Northstar at Tahoe

Northstar at TahoeVail Resorts announced Monday that it closed on the acquisition of Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Resort for total consideration of $63 million. Vail Resorts is a leading mountain ski resort company with Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone in Colorado as well as Heavenly, and now Northstar, in Lake Tahoe.

The company hopes the addition of Vail Resorts will further enhance the transformation of Northstar and North Lake Tahoe into a true world-class destination.

“We have always had high expectations for the long-term real estate opportunities in Tahoe, and feel those prospects became even brighter today,” said Blake Riva, managing partner of Tahoe Mountain Resorts and East West Partners, Tahoe. “East West Partners has been fortunate to have a great, long-term relationship with Vail Resorts in Colorado, and we look forward to partnering with them in Lake Tahoe.”

The combination of East West Partners, Vail Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt results in a well-recognized collection of brands.

“We are thrilled by the opportunity to bring Northstar-at-Tahoe into our family of world-class mountain resorts. With substantial and diverse ski terrain, a completed renovated and modern base village and outstanding guest service, Northstar-at-Tahoe has been one of the fastest growing mountain resorts over the past few years,” said Rob Katz, Vail Resorts Chairman and CEO in a statement.

The operations of Northstar-at-Tahoe are conducted on land owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties. Inc. which wiH be leased to Vail Resorts under a long-term agreement. Vail Resorts now operates two mountain resorts in the Lake Tahoe region, also operating Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe. The Sierra-at-Tahoe resort is not part of the acquisition and will continue to be operated by Booth Creek.

Northstar is host to a new base area village featuring 35 unique shops and restaurants in more than 100,000 square feet of commercial retail space, a conference center, a 9,000-square-foot skating rink, onsite lodging, special events and more. A winter sports paradise, the mountain offers 19 lifts, 92 ski trails spread across 3,000 acres, snowmaking that covers 50 percent of the ski trails, seven terrain parks and snow sports including alpine and telemark skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tubing. Summer activities include mountain biking, golfing, scenic lift rides for sightseeing and hiking, fly-fishing and more.

During the 2009-2010 ski season, Northstar-at-Tahoe saw more than 700,000 skier visits.

Last winter season, The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe was unveiled at mid-mountain featuring ski-in, ski-out access; mountain valet services; Manzanita, the resort’s signature restaurant created by renowned San Francisco celebrity chef Traci Des Jardins; and a 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center. The year round resort property includes 170 guest rooms, 23 private Ritz-Carlton Residences and 25 Ritz-Carlton Club fractional ownership units. The resort installed and operates the new Highlands Gondola with eight passenger cabins, providing a direct connection between the Village at NorthstarTM and The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe. Northstar also expanded and redesigned its beginner teaching area to include more of the sculpted Smart Terrain that the resort has successfully demonstrated helps to improve the learning curve for beginner skiers and snowboarders.

Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.