$50 million resort upgrade planned at Squaw Valley

RENO -- The Lake Tahoe-area ski resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics is planning a $50 million upgrade.

Squaw Valley USA is taking proposals to improve its mountain from Vancouver, Canada-based Ecosign Mountain Planners Ltd., International Alpine Design of Avon, Colo., and the Salt Lake City-based SE Group.

Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth said a company will be selected on Feb. 1, and improvements made over five years, including making the resort more friendly to beginner and intermediate skiers.

"We want to significantly broaden the appeal to the family destination skier," Wirth said. "Right now, we do it very well, but we want to shoot for excellence."

He said changes could include new or relocated ski lifts, regraded ski runs and new restaurants.

KSL Capital Partners, the investment firm which owns the resort, is also exploring options for real estate development near the resort's base. Four companies are competing to lead that effort, with a selection expected in February.

Bob Roberts of the California Ski Industry Association said KSL's experience managing resorts such as Vail Mountain Lodge in Colorado and San Diego's Hotel Del Coronado will make Squaw Valley a more prominent destination resort.


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