Heavenly ski area opens today

Opening a day earlier than last year, Heavenly Ski Resort will kick off the ski and snowboard season today, resort officials said.

Despite warm temperatures and little natural snowfall, snowmaking crews made enough of the white stuff to offer 2,300 vertical feet of terrain, skiing and riding on 12 trails on the upper California and upper Nevada sides of the mountain, said Heavenly Chief Operating Officer Blaise Carrig.

Snow conditions are early-season, machine-groomed snow with a base depth ranging from 1 to 2 feet, he said.

Eight lifts -- the Gondola at Heavenly, the Aerial Tram, Gunbarrel Express, Patsy's, Waterfall, Sky Express, Dipper Express and Comet Express -- are scheduled to operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

Over the weekend, lifts are scheduled to open a half-hour earlier. Access to the mountain is by way of the gondola and the newly remodeled California Lodge. Complimentary shuttles will provide service to the lodge.

"It's the dawn of a new era for the resort," Carrig said. "We spent $2.5 million dollars in renovations to the California Lodge and we're ready to show it off a bit."

The lodge provides rentals, food and beverage service with new menus, and ski and snowboard clinics. Heavenly Day Care will be open, but reservations are required.

For current mountain conditions, log onto www.skiheavenly.com or call (775) 586-7000.


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