RENO TAHOE USA: WHAT IS NEW?
Under new ownership, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino continues its $25 million renovation. The main entrance features the chandelier from the original MGM Hotel and Casino, which is now surrounded by fresh lounge-style seating and digital displays featuring the beautiful Reno Tahoe area. The lobby has seen a substantial upgrade from carpeting to rubbed bronze and brushed aluminum highlights at check-in. Guest rooms throughout the resort are also being upgraded to reflect the chic design of the property’s Summit Suites. Located in the heart of the casino floor, the new, premier ultra-lounge, WET features flair bartenders, live music and exclusive design features. Grand Sierra Resort has added a small-plate Mexican restaurant called Cantina, which provides an authentic experience as well as a variety of more than 115 different tequilas. An indoor pool, nightclub, sports book and racquetball court are all in the works for 2013. Grand Sierra Resort is one of the largest convention center resorts in the country, with more than 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space which will soon be experiencing its portion of the renovation.
Squaw Valley has joined forces with Alpine Meadows to offer more than 6,000 acres of legendary skiing and riding accessed via a single lift ticket and interconnecting shuttle, and is currently exploring the possibility of creating permanent, gates access, between the resorts, for experienced backcountry skiers.
Following 2011’s introduction of a cutting-edge child chairlift safety system and GPS tracking units for kids enrolled in ski school, the resort continues to invest in innovative, industry-leading technologies designed to enhance the guest experience. Additionally, the resort is working with Snow Park Technologies to design a mile-long terrain park.
Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, Burton Snowboards and LucasFilms LTD have collaborated to offer the unique, Burton Star Wars Experience. Designed to cater to children, as young as 3 years old, the park contains wooden carvings of popular Star Wars characters and encourages youngsters to strap-in and ride. Showcasing the recently incorporated terrain of Huckleberry Canyon, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort now offers backcountry snowcat tours for up to seven lucky guests on select days for riders of advanced to expert ability levels. The snowcat ride will alleviate the existing hike required to access the terrain, thereby allowing skiers and snowboarders to save their energy for the awaiting deep powder turns. The resort expanded on 2011’s successful debut of the Blizzard Mountain tubing and snowplay area by constructing two new rope-tow accessible tubing lanes, an expanded sledding area, a bounce house, snowman kits, snowball makers, snack bar, fire pits, picnic tables and complimentary rides on the all-new Blizzard Mountain Snowcat.
Northstar has completed $30 million in capital improvements, including a new 1,440-foot detachable quad chairlift and a new 700-seat on-mountain restaurant atop the resort's Tahoe Zephyr Express Lift, featuring expansive views of the Pacific Crest. The Village at Northstar will welcome top outdoor brands Patagonia and Burton to its impressive shopping outlets, and has expanded The North Face and True North retail stores. Two-time Olympic gold medalist, professional snowboarder and skateboarder Shaun White calls Northstar his home mountain and primary training resort, and has built a custom halfpipe at the resort for the last two years. The resort has also expanded its boundaries offering 170 additional acres of new sidecountry terrain, new snowcat tours on Sawtooth Ridge and guided backcountry tours outside the resort's boundary into a highly anticipated area of future expansion. Finally, Northstar was the latest Vail Resorts' owned mountain to bring EpicMix to the slopes, allowing guests to effortlessly share their ski and snowboard experience via social media. Northstar is also home to great mountain biking experiences in the summer season.
Located less than thirty minutes from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and boasting Lake Tahoe's highest base elevation, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe installed a top-to-bottom snow-making system on its Silver Dollar run, ensuring early season access on the Slide Bowl portion of the resort. This side of the mountain has been the focus of significant improvements over the last few seasons such as the modern amenities now housed in the Winters Creek Lodge powered by three environmentally-friendly extreme energy windspires. The resort has proposed a major $23.5 million improvement plan to include new terrain, additional lifts, snowmaking improvements, as well as various facility enhancements. Over the next 10 years, these projects could continue to transform the resort into a key destination attraction as well as a favorite local winter recreation spot. Highlighting this next phase is the potential inclusion of the adjacent "Atoma" terrain which is located on the north side of SR 431. Working in cooperation with the US Forest Service, Mt. Rose looks to expand skiing services onto this 99 acre parcel to complement the beginner terrain on the Mt. Rose side of the mountain. This open, mosaic-glade style skiing would make for a unique lower level snow experience combining open runs with pods of trees intermixed throughout the new area.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort
As part of more than $6 million in capital improvements, Kirkwood Mountain Resort has completed two new facilities intended to serve as activity hubs conveniently located in the heart of the resort's Mountain Village. The High Alpine Adventure Center (HAAC) serves as the booking office for all the family-friendly activities at the resort such as tubing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and the recently constructed ZipTahoe Canopy Tour. Expedition: Kirkwood, North America's premier backcountry education program designed to expand the boundaries of mountain exploration, has also moved to a new $1 million facility complete with classrooms, conference center, high end retail storefront and specialized demo center completed in partnership with Marmot, K2 and BCA. Guests are now welcomed by a new hotel-style lodging option thanks to a $5 million facelift to the Mountain Club property located slopeside in the Mountain Village.