Alpine Meadows & Squaw Valley Join Forces
Big news out of California as Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Resort announced they are joining forces. Discussions about this merger have been ongoing for years, and many suspected the union would never come.
Now, one big question that remains is whether skiers will be able to move freely back and forth between the two resorts on snow. According to Squaw Valley's spokesperson Amelia Richmond, the possibility of linking the two resorts on snow is unrealistic for the upcoming season. She notes, "There are a lot of third parties involved. At this point, our main priority is to ensure the guest experience this winter is the best it can be."
As for linking the resorts via snow in the future, a man by the name of Troy Caldwell will play an instrumental role. For more than a decade Caldwell has been constructing a chairlift on his 460-acre private property that lies between the two ski areas; the land is known as White Wolf. Caldwell and his wife began working on the lift in the hopes that one day a merger like this would come about. Now that the deal is in place, negotiations will likely begin between the Caldwell's, Squaw and Alpine. Should they opt not to utilize the chairlift, the Caldwell's will still be able to use it for private skiing on their land.
As it now stands, patrons can be shuttled back and forth between the two ski areas via bus. Many favor the idea of a lift connecting the ski areas, while others hope to preserve the individuality of the two unique resorts.
With Snow Park Technologies recently announcing plans to take control of Squaw Valley's terrain park, some might be wondering whether they will also begin working with Alpine Meadows. According to Richmond, it is still unknown at this time.
For more on the details of the merger, see the attached press release below.
[Olympic Valley, CA and Alpine Meadows, CA] September 27, 2011—Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Resort announced today that the two North Lake Tahoe ski resorts have agreed to combine operations under common ownership and offer season passes and lift tickets that will allow guests to enjoy skiing and riding on both mountains. The transaction is expected to close prior to the commencement of the 2011-12 winter season.
Squaw Valley, known for its expansive, legendary terrain – over 3,600 acres – and the host site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, opened for skiing over 60 years ago. Alpine Meadows opened in December, 1961 and quickly gained and maintained a reputation for its varied terrain, authentic friendliness, and family atmosphere. The combination of the two resorts promises to create a mountain experience like no other in California, with over 6,000 skiable acres of varied terrain spread across eight Sierra Nevada mountain peaks, which boasts some of North America’s highest average annual snowfall, last winter exceeding 800 inches. Located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, California, the two resorts are less than a ten minute drive from each other.
“Combining Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley will provide our guests something truly remarkable – a mountain experience unmatched in California, inclusive of expansive and family friendly terrain,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley. “In today’s economic environment, skiers and snowboarders are looking for more – more terrain and value. The all new Tahoe Super Pass and Tahoe Super Six which allow guests, with one pass, access to both of these incredible mountains provides unmatched value,” said Wirth. Wirth will take the helm as the president and CEO of the new combined entity of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
“As a long-time skier with a family dedicated to Tahoe, I’m excited to bring these two remarkable resorts together and we agree that a key element of success is maintaining each resort’s character,” said Todd Chapman, president and CEO of JMA Ventures (JMA), owner of Alpine Meadows. “While both resorts are unique, this partnership is a natural fit, as what unites our brands and the spirit of our mountains is our guests’ desire for exploration and adventure.”
The companies also announced an all new dual mountain season pass and six day card. The all new Tahoe Super Pass will be available starting at $439 for adults, with the unrestricted adult pass available for $799, providing unlimited skiing and riding at both resorts for winter 2011-12. Also, the all new Tahoe Super Six is available for $399 for adults and provides six unrestricted days of skiing and riding for the 2011-12 season. Both the Tahoe Super Pass and the Tahoe Super Six are immediately available for sale and additional information can be found at www.squaw.com or by contacting the Squaw Valley Resort & Activity Sales Department at 1-800-403-0206.
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows also offer significant added value for all of their existing passholders (Gold, Silver and Bronze passes at Squaw, and Unfiltered, Slightly Filtered and Filtered passes at Alpine Meadows) for winter 2011-12. All of these passes previously purchased at Squaw or Alpine for winter 2011-12 will become valid for skiing and riding at both mountain resorts. Respective day of week and date restrictions will apply for previously purchased season passes. Those who previously purchased both a Squaw and Alpine pass or who have other questions regarding their existing pass can call 1-800-403-0206 or visit www.squaw.com.
As part of the transaction, an investment affiliate of JMA Ventures (JMA), will convert its ownership of Alpine Meadows into partial ownership of the combined company. KSL Capital Partners, LLC (KSL), the owner of Squaw Valley, will be the majority owner of the combined company. Both owners have a deep commitment to the two resorts and to the Tahoe region. KSL, as part of its acquisition of Squaw Valley, has earmarked $50 million in capital improvements to Squaw Valley over the next three to five years, many of which will be apparent this winter. Customers can also anticipate that Alpine Meadows will see a substantial investment in the guest experience. The closing of the transaction is subject to US Forest Service and the California Tahoe Conservancy approval. JMA will continue to independently own and operate Homewood Mountain Resort.
Situated less than ten minutes from one another, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are ideally located in North Lake Tahoe, California, just off Interstate 80, 45 miles west of Reno, Nevada, and 200 miles northeast of San Francisco.
Auction of the first issued Tahoe Super Pass to Benefit the Humane Society of Tahoe Truckee
For fans of both Squaw and Alpine, being able to ski and ride both resorts on one pass is a dream come true – and someone will be lucky enough to purchase the very first combined season pass for the two resorts.
“The opportunity to have bragging rights to that first Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley combined pass, Tahoe Super Pass number 00001, will be coveted and its value should benefit a local cause important to our guests and our staff,” said Andy Wirth.
Squaw and Alpine will conduct an online auction on eBay for the first issued Tahoe Super Pass. All proceeds raised from auctioning this first pass will benefit the Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe, an organization important to the guests and team members of both resorts.
About Squaw Valley
Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is internationally renowned for its legendary terrain that spans over 3,600 skiable acres, six peaks and 30 lifts. From the expansive mountaintop beginner area to unrivaled expert steeps, trees and bowls, the resort offers terrain for all abilities. Off the mountain, families relax around the cozy village fire pits or stroll the pedestrian-friendly streets to enjoy a host of restaurants, boutiques, specialty wine shops and art galleries. This winter, guests can enjoy new dining experiences, a new day lodge, vastly improved facilities at the base and on mountain and a new snowsports school as part of the resort’s $50 million renaissance.
Click here to view the Squaw Valley Trail Map.
About Alpine Meadows
Ranked as a top winter resort by SKI Magazine, Alpine Meadows is known for its abundant and varied skiable terrain, family-friendly atmosphere, and innovative children’s ski and snowboard programs. Alpine’s seven powder bowls, summit-to-base groomed slopes, and authentic hospitality have long been the resort’s reputed attributes among the local community and visitors alike. Alpine Meadows offers skiers and riders access to more than 100 trails across 2,400 skiable acres serviced by 14 lifts. With its high annual snowfall, the resort boasts one of Tahoe’s longest skiing and boarding seasons, which this past season, along with Squaw Valley, ran through July 4th.