-mountain lodging experience with the Heavenly on-mountain experience year-round, giving guests an easier and more seamless mountain vacation experience from start to finish.
Early-Season Vacation Values – Fifth Night Free at the Marriott Grand Residence
Heavenly is scheduled to open for skiing and snowboarding on November 19, 2010, weather and conditions permitting. The Marriott Grand Residence luxury units are rarely discounted, but guests who book by October 26, 2010 will get the fifth night of lodging and the fourth day of skiing free! This deal will not be back during this ski season! Some restrictions apply. Visit http://bit.ly/cmBOD6 or call 1-800-HEAVENLY (432.8365) for more information.