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Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows ski resorts to merge as Tahoe weighs Olympics bid

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Squaw Valley USA, the iconic Lake Tahoe-area resort that has been home to some of the country’s top downhill skiers, is joining operations with neighboring Alpine Meadows in a deal announced Tuesday.

The merger comes as Tahoe resorts and business leaders are studying a bid for the Winter Olympics, perhaps for the next available Games in 2022. Squaw Valley President and Chief Executive Andy Wirth is part of that effort but said it’s too soon to tell whether the merger will help Lake Tahoe’s effort.

In the near term, he and other resort officials hope the merger will boost tourism and make the area more attractive to skiers from abroad and other states.

“For many decades, a great number of people in this area have seen the benefits of combining Alpine and Squaw Valley,” Wirth said. “This is something that benefits our guests and consumers.”

The merger is expected to be made final before the start of the coming ski season. The two resorts are between Truckee and Tahoe City on the lake’s north shore, about 45 miles west of Reno and 100 miles northeast of Sacramento.

They share a common ridgeline but are not connected by ski lifts. Squaw has about 4,000 acres of skiing terrain. Combined with Alpine Meadows, the two parks cover more than 6,000 skiing acres across eight mountain peaks, with a top elevation of about 9,000 feet.

Squaw is renowned among expert skiers for its steep chutes and long runs, most notably KT-22, which features the kind of runs found on the world’s World Cup and Olympic alpine courses. Julia Mancuso, who won two silver medals at the Vancouver Games, and Jonny Moseley, the 1988 Olympic gold medalist in moguls, have trained there. Olympian Tamara McKinney, who won a World Cup title in 1983, coaches at Squaw.

While lesser known, Alpine Meadows has its share of challenging steeps but is regarded as more laid back.

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