History

A Little Bit About Us

There is quite a story behind Sierra-at-Tahoe® Resort and with each new season the story gets better and better.  SierraTM Resort has been providing fantastic skiing and riding for people right here in our backyard and many whom travel from faraway. In addition to providing great skiing and riding, Sierra Resort is committed to our environment, because we know that its health is key to our success. We appreciate our sponsors and partnerships allowing us to provide a superior snowsporting experience for our guests.

 

A Little More About Us

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort was the brainchild of a long-time Tahoe local, Vern Sprock. Sprock dreamed of opening a ski operation for many years and was finally successful in 1946 when he cranked up the bullwheel at what was then known as Sierra Ski Ranch. The Sprock family was successful in operating the resort until 1993 when the resort was sold to Fibreboard.

The “Ranch,” as it was then known to skiers all over the area, was located further down Highway 50.  The ski resort was moved to its present location in 1968, when the California Department of Transportation began widening Highway 50.

Over time, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort has grown to be one of Lake Tahoe’s largest ski resorts with over 2,000 skiable acres, serviced by ten chairlifts, including three express quads. In July 1993 new owner Fibreboard brought many changes to Sierra Ski Ranch including the new name – Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort.  Fibreboard also brought several innovative programs and guest focused services to Sierra Resort. 

Booth Creek Ski Holdings' purchase of the resort in 1996 continued to fuel additional industry firsts for Sierra Resort.  Sierra Resort has a long reputation of legendary terrain, excellent location and great value. Sierra Resort’s strategy of being “Lake Tahoe’s Full Service, Value Oriented Day Use Snowsports Resort,” is continually emphasized by providing great service, great value, big fun and a commitment to innovation. Sierra Resort strives to provide the level of service that our guests go home talking about and come back expecting.

 

Here's a timeline of Sierra Resort's history:

1859-1878: Tahoe is clear-cut to supply lumber to support the nearby Comstock Lode  silver mines. The loggers leave behind all the Red Fir trees because they make poor lumber but their logging activities create a paradise of old growth tree skiing at Sierra Resort.

1946: Tahoe local Vern Sprock’s dream to operate a ski resort on Echo summit, one of the snowiest places on earth, becomes a reality. Known as Sierra Ski Ranch, the resort offers a small baselodge, a tow rope and a Poma lift. It was down Highway 50 about a mile.

1968: California's Division of Highways decides to relocate highway 50 to the north side of the American River and works with Sprock to relocate Sierra Ski Ranch. After an estimated $1 million in construction, Sierra Ski Ranch re-opens on December 21, 1968 with a new baselodge and a single chairlift, Nob Hill. The Nob Hill chair is still running to this day. The Sprocks also bring over the rope tow and Poma lift. Unfortunately the winter was a heavy snow year and during one storm the new lodge caved in, a big tree fell over the Nob Hill Chairlift line, tree damage on both the Poma Lift and the rope tow and trees feel down on many of the runs. Three weeks later and after many hours of work, Sierra Ski Ranch was back in full operation. During the same winter, the access road was not paved and when spring came many cars had to be pulled out of mud holes by the company pickup. Vern and Bobbie were unable to make their first bank payment however the bank refinanced the loan.

1969: Blazer and Chipmunk are installed on what is today Broadway. The access road was paved with low grade pavement to get through the next season.

1970: Rock Garden is installed in its original location and two more runs opened.

1972: Tahoe Queen is installed taking guests to the top of Huckleberry Mountain for the first time. The Tahoe Queen which is nearly one mile long, is one of the first lifts put in with a helicopter in the United States.

1976: Replaced Blazer Poma Lift with Bluejay Chairlift.

1978: Tahoe King is installed next to Tahoe Queen. The Ranch House, today Grandview Lodge, is built.

1980: El Dorado and Short Stuff are installed, opening the Backside for the first time.

1982: Cougar is installed, opening West Bowl for the first time. The shuttle bus system from South Lake Tahoe to Sierra Ski Ranch started.

1985: Puma Chairlifts installed next to Cougar.

1982 - 1983: Echo Summit receives 747 inches of snow, the largest recorded snowfall ever in California.

1986: Remodeled both base lodges and connected them together making more ticket windows, more room for day lockers, and adding the Deli.

1987: Built the Edelweiss Building which houses the administrative offices and Snow School.

1988: Installed snowmaking in high traffic areas.

1989: Replaced Tahoe Queen Chair with "Sensation", a high speed detachable quad chair.

1992: Slingshot replaces Cougar. Rock Garden is shortened and the bottom terminal relocated to its present location.

1993: The Sprocks sell Sierra Ski Ranch to Fibreboard Corporation. Sierra Ski Ranch becomes Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and the current General Manager, John Rice, takes the reins.

1996: Fibreboard Corporation sells Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort to Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. Sensation, XTC, and Slingshot are replaced with Grandview Express, Easy Rider, and West Bowl Express, respectively.

2001: The five backcountry gates open up Huckleberry Canyon to advanced skiers and riders looking for resort-accessed raw adventure.

2004: Jamie Anderson, Sierra Resort Elite Team member, becomes the youngest competitor ever at the Winter X Games. She takes ninth place.

2006: Travis Cabral wins the U.S. World Cup Moguls Championship and Hannah Teter wins the Olympic Gold in Women's Halfpipe. Both are members of the Sierra Resort Elite Team. Jamie Anderson competes in the Winter X Games Slopestyle event and takes bronze, edging out Shaun White to become the youngest medalist ever at the Winter X Games. Sierra Resort is ranked by TransWorld Snowboarding in the Top 10 for Terrain Parks, Pipes, and Overall Snowboarding Resort.

Sierra Resort is also awarded the Silver Eagle for Environmental Education by NSAA for four on-mountain Adventure Zones.

2007: Jamie and Joanie Anderson, also a Sierra Resort Elite Team member, take double gold at the Winter X Games. Jamie is the youngest gold medal winner ever at the Winter X Games.

2007: 360° Smokehouse BBQ opens to the public in Grandview Lodge offering skiers and riders the best bbq lunch in the Sierra Mountains. Employees launch Project: Green Sierra to bring various environmental efforts into one umbrella initiative.

2008: Jamie Anderson wins the gold medal in the Winter X Games slopestyle event and wins the Ticket To Ride World Tour, making her the top female snowboarder in the world. Huckleberry Canyon is incorporated inside the resort's boundary line.

2009: Jamie Anderson is named Top Female Rider of the Year by both TransWorld SNOWboarding and Snowboarder Magazine.  Sierra Resort is ranked by TransWorld Snowboarding in the Top 10 for Best Vibe and Best Value.

2010: Sierra Resort is ranked by TransWorld Snowboarding in the Top 10 for Overall Resort, Best Pipes and Best Parks. Hannah Teter wins Silver at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver Canada. Sierra Resort is again awarded the Silver Eagle for Environmental Education by the NSAA - this time for activating youth to clean up their local environments and take responsiblity for the trash they generate on a regular basis.

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