Heavenly Updates December 2nd, 2022

Fortune Friday

Posted December 2nd, 2022

Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with your family and friends – mine was great since we were open and there’s nothing better and skiing on Thanksgiving Day! My other Thanksgiving reflection was being thankful to be part of this amazing team and community. We now have a big winter storm hitting us as we speak, which should bring significant enough snowfall to allow us to expand our lifts and terrain. Our team will be working diligently through this storm to get more open, but please remember to give them some grace as they work to expand our footprint while navigating the storm. High winds are forecasted with these current winter storms, and gusts can regularly reach 100 MPH, which often impacts our operations.

About a week ago, we added another access point at the Gondola, and Sky Express, Dipper Express, and Tamarack Express are up next along with East Peak Lodge. Having this much terrain open in early December is exciting. We’re in a really good place as our snowmakers continue to crush it, too. Big Easy is also now open with some great beginner terrain, as well. Tamarack Lodge is now open, so be sure to stop in for some good eats and enjoy some live music outside on select days.
If you’re planning to join us this weekend, please check conditions first due to potential wind impacts, and possible limited parking. Also, don’t forget to bring your pass or purchase a lift ticket in advance. Day tickets will likely be unavailable this weekend. Leave plenty of time for your drive, carpool if you can, and check @HVconditions on Twitter for real-time operational updates.

With the Cal side and Gondola now open, and Sky, Tamarack, and Dipper opening next, our focus shifts to Stagecoach, followed by Boulder. We’re shooting for late next week to open Stagecoach and its base area. Speaking of the Nevada base areas, this is a great segue for an update on North Bowl. We are looking good and on track to open in a few weeks, as is typical with this part of the mountain. We are pumped to unveil it, and I know you are all excited to ride this new lift as well. While the lift isn’t quite finished yet, we are confident it is on track to open with the corresponding terrain, so keep an eye out for a specific opening date soon.

Finally, with all the talk of our incredible snowmaking team over the past couple of weeks, I’d love to introduce you to our Snowmaking Supervisor, Billy Clark! Billy took the lead on getting our mountain ready for an early opening day and continues to work towards getting new terrain ready each and every day. Without the efforts of Billy and his team, things would look a lot different around the mountain.

See you on the slopes,


Billy Clark Employee Headshot - Snowmaking

Team Member Spotlight/Q&A: Billy Clark

Q: Hi Billy! Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Heavenly, and how long you’ve been here?

A: I started in the Winter of 2000 as a snowmaker! After five years on the job, I stepped away, but later returned in September 2015 as the snowmaking supervisor. Snowmaking is my passion and I care deeply about ensuring that Heavenly has enough snow for people to be able to ski, ride, and have fun on our incredible mountain.

Q: What inspired your career path?

A: Snowmaking is a challenging, but rewarding career. I became passionate about the mountains and the South Lake Tahoe community from a young age. As I grew up, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the industry and here in Tahoe – I truly found my calling in snowmaking. I love what I do!

Q: What are some of the responsibilities you have that might surprise people?

A: We work overnight and throughout the day to run the West Coast’s largest snowmaking system! The system is split between two states, and our snowmakers work non-stop to make snow and open as much terrain as safely possible when conditions allow. Most of my work is done while everyone else is asleep. Not only do we make snow in order to open new terrain throughout the early season, but we also make snow in the evenings to maintain the quality of trails that are already open.

Q: What do you love most about your job? And about Heavenly?

A: I have always loved being outside, so to be able to spend most of my days outside is what I love most about my job. Being outside in freezing temperatures can be exactly how it sounds, but when you are passionate about your work and your resort, it makes it all worth it. At Heavenly, I love the community that I am a part of... oh, and the views aren’t bad either!

Q: What unique or special skills are needed to do your job?

A: What I consider a unique skill is being able to handle the freezing and windy nights that we ensure on a nightly basis throughout the winters to ensure snow quality is exceptional for our guests. It certainly is not your average 9-5 job and it can be a lot of work in less-than-ideal conditions, but we take a lot of pride in our work!

Q: What or who inspires you most?

A: I am inspired by all of the wonderful people that taught me how to do my job along the way. Some of those people have retired, some of them have transferred to other resorts. One of my biggest inspirations, role models, and mentors was my dear friend Otto. May he rest in peace.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this ski and ride season?

A: I always look forward to seeing the smiling faces and happy people on the mountain when I go up the tram in the evenings to make snow. My job is all about making sure existing runs are maintained and new runs are opened, so seeing all of the fun skiers and riders are having on the mountain makes it all worth it.

Q: Do you have a favorite run at Heavenly?

A: Any run I can make snow on! But those views from Ridge Run never get old.