Vail Resorts to invest $30 million in Northstar |

Vail Resorts to invest $30 million in Northstar

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Vail Resorts announced a $30 million investment plan for Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort that will include new restaurants, national retail outlets and 10 percent more skiable terrain for the 2011-12 winter season.

Vail Resorts – which purchased Northstar in ate 2010 and also owns Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe – made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

“The initial consumer response to the combination of Northstar-at-Tahoe with Heavenly Resort drove strong increases in season pass sales for both resorts, and that has translated into higher visitation, as Northstar-at-Tahoe is currently on track to achieve a record season in terms of visitation and revenue,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, in a statement.

Katz said the investment marks the first of many improvements in line for Northstar in future years.

With a vertical rise of 1,440 feet, a detachable express quad chairlift will be installed this summer on “The Backside” of the mountain, providing access to expanded terrain and new ski trails.

Two new intermediate trails will be served by the lift, Vail said, and new snowmaking will be installed on Drifter – an existing ski trail that also provides access to The Backside – and one of the new trails.

An on-mountain restaurant will be constructed near the top of the Tahoe Zephyr Express lift, according to Vail, offering 500 indoor seats and 200 outdoor deck seats. Menu items will include pizza and specialty soups and sandwiches.

“Installation of the new express lift and construction of the new on-mountain restaurant will offer more terrain and greater access in Northstar’s most popular lift area, and add much needed seating on the mountain,” said Bill Rock, chief operating officer at Northstar.

Village enhancements

Northstar village will also receive a facelift, Vail said, as plans for next winter include opening national retail outlets Patagonia and Burton, as well as expanding the North Face store in a new location. Vail also plans to add a new restaurant in the village, where work will begin this spring and summer.

According to the press release, all the proposed capital projects are subject to the appropriate regulatory approvals.

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