Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have reached an agreement with Troy Caldwell to build a base-to-base gondola between the resorts.
The announcement today, from Jessica Weaver, JVP Communications, and Michael Radlick, Cinch PR, is welcome news to the skiers and riders who enjoy Squaw and Alpine Meadows. The practical impact of this agreement will allow guests to park at one resort, and ski at both without having to drive.
The gondola will span the area known as “White Wolf,” which is between the resorts and owned by Caldwell. Caldwell is quoted as saying “Connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows through White Wolf is literally bringing my long-time dream to fruition. I’ve waited years for this to happen, and am pleased to have reached an agreement with Squaw Valley Ski Holdings to allow skiers and riders to easily move between these two incredible mountains.”
The agreement does not allow for any skiing or riding in the White Wolf area. Caldwell and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings will work with the mountain planners at SE Group for the project. SE Group will design and construct the gondola. Ensuring that the natural beauty and environment that is the hallmark of Squaw and Alpine is maintained is a prominent consideration in the design and construction of the gondola. Currently there is the possibility that the gondola will be a high-speed detachable design, running over the famed KT-22 Peak at Squaw. The ride alone will be worth the price of a lift ticket.
The Granite Chief Wilderness is right next door, and the design will be such that any potential impacts to the Granite Chief Wilderness is kept to a minimum. Construction will begin after Placer County and the US Forest Service approve the plans. Minimal timber removal, minimal lift towers, and not building access roads are all part of the planning process. The application process has started.
Andy Wirth, CEO and President of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC, said that over the last 4 years the resorts have made many improvements to the guest experiences at the resorts. This addition is in concert with the resorts continuing drive to be offer outstanding guest experiences. Said Wirth, “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.”
Michael Gross, director of environmental initiatives for Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows said that they will exercise “…incredible care and concern for our environment, and with the intention of taking cars off the road, effectively reducing vehicle travel between the two mountains.” Shuttle service between the resorts should be reduced as a result of the base-to-base gondola. Reducing traffic in the area will be a plus as the roads can be a bit congested during peak ski season.