by Axie Navas

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May 24, 2013
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Heavenly to break ground on summer additions

Summer recreation opportunities at the top of the Heavenly Gondola could become more diverse by fall.

Heavenly Mountain Resort plans to start construction on two ropes courses, a canopy tour and a zip line by mid-June. The offerings should be open to the public by the end of August or in time for the 2013-14 winter season, according to a press release.

“We’re throwing our muscle into summer right now because we feel its our biggest opportunity,” Heavenly General Manager Pete Sonntag said.

The resort hopes to keep the activities open year-round, weather permitting, according to the release. New hiking trails have also been proposed, but won’t be built this summer, Sonntag said.

There’s discussion to replace the current rock climbing wall with a permanent, much larger structure by Tamarack Lodge, but Sonntag said the resort is still waiting for U.S. Forest Service approval.

The new, four-line zip line center will run parallel to the Big Easy chairlift and the landing platform will be located near Tamarack Lodge.

A permanent outdoor amphitheater that seats 150 people at the Mid-Station Observation Deck is also included in the summer additions.

The resort hasn’t yet posted prices for each of the summer actives, but Sonntag said the goal is to develop packages that could include lift tickets and access to the courses. This year’s gondola ticket, which includes access to the Tamarack Lift, costs $38 per adult.

“We’re sensitive to having our guests feel like they’re being nickel and dimed,” Sonntag said. “The package is our goal.”

“We’re the introduction of getting people into the forest,” he said.

Heavenly Spokesman Russ Pecoraro estimated the additions will add between 40 and 50 new jobs during the summer.

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The Record Courier Updated May 30, 2013 11:06AM Published May 24, 2013 12:54PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.