Incline community has own ski resort
For some great views and open bowl terrain, many skiers automatically assume the large resorts like Squaw Valley U.S.A. or Heavenly Ski Resort, would be the best place to go. But in Incline Village, there is a secret stash located right in its backyard.
Since 1966, Diamond Peak Ski Resort has been the cornerstone of the Incline community. Owned and operated by the Incline Village General Improvement District, it has remained a stable amenity for both locals and tourists alike to enjoy.
“We are certainly a smaller operation that does not appeal to the extreme crowd,” said Ed Youmans, ski resort manager. “The majority of our visitors are destination skiers who are piggybacked off the other resorts Tahoe has to offer.”
Originally owned by Crystal Bay Development Company, construction of the resort was spearheaded by Luggi Foeger, who was instrumental in designing other ski resorts in the area.
“Luggi was an industry pioneer in the Sierra and recognized, given Diamond Peak’s location, it would need snowmaking which was unheard of in those days,” Youmans said. He explained that due to the mountains surrounding the resort and with prevailing winds to the West, clouds typically lose a lot of precipitation by the time they reach the area, thereby reducing the amount of snowfall.
Initially providing water and sewer to the Incline community, IVGID increased its responsibilities, purchasing local properties in 1976 which included Diamond Peak, two golf courses and beaches to name a few.
“Our capital backing makes it possible for us to cover expenditures,” Youmans said. “The decisions made here are meant to be representative of the desires of the community. We’re small enough also that we can adapt to changes our customers would like to see too.”
With approximately 20 percent of Diamond Peak skiers representing the local population and 80 percent consisting of tourists, the resort ensures all of its amenities are up-to-date and running smoothly. Last summer, a $1.2 million snowmaking system was installed and future plans include a $6 million lodge that will connect to the existing base facility. The bulk of the capital budget however, is used replacing snowcats, snowmobiles and other equipment.
Diamond Peak accommodates 4,500 skiers with six lifts that all center around the base of the mountain.
“Diamond Peak has the best views in Tahoe and is the most pleasant place to ski,” Youmans said. “The whole operation is very user-friendly. It’s a good place for people who are trying to get away from the mob scene in skiing.”
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