Bear Valley Development Update
Bear Valley Development Reaches Key Milestones
After long regulatory process, California ski area readies for expansion
Bear Valley, Calif., (January 23, 2013) – Bear Valley Resorts announced today that it has reached several key milestones in its master development plan, laying the groundwork for the realization of its long-planned renovation and expansion. Situated between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite on California’s scenic Highway 4, Bear Valley has long been known as one of the regions’ premiere mid-size resorts, family-friendly and situated in a breathtakingly beautiful valley.
The milestones include the resort village receiving final approval for its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Master Plan, as well as the completion and approval of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the ski area.
The ski area’s redevelopment and expansion planning began in 2005, when the ownership of the resort and the village was consolidated. At that point, ownership partners laid out a long-term master plan in several phases: the purchase of the resort and village properties; the permitting and entitlement phase; an investment cycle; and a development phase. After nearly seven years of painstaking regulatory and environmental work, the first two phases are now complete.
Greg Finch, the managing partner of Bear Valley Resorts, said, “After many years of very hard work, we have completed the entitlement phase and are now moving into the investment cycle. It is very exciting after all this time to be able to actually start thinking about what we can do, instead of working through regulatory issues. All the groundwork for a spectacular development has been laid –this will be one of the jewels of the Sierra.”
The partnership is now actively at work securing the capital needed to fund the planned expansion, which includes projects such as installing chairlifts; including a lift that would link the Village to the ski area, mountain top dining and a pedestrian village with retail, dining and plans for up to 350 residential units.
“I don’t see the future expansion as changing anything about the unique mountain village living experience that Bear Valley families now enjoy,” said Terry Woodrow, an Alpine County Supervisor. “In addition, it will introduce more families to the area and will help expand economic opportunities in our region. The community is pleased that the Bear Valley ownership group pursued this long regulatory process through to completion and we are looking forward to the future expansion and redevelopment.”
“We’re quite confident that we will secure funding for the expansion,” noted Finch. “Bear Valley represents one of the last great development opportunities in the Sierra. It is the closest multi-facet resort to many of the residents of the Bay Area, and will forever feel uncrowded and unspoiled. Completing all these entitlements is a huge accomplishment but it is just the start. Any meaningful next steps will require a great deal of capital and we want to build on our current momentum.
Finch also noted that he is seeing positive change in the local and national real estate market after several years of depressed pricing and sales. “While we are still some ways away from a total recovery, the movement is finally in the right direction.”
“Alpine county is one of those truly special places in the Sierra and among its greatest assets are two of the best ski resorts in California,” stated Michael Berry, long term CEO of Kirkwood and now President of the National Ski Area Association (NSAA). “I see Bear Valley Mountain as one those rare gems that with a caring group of investors can pursue a renovation and expansion plan that will create a truly unique destination….a place where families can gather and enjoy a spectacular mountain resort summer and winter,” he added.
About Bear Valley Mountain & Bear Valley Village
Bear Valley Mountain and Village is the premier family mountain sports and lodging destination in the Central Sierra. Conveniently located on National Scenic Byway Highway 4 in Northern California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range and surrounded by two of California’s largest federally designated wilderness areas, outdoor activities in Bear Valley are abundant. The ski and board area offers 1,680 acres of varied terrain, more than 70 trails, two terrain parks featuring more than 18 features, and 1,900 vertical feet. Bear Valley averages over 30 feet of annual snowfall per year. Bear Valley Village is home to a variety of services, shops, restaurants and a wide range of accommodations. Winters provide skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Hiking, fishing, cycling, rock climbing, kayaking, camping and a variety of cultural events make for a perfect summer of activities. More information is available at www.bearvalley.com.