Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Heavenly Mountain Resort open for 2017-18 season (video) | SierraSun.com

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Heavenly Mountain Resort open for 2017-18 season (video)

Opening day at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows on Friday, Nov. 17.

Friday, Nov. 17 will mark the season opener of more Truckee-Tahoe area ski resorts as Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Heavenly Mountain Resort join the growing list of resorts open for the 2017-18 season.

Soda Springs Mountain Resort is also close to opening, according to Senior Manager of Resort Operations Mike Spain, and is currently day-to-day in awaiting for conditions to improve enough to open the mountain.

As of the morning of Thursday, Nov. 16, Spain said the planned opener on Friday isn’t “looking good,” with the latest storm dropping mostly rain and slush on the slopes so far, but a good dumping of snow overnight could allow for the resort to open according to the planned date. For latest information visit SkiSodaSprings.com.

With Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Heavenly Mountain’s opening on Friday, Nov. 17, the resorts join Mount Rose Ski Tahoe and Boreal Mountain Resort as four out of 14 downhill ski resorts in the area to open at this point.

Squaw Valley and Heavenly both opened on Nov. 23 last year.

Squaw Valley reported 14 inches of snow from the most recent storm, as of the morning of Thursday, Nov. 16.

The resort’s opening marks the shortest turnaround in Squaw history, according to Public Relations Director Liesl Hepburn, at four months and one day.

Squaw Valley will operate uploading and downloading via the Funitel for access to skiing and riding on Gold Coast Express, which includes features in the Gold Coast Terrain Park, according to a statement from the resort, with more terrain opening as snow accumulation continues.

Opening day festivities include a Sparkling Cider Toast at the base of the Funitel at 8:45 a.m. with Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows athletes Cody Townsend and Errol Kerr. A portion of every lift ticket on opening day benefits the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Foundation (SAF), dedicated to supporting young amateur athletes interested in developing skills in snow sports through their participation in a Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski or snowboard team. SAF volunteers will be handing out free cookies, coffee, tea and hot chocolate as well as selling raffle tickets from 8 am to 11 am.

Heavenly Mountain Resort

Heavenly Mountain resort, the only one in the country to span two state lines, will be the first on the South Shore to open on Friday, Nov. 17.

Heavenly has reported 11 inches of snowfall, as of the morning of Thursday, Nov. 16, from the latest storm.

The resort will have music to celebrate the season opener in the Heavenly Village from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and then at the Tamarack Lodge from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Heavenly will bring several new features for guests during the 2017-18 season, including night skiing on the mountain for the first time. The World Cup chairlift will begin operating at night every weekend, starting on Dec. 18, allowing skiers and snowboarders the chance to ride under the stars.

The resort will also introduce a new rooftop bar on the California Lodge, and several new après skiing options.

Next week, two more resorts are expected to open with Kirkwood Mountain resort targeting Wednesday, Nov. 22, and Northstar California Resort aiming for Thanksgiving day.

Staff writer Justin Scacco can be reached at 530-550-2643.

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