81 days until first chair! The countdown is on and there is a lot to get excited about this season at Heavenly. Here’s a quick rundown of new and improved things on and around the mountain.
As if tracking your vert and tagging Facebook friends in photos didn’t make EpicMix addictive enough, Vail Resorts introduced EpicMix Racing for this season. This new feature takes the on-mountain results of ski racing, compares it to the performance of America’s most successful ski racer of all time, Lindsey Vonn, and then enables it to be shared on social media.
What was formerly Gunbarrel Grill inside Lakeview Lodge will be tranformed into a sports bar with a large selection of well-priced microbrews. The sports bar will offer table service and feature made-to-order gourmet burgers. More details to come!
With Heavenly’s renewed dedication to its parks, Heavenly will work with SPT to bring back the halfpipe. After a three-year hiatus, an 18-foot, competition-quality pipe will be built on High Roller. Lake Tahoe will be an ideal backdrop for this 500-foot-long pipe with a 56-foot-wide transition. You won’t ever see me on it, but as you ride up Canyon Express, be sure to watch out for the pros throwing out killer tricks.
Also new this year, Heavenly will open another kid’s adventure zone on its California side to go along with last season’s Black Bear Hollow at the top of the Gondola. More details on this are to come, but look for it near Powderbowl.
The days of 70s Hot Dogging returns to the famous moguls of Gunbarrel. From March 29-31, 2013, Heavenly will host the U.S. Freestyle Championships, building on a long-standing tradition of freestyle skiing and competition. Heavenly’s own Sho Kashima, a U.S. Ski Team athlete, will join the most accomplished freestyle skiers to showcase their talents, as they prepare for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. This will be the rockin’-est competition of the season, highlighted by fireworks and a live concert.
This season, the best of the best in snowsport education will share their knowledge in exclusive clinics at Heavenly. Members of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) National Demo Teams, basically, the instructors that train the instructors, will work with skiers and snowboarders in an all-mountain clinic that will feature video analysis, high-end riding and off-piste tactics, and address personal goals. The Peak Performance Academy is being offered as two three-day clinics (Jan. 25-27 and Feb. 8-10) and one five-day clinic (March 4-8).
The drive to South Shore from the Reno International Airport has been cut by at least 10 minutes, thanks to the opening of the new I-580 freeway. I personally made it from the Reno airport to Heavenly today in just under an hour. The six-lane, 65-mile-per-hour freeway is safer, more convenient and faster, bypassing Pleasant Valley and Washoe City. The 8.5-mile divided freeway features new anti-icing technology on all nine bridges.
Don’t Pass this up:
You’ve heard it before, but the Tahoe Local Pass is new for 2012-13 and is the best deal out there. Seven days a week at Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood for only $419. Four days of skiing this season and the pass has paid for itself.
I’m looking forward to an exciting season! What are you most excited for?