Water & Drought

Sierra at Tahoe ski resort closes due to lack of snow

Sierra at Tahoe, which long has boasted about its groomed runs, big-jump terrain parks and sophisticated snow-making equipment, said it just couldn’t keep up with the lack of natural snowfall.
Sierra at Tahoe, which long has boasted about its groomed runs, big-jump terrain parks and sophisticated snow-making equipment, said it just couldn’t keep up with the lack of natural snowfall. rbenton@sacbee.com

The Sierra at Tahoe Resort, annually a busy spot for skiers and snowboarders, announced Sunday that it is closing abruptly due to a lack of snow.

The popular ski area on Highway 50 in Twin Bridges, renowned for varied terrain with runs spanning multiple mountain faces, has had only one-third of its normal snowfall. General manager John Rice issued a statement saying the resort has decided, “with a heavy heart,” to suspend “winter operations” starting Monday.

“Conditions around the mountain have deteriorated to the point that we can no longer deliver a product that meets our standards,” Rice said in a statement. “Although temperatures remain high and the forecast lacks precipitation, we are fully committed to resuming operations if we receive an adequate amount of snow.”

Sierra at Tahoe’s suspension of skiing and snowboarding – perhaps for the season – follows the mid-February closure of Donner Ranch. The small independent resort on Donner Summit near Interstate 80 posted on its website: “Praying for snow since 1937 – We will reopen our slopes as soon as we can.”

Sierra at Tahoe, which long has boasted about its groomed runs, big-jump terrain parks and sophisticated snow-making equipment, said it just couldn’t keep up with the lack of natural snowfall.

“After exhausting all possible tools – even with snowmaking at every opportunity and strategic movement of snow, Mother Nature came up short,” Rice said.

The resort’s closure comes after a real estate trust that owns 16 ski areas, including Sierra at Tahoe and the Northstar California Resort in Placer County, recently announced that it is considering selling off resorts from Maine to California.

The Northstar resort remains open.

Call The Bee’s Peter Hecht, (916) 326-5539.

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