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Snowstorm Greets Luxury Ski Resort Opening in Lake TahoeDecember 9, 2009 By: Kirk Cassels
The snow gods are looking favorably upon the brand new Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe as a major storm graced Lake Tahoe with two-threet feet of fresh snow in the last 48 hours, just before the resort opened its doors for the first time. The region's first five-star caliber ski resort celebrated its ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning after Northstar-at-Tahoe (where the propery is based at mid-mountain) received more than 30 inches of snowfall at the summit. With more snowcast forecast to fall, guests will have perfect conditions when visiting the luxury hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe is the first new-build resort development in the Lake Tahoe area in decades. The $300 million project will feature ski-in, ski-out access with mountain concierge services. Manzanita, the resort’s signature restaurant has been created by San Francisco’s James Beard award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins. The Highlands Spa is a 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center with treatments and therapies themed around water and the woods. The new Highlands Gondola connects guests between the nearby Village-at-Northstar and The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe resort. Perched slope-side within a 15 minute drive of both Lake Tahoe and the historic town of Truckee, the year-round destination includes 170 guest rooms, 23 private Ritz-Carlton Residences and 25 Ritz-Carlton Destination Club residences.
The hotel was designed as a series of linked pavilions tucked into the contour of the hillside with a grand octagonal lobby at the center. Great care was taken to protect the natural form of the landscape and to integrate the building seamlessly into its forest setting.
The Ritz-Carlton Highlands will be one of the first major five-star caliber mountain resorts to seek LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Beyond the pedestrian-friendly design of the site, some of the environmental features include underground parking instead of outdoor asphalt lots, the use of recycled steel, and the incorporation of energy efficient heating and cooling systems. The Highlands Gondola acts as public transportation connecting the resort to the Village-at-Northstar below.