South Shore ski resorts undergo construction

Griffin Rogers
Three new ropes courses at Heavenly will be available to the public next summer, officials said.
Griffin Rogers / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Several construction projects are under way at South Shore’s ski resorts, as businesses find new ways of improving both the summer and winter experience.

Heavenly is working on two zip lines and three ropes courses, and Sierra-at-Tahoe is making progress on a new $5 million plaza. Kirkwood could not be reached for comment Friday.

James Grant, director of mountain operations at Heavenly, said the resort’s upgrades are being built with the whole family in mind.

“It keeps the family together for outside learning and getting up and into the forest,” he said Friday.

Construction at Heavenly consists of retrofitting an old zip line while adding a new one by the Big Easy chairlift. Work on the old zip line should be completed by mid- to late-December, he said, and the new zip line should be finished next summer.

Additionally, three ropes courses are nearing completion. Two of them will serve as challenge courses, and the third will function as a canopy tour. All of them will be open to the public next summer, Grant said.

“We were able to build out that area and bring our guests up and provide them that summer activity, that summer experience, in the trees and around the popular gondola,” he said at a public meeting on Oct. 22.

The projects comprise the first phase of the Epic Discovery project, said Matt Eaton, senior manager of activities.

Other activities, including a mountain bike park connected to the Tahoe Rim Trail, will also undergo construction in the next few years.

“Learning through play is kind of the tagline,” Eaton said Friday.

At Sierra-at-Tahoe, a new facility located at the base of the mountain seeks to improve the overall ski and snowboarding experience, according to a news release. The new plaza will include a 9,000-square-foot structure with retail, fire pit gathering areas, a venue for events and more.

Among the amenities will be Solstice, a new restaurant to feature healthy California foods.

Additionally, a new 20,000-square-foot outside deck will allow for more seating, table service and live music.

Spokesman Steve Hemphill said the Sierra-at-Tahoe is “pretty darn excited” for the resort’s big additions.

“It really opens up the entire base area,” he said.

Construction on the plaza started at the end of the last ski season and is ongoing, Hemphill said. However, no completion date has been set.

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