Ski resorts busy as winter approaches |

Ski resorts busy as winter approaches

This summer has been anything but an off-season for local ski resorts.

Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl and Alpine Meadows have spent the snowless season putting in new lifts, building slopeside structures and planning new programs.

Sugar Bowl will unfurl an expanded Mt. Judah Day Lodge and a new Christmas Tree lift, Northstar-at-Tahoe will open the first phase of its new village, and Alpine Meadows will be running their new high-speed Sherwood chair when winter comes.

“Essentially half of the village will be up and functioning,” said Northstar Spokeswoman Nicole Belt of the expected December completion of the village’s first phase.

A new stoplight will control winter traffic at Highway 267 and Northstar Drive.

The village will include a free ice skating rink, and the ticket counters and eating area that were housed in a temporary structure last season, will be moved to the new village buildings.

“There still will be construction taking place,” Belt said. “But you will be able to see the village taking shape.”

Northstar will add a new standard halfpipe to go with its superpipe, and team up with Burton to offer a smaller “progression park” for beginner freestyle riders and skiers.

Expanded lodge at Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl’s expanded Mt. Judah Day Lodge is scheduled to open in December. The 12,000-square-foot addition will feature a new bar, restaurant and private meeting area, said resort spokeswoman Kristin York.

The added space will be welcome in the heavily-used portion of the ski area, she said.

The resort will also upgrade their lift system with by replacing the old, two-person Christmas Tree lift with a new high-speed quad. That lift is expected to be running in December.

Sugar Bowl will hold the X Games qualifiers on Martin Luther King weekend once again this year.

“The calendar is starting to fill up,” York said.

Lift replacement at Alpine

Alpine Meadows is replacing their Sherwood Express chair with a high-speed quad. The towers were set by a helicopter on Wednesday, and the lift will be running this winter, said Alpine Meadows spokeswoman Rachael Woods.

With the weather turning brisk as the summer turns to fall, more people are starting to gear up for snow, said Belt. And many skiers and riders are buying up season passes before they go up in price at the end of this month.

“People have definitely started buying up season passes,” Belt said. “With the weather getting colder, people start thinking about skiing.”

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