BUSINESS

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts to be connected by gondola

Proposed gondola would span about two miles between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts

The consolidation of ski operations in Lake Tahoe continues with news Monday that plans are underway to install a gondola to connect Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts.

The resorts, both owned by Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, reached an agreement with Troy Caldwell, the owner of the property between the base of the resorts, to build a gondola that will run about two miles.

No completion date has been announced for the gondola, but resort officials say they hope to submit a plan for the project to local and federal authorities by this summer. Skiers can already buy ski passes for the two resorts, such as a two-day pass for both mountains for $169.

"The base-to-base gondola will offer our guests the ability to easily explore and experience the unique attributes of these two mountains via a brand new aerial connection, while simultaneously reducing vehicle traffic between them." said Andy Wirth, president and chief executive of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings.

Details of the deal with Caldwell were not offered, but resort officials say they have been discussing a way to connect the two facilities for years.

The two resorts combined in 2011 under the parent company KSL Capital Partners LLC and the management company Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. It was part of a wave of consolidations in the ski industry in Lake Tahoe and the U.S.

Colorado-based Vail Resorts Inc., which operates Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, purchased Northstar California in 2010 and acquired nearby Kirkwood Mountain Resort in 2012.

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