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Ski resort expects to open today

Patricia Hickson and Justin Broglio

INCLINE VILLAGE – Diamond Peak Ski Resort expects to open today after being closed for nine days as repairs continued on a 120,00-volt transmission line running from the Carson Valley to the North Shore.

According to the Web site Diamondpeak.com, the resort will open at 9 a.m.

The ski area stands to lose “hundreds of thousands of dollars” officials estimated.

“It’s a very bad situation,” said Diamond Peak general manager Ed Youmans. “This has never happened in the resort’s history.”

Between the holiday rainstorms and the power closure, there may be no way to recover from the season’s lost revenues, Youmans said.

“The holiday periods amount for about one-third of our gross revenue for the whole year,” Youmans said, “and we’ve lost a lot of that.”

Bill Horn, general manager of the Incline Village General Improvement District, said some capital construction projects planned this year may be delayed if there is a tenable financial shortfall.

Horn said any projected fiscal impact of the of the closure will be presented to IVGID trustees at Wednesday’s meeting.

“There is going to be a financial impact,” Horn said. “So as any good business would do, we are going to make a good financial decision and look at delaying some projects.”

Sierra Pacific Power crews have been working to repair the line since New Year’s Eve.

The extent of the damage combined with the snow and the remote location of the powerline are factors delaying the lines repair Sierra Pacific officials said Friday.

Incline Village/Crystal Bay is running on electricity from small voltage lines where energy is being provided in part by diesel generators near Kings Beach, said a power company spokesman.

“We’re putting every ounce of effort into getting these power lines back up and running,” Diamond Peak’s Youmans said. “We’re doing everything we can to help Sierra Pacific.”

Diamond Peak has sent a Sno-Cat at as well as crew to the downed line above Hobart Reservoir near Carson City.

Nine days of no skiing and snowboarding at Diamond Peak have also affected local rental shops.

“It’s frustrating for everyone involved with Diamond Peak,” said Village Ski Loft manager Randy Fraser. “This situation is certainly not ideal but it’s totally out of our hands so we’ll just have to wait.”

Tony Hetrick, head shop technician for Porter’s Ski and Sport, said a lot of people who would normally be skiing at Diamond Peak are just driving a little further.

“We’re very fortunate that we have more than one ski resort around here, otherwise we would be in big trouble,” Hetrick said. “A lot of people are still renting gear and just going up to Mount Rose or Northstar.”

Incline Village is not the only North Shore area with a limited power supply.

The North Tahoe Utility District is also appealing to local business and residents in the Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, Carnelian Bay and Cedar Flat area to conserve energy and water.

“By conserving power and avoiding power outages we are all protecting Lake Tahoe by reducing the risk of sewer spills,” said Steve Rogers, general manager of the North Tahoe Public Utility District.


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