OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. - Squaw Valley is kicking off winter with the Get Outside Festival on Saturday, Dec. 22. Held in honor of Squaw Valley's recent No. 1 ski resort ranking by Outside Magazine, the festival will consist of a free concert by the Gin Blossoms and grand openings at Squaw's new chairlift, Big Blue Express, two new retail stores, Parallel Mountain Sports and The Ledge Board Shop and the completely remodeled Olympic Plaza Bar. In support of something global and something local, proceeds from fundraisers throughout the day will benefit the American Himalayan Foundation and the Tahoe Fund.
"We're celebrating the designation by the esteemed and venerable Outside Magazine as the number one resort in North America along with multiple grand openings," said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. "However, as we celebrate, we see the importance of driving awareness and support towards both a global and also a local benevolent cause perspective."
The "global" designee for this event is The American Himalayan Foundation which was founded by Sir Edmund Hilary and Dick Blum. Its work in preventing the trafficking of young women from the Himalayan region and building of schools and hospitals is nothing short of remarkable. The "local" designee, Tahoe Fund, builds tremendous support and funding to restore and enhance the extraordinary natural environment of the Lake Tahoe Basin.
The Get Outside Festival will start off on the morning of December 22 with the grand opening of Big Blue Express. Big Blue Express is Squaw Valley's newest high-speed chairlift, which has replaced the old High Camp chairlift. The base terminal of Big Blue Express starts where the base of the High Camp lift was formerly located, but unlike the old chair, the new lift extends to the top of the Shirley Lake ridgeline - providing improved access to the Shirley Lake, Solitude and Granite Chief chairlifts, as well as access to expanded intermediate terrain. The grand opening of Big Blue Express will take place at 10 a.m. at the lift's lower terminal.
Following the grand opening of Big Blue, the Get Outside Festival continues with a free concert by the Gin Blossoms at the KT Base Bar at 2 p.m. The Gin Blossoms defined the 90s post grunge pop rock experience with "Hey Jealousy," "Found Out About You" and the Top Ten Billboard pop hits "Till I Hear It From You" and "Follow You Down." Today, the band continues to produce successful albums and tour the country. Admission to the Gin Blossoms concert will be free, though a donation to support the American Himalayan Foundation at the door is appreciated.
After the concert, Squaw Valley is proud to host the grand openings of the resort's two new retail stores - Parallel Mountain Sports and The Ledge Board Shop 4-7 p.m. The grand openings will include complimentary food and drinks. Parallel Mountain Sports is located steps away from the slopes, offering more than 5,000 square feet of floor space featuring the latest ski technology as well as a complete line of outdoor wear and street wear for the family. Located at the east end of The Village, The Ledge Board Shop was designed with riders in mind and features this winter's hottest items in snowboard equipment, gear and lifestyle wear. The Ledge's Burton DJ Booth will be going at full force for the store's grand opening event.
The Get Outside Festival will wrap up with the Grand Opening of Olympic Plaza Bar starting at 7 p.m. Squaw's Olympic Plaza Bar has been completely remodeled to offer a new upscale, mountain contemporary atmosphere for table service dining during lunch and apres ski. With $300,000 in renovations, the redesigned Olympic Plaza Bar pays tribute to the resort's Olympic heritage and features new comfortable, rustic-chic lodge furniture that will be perfect for relaxing after a day on the slopes.