Heavenly's Master Plan Approved by Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Apr 30, 2007, 01:00 ET from Vail Resorts

    LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev., April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- On
 Wednesday, April 25, 2007, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's Governing
 Board unanimously approved Heavenly Mountain Resort's 2006 Master Plan
 Amendment, charting the course for Heavenly as a premiere mountain
 destination for the next 10 years, and putting Heavenly at the forefront of
 environmental stewardship within the snowsports industry.
     "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. "This plan solidifies our
 position as the premiere snowsports destination at Lake Tahoe. We're
 extremely excited about the next 10 years. The TRPA and Forest Service
 staffs are to be complimented for their dedication and outstanding work on
 the Master Plan."
     Phase I projects approved under the plan include: Replacement of the
 existing North Bowl and Olympic fixed-grip chair lifts with high-speed,
 detachable lift technology; a 1,000-seat on-mountain restaurant with
 incredible views of Lake Tahoe called Powderbowl Lodge; 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.
     The Master Plan Amendment also includes significant environmental
 enhancements. The plan calls for the replacement of the North Bowl and
 Olympic chair lifts in a way that will avoid a nearby stand of large trees.
 The new chairs will access North Bowl Woods, which will provide a unique
 skiing experience within a grove of beautiful, giant red fir trees. It also
 calls for the removal of Sky Deck from a wetland area associated with
 Heavenly Valley Creek and the restoration of the meadow in which the deck
 currently sits. The plan also contains the most comprehensive environmental
 mitigation and monitoring program in the Tahoe Basin.
     "With this Master Plan, 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. Heavenly is a terrific destination for skiers and
 riders who want to help 'Keep Tahoe Blue'."
     "The Sierra Club is delighted that Heavenly Mountain Resort has joined
 the ranks of the most environmentally-friendly ski resorts," said
 Tahoe-Area Sierra Club president Michael Donahoe, echoing the League's
 comments. "Many of our local members are long-time Heavenly skiers and
 boarders and are excited about continuing that tradition."
     The results of Heavenly's past environmental programs are positive:
 watershed condition and water quality in each of the watersheds draining
 Heavenly have been improved through a systematic restoration and
 re-vegetation program. At the Boulder and California Main Lodge base areas,
 state-of-the-art water quality Best Management Practices (BMPs) have been
 installed to further reduce pollutants. Nearly 30 acres of disturbed stream
 environment zones have been restored. Since 2003, Heavenly has been
 attaining its Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) targets for suspended
 sediment in Heavenly Valley Creek. This is the first use of the TMDL in the
 Tahoe Basin, and is seen as the future for watershed management at Lake
     The final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/EIR/EIR) was endorsed
 unanimously by the Governing Board as a sound technical and scientific
 document which found that no significant environmental effects would result
 from the implementation of the proposed projects or alternatives. The
 EIS/EIS/EIR is a joint document, developed in conjunction with and meeting
 the requirements of the USDA Forest Service, TRPA and El Dorado County,
     "The document and the whole process were created in an atmosphere of
 collaboration," said Andrew Strain, Heavenly's vice president of planning
 and governmental affairs. "The final plan included input from multiple
 government agencies, environmental groups and the public, as well as over
 three years of scientific research, monitoring and modeling. The Master
 Plan is the result of an open, thorough and transparent process."
     About Heavenly
     Heavenly Mountain Resort is a world-class destination offering guests a
 one-of-a-kind combination of scenic beauty and exhilarating on-snow
 experience. Heavenly is a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc., the leading
 mountain resort operator in the United States. In addition to Heavenly,
 Vail Resorts, Inc. owns and operates the Colorado mountain resorts of Vail,
 Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company
 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company also holds a majority interest in
 Rockresorts, a luxury resort hotel company with 11 distinctive properties
 across the United States. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real
 estate planning, development, construction, retail leasing and management
 subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company
 traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:   MTN). The Vail Resorts company
 website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.
     For more information on Heavenly, please visit www.skiheavenly.com or
 call 1-800-HEAVENLY.

SOURCE Vail Resorts