Ski Resorts Are Showing Off Improved Facilities, Services February 03, 1997 Share 1 -- Reed Travel Features LAKE TAHOE, Nev. -- With the abundance of snow in the Sierra Nevadas, adventurous clients bound for the Reno-Tahoe area can take advantage of some of the finest outdoor recreation activities in the West.This year, a number of North Lake Tahoe ski resorts are showcasing new and improved offerings for outdoor sports enthusiasts visiting the Sierra Nevada mountains.On the Nevada side of North Lake Tahoe, Diamond Peak completed two major capital improvements for this season.The property installed a new chairlift, which replaces a 30-year-old double chair.The chairlift will service existing beginner and advanced terrain.Diamond Peak also installed its third Launch Pad conveyor-loading system at the base of the new Lodgepole Quad Chair. The Doppelmayr system, which allows for easy chairlift loading, is the only one of its kind in the U.S.Other improvements at Diamond Peak include a newly renovated ski rental and repair shop, two new shuttle buses, a new grooming vehicle and additional snowmaking equipment.At Mount Rose, also on the Nevada side of North Lake Tahoe, enhancements include new snowmaking equipment and improvements to its food service facility to augment customer service and provide a larger menu selection.Other improvements include additional rental equipment and upgrades to the Pony Express kids-only terrain garden.Mount Rose also has plans to implement a new North Lake Tahoe shuttle service.North Lake Tahoe ski resorts on the California side also are showcasing improved facilities and services this season.Alpine Meadows has turned an eye toward the snowboard market. The resort, which opened its mountain to snowboarders this season, features a K2 Snowboard Center complete with a full line of lesson plans.The property also has a new six-passenger, high-speed chairlift that can carry 2,400 skiers and snowboarders per hour from base to summit.At Northstar-at-Tahoe, intermediate-level and above skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of free lessons, which run every hour from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the week and every half hour from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the weekends and holidays.The lessons are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.The resort also is offering parents a free one-hour clinic designed to show them how to get the most out of skiing with their children.Other new offerings at Northstar include an overnight ski and snowboard storage area, a paved overflow parking area, enhanced terrain runs and a new half-pipe for snowboarders.The property also created a young adult category for lift ticket prices.Skiers ages 13 to 22 can purchase a ticket for $37 per person, and children ages 5 to 12 pay $10 per person.This summer, Northstar is expected to complete the Brookside building, which will house a state-of-the-art rental shop, 20 lodging units, retail space and a first-aid station.Enhancements at Royal Gorge include a new warming hut offering free hot chocolate and tea. With the addition, the cross-country ski resort now has 10 huts.The resort also added a sleigh to its fleet, which takes Wilderness Lodge guests deep into the trail system.In celebration of its silver anniversary this year, Royal Gorge is offering an event or clinic each weekend and lift ticket promotions on Tuesdays.At Ski Homewood, new grooming machines have enabled the property to enhance and perfect the runs at the resort as well as finish a train park for snowboarders.Squaw Valley USA installed a new lighting system last summer, which enables freestyle skiers and snowboarders to stay on the slopes until 9 p.m. daily.Other improvements include a new fixed quad chairlift, which replaced the Exhibition and Searchlight chairlifts.The new lift services the beginner/intermediate Exhibition terrain as well as a new beginner run.With improved lift capabilities, Squaw Valley USA guarantees "no waiting in line."Sugar Bowl has enhanced its offerings significantly as a result of its five-year, $24 million expansion program.New offerings under the program include a high-speed quad chairlift that climbs to Mount Judah at an elevation of 8,200 feet in four minutes.The resort also opened 400 acres of new intermediate terrain, with 10 runs and access to the Mount Judah Bowl.Additionally, the resort is equipped with more snowmaking machinery, which will cover 35 more acres of terrain.Other elements of the expansion that already have been completed include the addition of 400 parking places at the base of Mount Judah.Scheduled for completion this summer under Sugar Bowl's expansion plan is phase one of the new Mount Judah Day Lodge.The first phase includes 16,000 square feet of food and beverage facilities, rental areas, retail outlets and ticket operations.For more information on North Lake Tahoe's offerings, agents can call the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association at (800) 824-6348.