Family-Friendly Bear Valley Mountain Resort Kicks Off Ski Season With Nearly $1 Million in Upgraded Facilities and Attractive Pricing

New Ownership Fuels Excitement in 'the New Bear Valley,'

Increasing Season Pass Holders by 50 Percent

Nov 29, 2005, 00:00 ET from Bear Valley Mountain Resort

    BEAR VALLEY, Calif., Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Winter sports enthusiasts who
 are weary of the crowds and the hassle of driving to Lake Tahoe will be
 pleasantly surprised if they decide to visit Bear Valley Mountain Resort this
 winter. One of California's premiere winter destinations, Bear Valley is
 completing the first phase of a three-phase facilities upgrade that will
 enhance and expand the resort's facilities and nearby lodging. The reputation
 of the new Bear Valley investors, coupled with the current and planned
 upgrades and new programs and services, have stirred up growing interest in
 the resort, resulting in a 50 percent increase in season ticket sales. Bear
 Valley is situated on scenic, all-weather U.S. Highway 4 between Lake Tahoe
 and Yosemite on the Alpine-Calaveras County line.
     Under new ownership that includes well-known South Bay developer Chuck
 Toeniskoetter; Dundee Realty USA LLC, which in 1997 transformed the Arapahoe
 Basin on Colorado's famed Ski the Summit ski area; and venture capitalists
 Kevin Compton and Doug Mackenzie, the newly renovated resort is expected to
 open to the public in early December 2005.
     "Bear Valley is one of the Sierra's treasures," said Toeniskoetter, who
 has owned property in the area for the past 20 years. "With an abundance of
 natural beauty and slopes that world-class skiers have acclaimed, Bear Valley
 is an ideal destination for a variety of guests, from families with children
 to winter sports enthusiasts who enjoy challenging terrain."
     "One of the greatest attractions of Bear Valley is its proximity to the
 Bay Area and Silicon Valley," said Jim Gentling, general manager, Bear Valley
 Mountain Resort. "It offers a skiing experience that is comparable to the Lake
 Tahoe area, but without the traffic headaches that often accompany driving up
 to Tahoe. Our goal is to improve and expand the existing facilities so that
 more visitors can enjoy the pristine atmosphere of this beautiful area and
 some of the country's best skiing and snowboarding."
     Highway 4 was recently inducted into the U.S. Department of
 Transportation, Federal Highway Administration's National Scenic Byways
 Program, which recognizes, preserves and enhances selected roads throughout
 the United States.
     Better Snow Grooming, Easier Transportation, Cozy Interior
     Some of the recent upgrades that guest can enjoy this season include:
     -- Increased slope grooming -- As any powder hound will attest, grooming
 makes all the difference in the skiing experience. Bear Valley has added two
 new Snow Cats, which will run nightly and increase the resort's grooming
 capacity by about 30 percent.
     -- Improved transportation -- The resort has increased its bus fleet size
 by 66 percent, making traveling to and from the resort and Bear Valley village
     -- Cozy cafe -- Redesigned by Whitehavens Design of Capitola, the Cub Cafe
 features a warm, inviting dining/lounge area with comfortable furniture,
 gourmet coffees, and Wi-Fi Internet access for those who want to remain
     -- Enhanced guest services -- The redesigned Winter Lift retail shop and
 Guest Services center offer a warm inviting atmosphere, increased
 accessibility, visibility, and a new floor plan that allows for increased
 space for skis, boards, snow sports apparel and accessories.
     -- Monte Wolf Mug Club -- The Monte Wolf Saloon offers a new membership
 for beer lovers. Mug Club members can enjoy their brew in personalized mugs,
 plus an extra two ounces for $1 less.
     A Range of Runs for All Skill Levels
     Perhaps one of the best features about Bear Valley is the variety of ski
 runs it has to offer. With 67 trails, including double Black Diamond slopes
 and an abundance of intermediate runs, skiers from novices to experts can all
 enjoy the level of challenge that is best suited for them. Bear Valley boasts
 challenging terrain that has attracted some of the world's top skiers like
 Glen Plake -- well-known for his commitment to this sport.
     The area has produced some of the best ski athletes in the country, such
 as former Olympian Kyle Rasmussen. Skiers Mike Schimke (Winter X Gamer and
 Paul Mitchell American Freeskier Tour) and Tyler Skivington (Paul Mitchell
 American Freeskier Tour skier) honed their skills on Bear Valley's mountain.
 In addition, Safelight Rails, the mountain's official rail supplier, developed
 its products at Bear Valley. And as the first California resort with a
 half-pipe in 1989, Bear Valley is a pioneer in freestyle skiing and
     Focus on Family Fun
     Bear Valley Mountain Resort offers a variety of programs and services to
 make skiing and snowboarding a user-friendly experience for the whole family:
     -- One-stop shopping -- At the Children's Center, families can purchase
 lift tickets and rental equipment for both adults and children, register for
 instruction, and enroll the kids in a childcare program.
     -- Childcare -- Bear Valley offers childcare, seven days a week, for kids
 who are two to 10 years of age.
     -- Interchangeable lift tickets for parents -- Bear Valley is one of the
 first California resorts to offer interchangeable lift tickets for those with
 infants, so parents can take turns on the slopes while still attending to
 their baby's needs.
     -- Easy registration and reservations -- Visitors can request reservations
 and pre-register for lesson packages at for faster
 processing at the resort.
     -- Friendly and entertaining instructors -- At Bear Valley the instructors
 understand the importance of ensuring skiers enjoy the experience. Group and
 private lessons are available, as well as adaptive packages for those with
 disabilities. For the particularly adventurous, Bear Valley offers snowboard
 instruction for the "over 40 crowd," as well as an avalanche seminar and
 lift-accessed backcountry class.
     -- Convenient children's lessons -- Children's lessons are offered three
 times daily, allowing more kids to receive lessons. And children as young as
 four can take individual or group lessons.
     -- Terrain park lessons -- Even beginners can ride the rails. Terrain park
 instruction is offered for beginners or for those who just want to improve
 their rail-riding skills.
     -- Picture perfect -- Bear Valley photographers are located around the
 mountain in such places as terrain parks, kids lessons and the mountain top,
 to capture memorable experiences for skiers and snowboarders as they ride,
 slide or glide down the mountain. A photo retail center is located next to the
 main dining room.
     For more information, phone Bear Valley Mountain Resort at 209-753-2301 or

SOURCE Bear Valley Mountain Resort