Tahoe planning board approves Heavenly’s plan
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Governing Board unanimously approved Heavenly Mountain Resort’s 2006 Master Plan Amendment, April 25.
The plan covers the next 10 years, and officials from Vail Resorts, which owns Heavenly, claim the plan will establish the resort as a leader in environmentally responsible operation.
“We went through the process and came away with a great plan that improves the resort in an environmentally-sensitive way,” said Blaise Carrig, Heavenly’s chief operating officer.
Phase I projects approved under the plan include: Replacement of the existing North Bowl and Olympic fixed-grip chair lifts with high-speed lifts; a 1,000-seat on-mountain restaurant; 152 acres of new ski trails; re-grading Skyline Trail (the infamous traverse from California to Nevada); and a skier bridge that will allow skiers and riders to ski from the Gondola top station to Tamarack Express. The plan also calls for multi-use hiking/cross-country skiing/snowshoeing trails in the area between the Gondola top station and the Observation Deck, and a zip line adventure ride for summer use.
Environmental “enhancements” in the plan include avoiding a stand of large trees when replacing the the North Bowl and Olympic lifts. It also calls for the removal of Sky Deck from a wetland area and the restoration of the meadow in which the deck currently sits.
“Heavenly has become a leader among ski resorts in terms of environmental stewardship,” said Rochelle Nason, executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe. “The resort worked closely with conservationists to assure their plan will result in greater protection for Lake Tahoe’s water quality, and their decision to spare the North Bowl trees is tremendous.”