Fortune Friday

Posted June 9, 2023

Happy Fortune Friday! 

It’s only been a few weeks since we closed the 2022-23 ski season and now, we’re only a week away from opening our summer operations. I hope you have all been able to enjoy all that Tahoe summer offers. The melting snowpack and afternoon thunderstorms are sure keeping things green and fresh! 

Our summer season starts on June 16, with sightseeing hours from 9am-4pm. In addition to sightseeing (the views are truly breathtaking from our mountain!), we’re also beginning the new season with a combination of winter and summer tubing, and gem panning. As June marches on, we will be adding our Hot Shot and Red Tail zip lines and the Granite Peak Climbing Wall. Plus – we’re bringing back Yoga on Sundays and will have live music on both Fridays and Saturdays beginning at the end of the month. Check out our events page on the Heavenly web site for more details. Summer is always such a laid-back time at the resort, and we are excited to welcome people back for some fun activities and good vibes up at the top of the Gondola. For those who haven’t gotten your fill of snow, there is still plenty up on the mountain so come and check it out! 

Unfortunately, due to a harsh winter, our Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster will not be operating to start the season. We shared a video the other day on our social channels that shows just how buried the Coaster still is, but we are working diligently and also need a lot of help from Mother Nature to get the rest of the snow melted. Once the snow is cleared from the Coaster, we will then need to assess it for damage. We’ll keep you posted with our progress, especially because we know this is a popular summer activity, and it’s a priority for us to get it up and running... 

I also want to share a quick update on our reservations-based carpooling/paid parking plan that we are implementing next season at the California Base Area parking lot on weekends and peak periods. We are currently fine tuning the remaining details, but there’s quite a bit of information - and an updated FAQ - available here. More info is coming soon as we hammer it out, which will be updated on the parking page I linked to above, and in future Fortune Fridays. These changes will make a big difference in encouraging carpooling (4+ people in one vehicle are free; all parking is free after 12pm at Cal Base on weekends and peak periods – our other lots will see no changes; all no reservations are required Monday- Friday). We know that this approach works based on data and insights coming from other resorts that have implemented similar plans, and we remain open to feedback as we launch this next winter. We are still assessing the needs and investment in our transit and parking program for next year, and revenue from paid parking will be prioritized accordingly – I look forward to sharing more about this soon.  

Most importantly, Heavenly is filled with incredible team members -- it is an honor to work alongside them, and I am reminded of this daily. This week’s employee Q&A features Lila Peterson. Lila has made huge contributions to our resort and to our community of South Lake Tahoe. She was recently awarded with a Tahoe Regional Planning Agency ‘Lake Spirit Award’, which recognizes local individuals who show exceptional commitment to protecting Lake Tahoe. Lila spent the 2022/23 winter season identifying waste streams that her department contributes to and worked tirelessly to find effective solutions. On her own initiative, Lila implemented programs to keep used uniforms out of the landfill, installed a Lomi™ smart composter in the employee center, recycled several pallets of plastic wrappers, organized Blue Crew trash clean ups of neighboring streets impacted by ski resort traffic,  organized and managed a clothing drive to help employees get better winter gear, and volunteered to lead the resort in implementing a zero-waste program. Lila’s impact is immense, to say the least! It is inspiring to see her commitment and passion, both here at Heavenly and as a member of the South Lake Tahoe community. We are so lucky to have her and so incredibly proud of her! 

Enjoy the sunshine – and I hope to see you next week! 


Lila Peterson Heavenly Headshot
Team Member Spotlight/Q&A: Lila Peterson 

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

A: I am the Senior Uniform Coordinator here at Heavenly. I also help manage the Employee Centers at the resort. I've been with Heavenly since October of 2020, but I started at the Patagonia store in the Village. I began my career with Vail Resorts as a utility worker at Vista Haus Lodge in Breckenridge. My current role allows me to wear a variety of hats. A typical day can consist of assigning uniforms, handing out paychecks, helping international students, or even playing foosball! 

Q: What inspired your career path? 

A: Growing up in Nebraska with NO mountains, working for Vail seemed like an adventure. I also heard from my partner that it was a great company to work for. Then, I learned about our Commitment to Zero and I was hooked. I'm so proud to work for a company that values our environment and communities. 

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

A: In the uniform room we often get confused with HR since the departments were once aligned. So I am often helping employees when they have lost their paychecks. I also have been able to work with our purchasing department and sustainability teams to help reduce waste to landfill in terms of uniforms.   

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

A: The thing I like most about my job is the people! I have had the opportunity to meet almost every new employee this year. I love helping them get acquainted with our resort and our community.  

I also have the ability to volunteer with our groups at Heavenly. I am the Co-Captain for our Commitment to Zero team, recognition chair for our Street Team, and a member of our DEI committee. Being a part of these groups helps me feel connected to so many different departments and has taught me so many skills.  

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

A: Flexibility and multi-tasking. There are often days when I have a plan that gets totally set aside because other projects arise. Understanding priorities is also a huge help! For me, safety first, followed closely by sustainability.  

Q: What inspired you to make a commitment to our environment and community here in South Lake Tahoe? 

A: Since the first time I visited the west and fell in love with the landscape I knew I wanted to be a part of preserving it. Lake Tahoe in particular is one of my favorite places and I feel a responsibility to protect it. It is my experience that leading by example is the best way to show others how important sustainability is. I also have no interest in waiting for someone else to take the lead!  

Q: What was your favorite part of our 2022/2023 ski and ride season? 

A: My favorite part about this winter season was meeting all of our international students and having the opportunity to share our resort. I enjoyed getting to hear about where everyone came from and how much they loved Heavenly.  

Q: Do you have a favorite run or summer activity at Heavenly? 

A: My favorite summer activities are just being outside! Topping the list would be backpacking, floating the Truckee, and soaking up the sun like a lizard.