“All of our energy is going toward getting all lifts and trails reopened this winter. It’s an aggressive goal, but we have the support of our employees and our landlord and the El Dorado Resource Conservation District to get the resort open.”– John Rice, General Manager of Sierra-at-Tahoe
One of the most interesting ski industry storylines to follow this summer is the efforts being made to fully reopen Sierra-At-Tahoe in California. The Caldor Fire last August destroyed 70% of the vegetation at the ski resort. According to the Tahoe Daily Tribune, the estimated amount of damage was in the range of tens of millions of dollars. Six of their ten lifts were damaged, and their maintenance building saw extensive burnage. The resort remained closed for most of the 2021-22 season in order to restore the landscape but briefly opened in April for a grand reopening weekend. This Spring and summer, restoration efforts will continue in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, with the goal of being fully open next season.
John Rice, General Manager of Sierra-at-Tahoe, gave the following answers regarding some of the most pressing questions about the ski resort’s future.
What Capital Improvements Will Be Happening Following the Fire?
“What can the future of Sierra-at-Tahoe look like given the new landscape? What new trails, lifts, buildings, or services can we look at now that the landscape is forever changed? It would include things like snowmaking, trail widening, and some new lifts. We’re no longer dealing with a pristine forest. We’ve got a burnt landscape, so how do we utilize the terrain and the natural resources to create a ski product that will be next level for people?”
What is Their Vegetation Management Plan To Help Save The Remaining Trees and Plants?
“Our goal is to save every possible tree that could survive this. They will remove those that can’t, chip all the limbs, and use that chipped wood as erosion control means. When revegetation happens, they will come in and talk about replanting and putting native plants back in place to stabilize the soil and allow for regrowth.”
Image Credits: Sierra-At-Tahoe