The highly-anticipated gondola that will connect Palisades Tahoe and Alpine Meadows is set to open in mid-December and the resort will celebrate with a grand opening celebration on December 17.
The brand-new base-to-base gondola is part of a $65 million investment from Alterra Mountain Company that will connect the two resorts. It will create the third-largest ski area in North America, covering 6,000 skiable acres, eight peaks, and over 270 trails.
The grand opening event will include music from Dillon Francis, a fireworks show, and complimentary tours of the two valleys from The North Face Mountain Guides. Here is a full schedule of events for theGrand Opening Celebration that will take place on Saturday, December 17, 2022 from 9 am until 6:30 pm across Palisades Tahoe:
- 9AM: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Toast, and Giveaways (Alpine & Palisades Base Areas)
- 10AM: 2-Hour Tours with The North Face® Mountain Guides (Alpine & Palisades Base Areas)
- 11AM: Pop-Up Music (Palisades – Gold Coast Snow Beach; Alpine – The Chalet Deck)
- 1PM: 2-Hour Tours with The North Face® Mountain Guides (Alpine & Palisades Base Areas)
- 1PM: Live Music and Happy Hour featuring Lizano (Alpine Lodge Deck)
- 3PM: Live Music & Happy Hour (KT Base Bar)
- 5PM: Headline Performance featuring Dillon Francis (KT Base Bar)
- 6:30PM: Fireworks Show (KT Base Bar)
The 16-minute gondola ride will take skiers and riders between the two base areas, The Village at Palisades Tahoe and Alpine Lodge, reducing road congestion in the region and making it easier to enjoy both mountains in a single day. It is the first gondola of its kind in North America, with four terminals connecting two base areas via a climb of nearly 2,000 vertical feet, offering panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada.
In 2011, the resort (then named Squaw Valley) purchased the nearby Alpine Meadows, stoking postulation about a possible merger of the resorts in the coming years. Now, as the project comes closer to reality, skiers will be able to trek from one resort to another in under 20 minutes.
The project was green lit following approval from the Tahoe National Forest, which 20 percent of the project will lie on. One obstacle in the plan has been the nearby Granite Chief Wilderness, which environmentalists expressed concerns over the ecological impact of the project. But after 2,400 pages of studies, the plan has been deemed the most environmentally friendly and furthest away from the wilderness area as possible.