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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Lake Tahoe ski resorts start opening for the 2020 season amid coronavirus

Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Sierra-at-Tahoe are ready to welcome guests, though COVID-19 modifications will be in place, according to our sister station in Sac.

SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. — With the coronavirus pandemic, lots of things have looked different this year. But for most of the slopes in California's mountains, winter will look very much the same--thousands of tall green pine trees blanketed in snow. 

Now that snowfall has reached the Lake Tahoe peaks, several ski resorts are opening to visitors for the 2020 season. 

“The recent snow has gifted us with a winter playground,” Sierra-at-Tahoe general manager John Rice said in a press release. “Sierra is ready to welcome pass-holders back to their mountain home and give them the outdoor escape we have all been anxiously awaiting.”

Beginning Wednesday, the South Lake Tahoe ski and snowboard resort is open for early-season access to season pass and seasonal product holders.

Sierra-at-Tahoe is just one ski resort opening this week. Already open are Boreal, Northstar and Heavenly. Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley are opening one day earlier than planned on Tuesday thanks to November snowfall and the snowmaking teams, while Sugar Bowl opens on Thursday. Kirkwood, Diamond Peak and Homewood all open in the next few weeks.

For Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows resorts, ski tickets sold at the walk-up Ticket Window are not going to happen this year, so you will have to have a season pass in order to go straight to the lifts. 

Alpine Meadows will start the season by spinning Treeline Cirque open to the midstation and Roundhouse chairlift. These lifts will provide wide, intermediate runs and access to the Tiegel Terrain park with six to eight features. 

Squaw Valley will open with the Red Dog, Squaw Creek, Far East and Exhibition chairlifts, with access to a variety of intermediate terrain and views of Lake Tahoe. In the SnoVentures area, a magic carpet will access easy terrain for beginners. 

Lake Tahoe ski resorts will be making modifications due to the coronavirus. At all three of these locations, face coverings and social distancing will be in effect. It is recommended that people keep a ski length distance between them and other people. Sierra-at-Tahoe is closing indoor dining options. At Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley, food will be grab-and-go and must be eaten outdoors. A full list of what food places are open and when it is available on the resort blog

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