Sierra-at-Tahoe uses star power, short-stacks to make a punch | NevadaAppeal.com

Sierra-at-Tahoe uses star power, short-stacks to make a punch

Susan Wood
Nevada Appeal News Service

TWIN BRIDGES – With snow as a backdrop, Sierra-at-Tahoe launched its ski and snowboard season action plan Thursday, which involves stacks of pancakes, wine tasting and star power to kick off its 2006-07 season.

Located 12 miles from South Lake Tahoe off Highway 50, the resort has added Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter to its ski team – with another kind of gold. In Mama’s Kitchen, it will serve a dish called “Peace, love and pancakes” as a signature meal to how Teter signs her name. The Sierra eatery plans to package the stack of pancakes with “Hannah’s Gold,” her own brand of Vermont maple syrup that earmarks money to fight world hunger in Africa.

Teter, who splits her time between her home state and Meyers, is like the girl next door, Sierra spokeswoman Nicole Cox said. In August, the ski resort signed on the young Olympic snowboarder who took the gold medal in halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

Sierra is known to cultivate young stars of the slopes.

With that, Sierra also begins the season with an expanded children’s ski school. The young tykes ages 3 to 6 will be situated inside the Wild Mountain Ski School, and the 7- to 12-year-olds will take their quest for instruction out at the back yurt.

“Now everybody can do something,” said Lisa Tiffany, who works in the ski school. The ski resort even added little touches such as a staircase with shorter steps on the extended deck near the Grandview Express chairlift.

“It’s exciting. This year will be better than ever,” Tiffany said.

Indeed, the season should also be better for wine enthusiasts and terrain park lovers.

The resort is adding a new Burton Progression Park to the Broadway run near the tubing hill, with boxes, jumps and rails set up merely inches from the ground. The park will be designed for those who have wanted to test gravity without going out with injuries or fear for the season.

Beyond the new park, Sierra enhances its other parks with 20-foot flat and 30-foot A-frame boxes, jibs and “barrel bonks,” which are skateboard-inspired trash cans.

Riders seeking a higher level of spirits will enjoy partaking in wine tastings scheduled over the weekend days at the Sierra Pub at 4 p.m. The tastings, which will occur from December to March, will feature area wineries including Lava Cap, Boeger and Madrona.

The idea is to expand the food and beverage offering out of the traditional burger-and-beer routine.

“People can get a burger and beer anywhere,” Cox said.

Scott Sutterfield, director of profit centers, said teaming up the Sierra Pub in the Main Lodge with wine tastings is a unique experience the resort has for years wanted to offer. The resort may pair food with the wines.

Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Double-Whammy season pass, which includes access to Northstar-at-Tahoe, is going for $399. Sierra’s Sunday through Friday adult pass runs $199. Lift tickets cost $61, and the popular three-pack is back for $43 a day.

2006-’07 Lake Tahoe ski resort improvements

• Heavenly Mountain Resort: Millions of dollars spent for best management practices at California and Boulder lodges for master plan; $1.5 million put into snowmaking and grooming with two Snowcats (one winch cat for high-angle grooming on runs such as Ellie’s, Waterfall and Milky Way Bowl); four new low-emission shuttle buses; adult season passes going for $349.

• Kirkwood Mountain Resort: Expanded a partnership with Burton Snowboards to offer a Women’s Learn to Ride Center, Women’s-only Backcountry Awareness clinic and two-day survival clinic; adult season pass rates set at $339.

• Northstar-at-Tahoe: An investment of $10.5 million in the next phase of mountain improvements including a high-speed chairlift and another link to improve access to the Backside and Lookout Mountain, respectively; double-whammy season passes with access to Sierra-at-Tahoe is selling for $399. Northstar’s midweek pass is $299.

• Sugar Bowl: New rails at Mount Judah area; adult midweek season passes go for $249; cooperative pass agreement with Royal Gorge, the largest cross country ski area in North America offering a new ski-in, ski-out trail-side lodge and wine tastings at the Rainbow Lodge over getaway weekends.

• Homewood: Expanded children’s center program with lessons and ski camps; a second Magic Carpet area; exterior work on the buildings; $99 adult midweek season pass rates will end Oct. 31.