It's just about last hurrah time for the ski and boarder season with Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Mammoth still running through the weekend, and Mammoth going on to July 4.
But now Heavenly is back on the scene with four days of skiing and boarding starting Friday and ending Monday. Lifts start at 9 a.m. and run as long as the snow doesn't turn to California cement.
Lift tickets are $30 for adults, $28 for teens and seniors and $22 for kids 5 to 12. The 2004-05 season's pass and the '05-'06 are both valid. For those just wanting to get the best view possible of Lake Tahoe from the Observation Deck, tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for teens and seniors and $12 for children. The Gondola has been a gold mine for Heavenly, bringing a cash flow o help the winter resort get through the summer.
There's still plenty of snow up there, although it will get soft in the afternoon.
"With our 5 feet of snow on the mountain, we decided to celebrate the season by offering our dedicated skiers and riders the opportunity to kick-start their summer tans at 10,027 feet," said bossman Blaise Carrig, who probably will be prowling the runs himself.
Lifts in operation will include Sky Express, Tamrack Express and Dipper Express (which means Nevada side will be open). High Roller terrain park and Milky Way Bowl will be among the 23 trails groomed.
Adventure Park at the top of the Gondola will be open for tubing and a barbecue will be serving next to the Gondola.
Access is by the Gondola with paid parking at the Heavenly Village ($20, ouch!) or free parking at the California Lodge with shuttles running to the Gondola. Be careful about parking on Stateline streets; they give out tickets there.
After that last exhilarating solo run on the Ridge Trail on official Heavenly closing day, never thought I'd make it up again this season. With weather like we're having, doubt if there will be any "lonely" runs this weekend.
LOCAL AWARD WINNERS
Last week the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) recognized resorts nationwide for the best environmental, marketing, customer service and safety programs at the NSAA National Convention and Tradeshow at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. Sierra-at-Tahoe brought home a Sales and Marketing Award while Northstar brought home the Silver Eagle Award for its environmental efforts.
Sierra-at-Tahoe received the award for the Best Program to Increase Overall Frequency of Existing Participants for its three-pak marketing program. Prior to the 2004/05 winter season, Sierra's pre-promotion research showed that the number of repeat visits by existing customers dropped significantly after three days of skiing and riding at the resort. Sierra-at-Tahoe created a program which packaged numerous products and services such as lift tickets and lessons in quantities of three, at a substantial cost savings which brought in pre-committed sales and motivated guests to return.
The program exceeded the employees' sales goals by nearly 50 percent in several categories and Sierra-at-Tahoe saw a 760 percent increase in the number of multi-day tickets sold.
Northstar-at-Tahoe was selected as the recipient of the Silver Eagle award for its waste reduction and recycling efforts. Northstar-at-Tahoe planned the new Village at Northstar using guidelines of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system established by the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEARN TRAIL BUILDING
The Tahoe Rim Trail Association in cooperation with the Carson Valley Trails Association, the U.S. Forest Service and Nevada State Parks will hold its annual Trail Builder Course on June 10 in Carson Valley at the Faye Luther Trailhead; June 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DWR Community Non-Profit Center in Incline Village; and on June 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Spooner State Park off Highway 28 on the east shore of Lake Tahoe.
This free three-day training will teach volunteers how to design, construct, and maintain trails as well as to lead trail building crews who will complete and preserve the 165-mile Rim loop trail along the ridge tops of Lake Tahoe. The training is free.
Register by June 9 by calling or e-mailing the Tahoe Rim Trail office at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association will provide hard hats and all trail tools.
Call (775) 298-0012, or visit www.tahoerimtrail.org.