Northstar closed to MB this year
Be advised that Northstar will NOT be running mountain biking this summer due to the contruction that's going on around the mountain. This should be fairly reliable given that I work there in the winter and it was announced at all departmental meetings today.
Thanks for the info. I thought it might be coming after I saw this hugh jass article in the SF Chron:
Downhill goes upscale
Northstar plans a mid-mountain, five-star hotel
Kathryn Reed, Special to The Chronicle
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Truckee -- Ski-in, ski-out lodging at Lake Tahoe is about to move to the very high end. A five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel is scheduled to open mid-mountain at Northstar-at-Tahoe in 2009.
Construction will begin this summer on the $300 million project, which will include a 172-room hotel, 75 full-ownership residences, 77 fractional-ownership residences, several pools and restaurants, a spa, and 11,000 square feet of meeting space.
When the Ritz is finished, work will begin on 1,450 luxury condos that will surround the hotel.
Workers will don snowshoes to survey the 20-acre site in April to flag the initial trees to be removed. How much lumber will be hauled off the mountain is unknown, although developer East West Partners is going after a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certificate from the U.S. Green Building Council -- just like it did for much of the village at Northstar that opened this ski season.
Recycled rubber will be used for the roof. Wood and rock from the surrounding area will be incorporated into the design. The only wood-burning fireplaces will be in public areas, with each hotel room having a gas fireplace.
"The exterior is driven by the look of Lake Tahoe," said Tom Dunlap, project manager with East West Partners. Renderings portray it to be more grand than the Marriott complex in South Lake Tahoe, not quite as regal as the Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park and a bit less ostentatious than the Ritz-Carlton in the Rockies.
Even though some people are taken aback when learning about the mega-complex being built above the village, the Highlands area has been marked for this type of development since the 1970s. It was about five years ago that East West and Ritz-Carlton officials begin negotiations, with the current agreement having taken shape in the last couple of years.
"I think this will probably have an equal wow factor that we have found with Bachelor Gulch," Vivian Deuschl, spokeswoman for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., said in comparing the Northstar project to the company's 4-year-old Beaver Creek, Colo., complex.
What room rates will be or a private residence might cost remains to be seen.
"It's fair to say the private residences will be at the very high end because of the nature of the project itself," Deuschl said.
She said Ritz-Carlton has been successful with its California properties, notably in San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, so the company felt the timing was right to expand into ski country. Plus, the four-season appeal of the Tahoe area swayed the Ritz decision-makers.
Sharilyn Nelson, a resident of Truckee, says the addition to the neighborhood will be positive.
"They are focusing on Northstar as a destination resort, so I don't think the impact would really be felt by residents because they would be contained at the Northstar complex," Nelson said. "It's a real shot in the arm for the economy ... and more jobs."
Dunlap, with East West Partners, predicts about 700 people will be involved in the building of the hotel during the course of more than three years. The hotel is apt to employ 300 to 400 people, a mix of part-time, full-time and seasonal employees.
What the economic impact on the region might be is not being forecast. But those workers will have a place to live. Part of the deal includes employee housing to be built incrementally. The first 97 apartments open in autumn. At build-out there will be 300 units, all kept at a price workers can afford, according to Dunlap.
East West has a contract with Booth Creek Ski Holdings of Vail, Colo., the owners of Northstar, to build 1,800 residential units on the property, which is a few miles off Interstate 80.
The first 350 units are in the $250 million village complex that includes 100,000 square feet of commercial space. The average price of the sold-out Phase One was $1.4 million. The remaining 1,450 units will be in the Highlands area, surrounding the Ritz.
Parking for all Highlands properties will be underground. A new road will be built. Two bridges across tributaries to Martis Creek are part of the environmental considerations.
Anyone will be able to get to the Ritz via a gondola, which is likely to be a six-seater. It will whisk riders 3,300 feet uphill from the village to the hotel in eight minutes. The hotel entry will be 25 feet from the gondola.
Skiers staying at the Ritz will be able to schuss onto the slopes at mid-mountain, where a day lodge and multiple lifts are. Or they can ski to the base village.
Soshana Riss of Novato, who has had a season pass at Northstar for two years, is not excited by the project because of the perceived impact it will have on the mountain.
"I feel having this enormous place at mid-mountain, that is crowded enough already, may increase congestion. Parking at the lower mountain is a nightmare. If you don't get there at 8 a.m., you have to hike," Riss said. "A Ritz-Carlton in the middle of the mountain takes away the family feel."
Sally Boice, who has been a part-owner of a house at Northstar since 1985, is also concerned about the additional people on the slopes and about losing the family atmosphere.
"It's going to transform it into a very exclusive, high-end resort that I'm not terribly comfortable with," the Chico resident said. "I like things on a lower-key level. It's going to alter things for the families that it serves. When we first started skiing there, they limited how many tickets they would sell for the day. They stopped that a long time ago. I guess it's only going to get worse as it goes into this new phase."
Northstar officials said that with upgrading slower chairlifts and adding others, the resort will be able to accommodate the additional skiers and snowboarders. Two lifts are being reconfigured for the 2006-07 season and a new one will be installed, with three others awaiting permit approval.
Northstar would not say how many skiers visit on a given day, but the mountain can accommodate 8,000 to 9,000 skiers when the parking lots are full, according to Northstar spokeswoman Nicole Belt. She also said new trails are being developed and others widened.
What about the Thursday XC Racing?
Will the Thurs. night races still go on?
I doubt there will be anything but I can always check. Given that the guys in the bike shop will not likely be around, and the lifts will be shut down, I'd say its unlikely that there'll be anything MB going on there this summer.
The MB operations were cancelled due ostensibly to the contruction conflicts, so it's still a safe bet that it'll be back the next season if the hotel is completed. The biking has been a big draw for summer operations there. If you think that a Ritz-Carlton and the downhill bike crowd wouldn't mix, think again. You'd be surprised at who comes through that place with a snowboard strapped to their back. So there is hope for following seasons.
Anybody for some Grey Poupon on their Cliff Bar?
I guess I should add that the length of the impact is most likely going to be tied to how well they develope the "back way in" this summer for construction materials and crews, rather than the actual length of the construction. We can hope anyway. . .
Is this a joke?
Seriously, I could see this happening. So is it a joke or not?
If its true I'm pissed. Northstar better give me $200 for the season pass I won and give everyone $50 who had a season pass last year.
Dude if this is a joke then Northstar better run and hide cause I'll take more than $200 out of them - it was announced at our weekly department meetings this morning and we were fielding questions from winter guests about it all day. The woman I work for is married to the guy who ran the bike shop for the last several years - I think she would know. I hear the guys in the bike shop, many of whom work in Snowell during the winter are not happy.
If you have doubts - call them. I would, except I'll be there tomorrow morning anyway. We all thought it was an April Fools joke at first, but it would be one hell of a stupid joke to tell your Season Pass staff and have them telling the guests. Misinformation is taken very seriously there - they really do want people to be happy. Unfortunately, all it would take is one biker running face first into a D5 Catapillar at 40 mph to wipe the smile off a lot of peoples faces.
I just guessed since it was April Fools, but I guess its not a joke.
So it is true.
Sounds like I will get about $200 richer. What do they do about all the people who had season passes last year and got the $50 vouchers for this year? Do they all now get $50 cash?
Thanks for the info
Cal State Series Race
So Team Big Bear is promoting the Sept 9th Cal State Series races at NorthStar -- are these also going to be a casualty of the construction ?
Man, I had a date with the crew at SWD Racing for opening day. The were going to loan me a DH rig and I was going to be shown around.
Looks like they are trying to make Northstar (Flatstar) another Deer Valley. High priced lift tickets, vallets to park your car, $7 beers, over priced accomadations, and one big, groomed, intermediate ski area. No thanks. Much better skiing just down the road.
Oh great.......now the mountain bikers themselves are believing this bullsh1t.
That mountain runs groomers during the day surrounded by people involved in a sport that occurs at over twice the speeds of anyone on a dh bike. Plus they build a kickas$ terrain park and have noggin eating trees that have in fact killed several people over the last few years.
Tell your employers they're deluded. You don't need to be as well.
Oh Yeah....Umm.... Ok... I was wrong and spiteful.You should all go to Northstar next winter. From what I've heard, it has the best overall terrain in Tahoe. Plus, all the cool people are there. You will experience small crowds, zero lift lines, superb parking, and best of all, no traffic getting there. In my reference to "better skiing down the road", I meant areas such as Diamond Peak, Homewood, Granlibakken, Tahoe Donner, Boreal, Donner Ski Ranch,etc, were very close in stature to Northstar. IMHO, Northstar is THE destination resort on the west coast. Just my 2 cents of course.
That's just what I keep thinking.
Northstar needs MORE people there in the winter. I will say this. It is certainly the most dangerous mountain in tahoe on winter weekends.
Well in my mind Northstar has sold out and this is the last year i'll have a winter season pass there (i've had one for 5 yrs now). I MTB'd there for the first time last year and was hoping to get up at least a couple of times this summer. Oh well, more time for D'ville I guess. Too bad.
April fools freaks. I just called n* and they will be open.
Well just who did you talk with ? I just called as well and they are un-sure they will open due to construction.
Originally Posted by ender
I think Ender called the Janitorial hot line...;)
Sure, the Ropes course will be open.
I talked to the operator but, she was loaded with construction info. Someone else on Ridemonkey called and talked to someone else who was unsure about it being open for summer or not.
Originally Posted by Acadian
You would think managment would know by now if they would be open or not. I'm going to be really depressed if they don't open. :(
from a thread on RM...
I emailed the general managers office this morning and this is the response they sent me back:
Unfortunately, we have decided not to open the bike park for this summer
only. There are far too many projects on the mountain to ensure a safe and
enjoyable experience. We will be back in 2007 with new trails.
Terri Viehmann & Suellen McGeorge, Executive Assistant
Ph: 530.562.2235 Fx: 530.562.2264
man, this seriously sucks. At least there is still downieville. Looks like I'm going to take 2 trips to Whistler.
Originally Posted by Acadian