Following yet another dismal year of snowfall in Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Resort is focusing on increasing summer visitation through a new family adventure center. The U.S. Forest Service tentatively approved plans for the proposed Heavenly Mountain Resort Epic Discovery project. This expansive summer attraction includes a mountain bike park, mountain coasters, zip-lines, and sky bridges all focused on summer adventure, education and nature. Heavenly is owned by Vail Resorts, which announced similar plans last summer for Colorado's Vail Mountain in the form of a $25M Epic Discovery Adventure Center.
Heavenly hopes that the project will boost summer visitation by 45 percent to 160,000 people each season. Highlights include:
· The Sky Meadows Lookout Tower—a panoramic viewing balcony nestled in the trees.
· Tamarack Climbing Rock—a 30 feet tall climbing wall designed to closely replicate the form, color and texture of a large wall of local Sierra Nevada granite.
· Discovery Forest—A rope course and suspension bridge challenge course set 30-feet above the ground.
· The Forest Flyer—an elevated toboggan alpine slide ride.
· Ziplining—The elaborate course includes four, parallel 1,000-foot-long lines as well as a 3,300-foot-long Blue Streak advanced zipline which can reach speeds of up to 50 mph.
· EcoFlyer—A self-propelled cable bicycle suspended at treetop level taking riders high over the landscape.
The Sierra Club has expressed concerns about the potential congestion the expansion could cause in the Tahoe Basin. The proposal is still pending USFS final approval as well as approval from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board before construction begins.
· Epic Discovery Heavenly [Official Site]
· Heavenly one step closer to adding summer attractions [Reno Gazette-Journal]
· Vail To Get Huge $25M Mountain Adventure Theme Park [Curbed Ski]
· What It Means To Ski in a Vail-Dominated World [Curbed Ski]
· NYT Writes Incredibly Depressing Article on California Drought [Curbed Ski]