Massive tree trucked into Heavenly Village |

Massive tree trucked into Heavenly Village

by Laney Griffo
A crane lifts the 63 feet tree into the village.
Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribune

“Eat your heart out Rockefeller,” yells Kenny Curtzwiler, owner of Ski Bum Family Inc. as a 63-foot tree is lowered by crane into Heavenly Village.

The community tree is the brainchild of Heavenly Village owner Gary Casteel and with the help of Dreu Murin, of Dreu Murin Productions, the Shops at Heavenly Village, Padma and Trans Sierra Investments, the tree became a reality again this year.

Curtzwiler had spent the last year driving around town looking for the perfect tree. He finally found one he could access with the truck at the lot behind the airport.

TRPA gave Curtzwiler permission to cut down the tree. Airport Manager Mark Gibbs helped Curtzwiler get the tree and City Councilwoman Tamara Wallace helped him get the permits.

The tree was trucked across town with an escort from Police Chief Brian Uhler and the city’s community service team, and Lt. Terry Lowther and California Highway Patrol officers. The city provided traffic control signage and Thomas Haen Company the transport truck.

Once the tree arrived at the Village on the morning of Nov. 14, Eddie Cook Crane Service, Sunwest and Curtzwiler’s team helped get the tree off the truck and into its stand.

A tree had previously lived at the village, but died. When they removed that tree, they built a permanent in ground tree stand. However, this year’s tree was so large, they had to trim off the sides of the trunk to make it.

Curtzwiler and Murin were proud of the size of tree. Murin said the Rockfeller tree is rumored to be around 50 feet this year, making the Heavenly tree quite a bit bigger.

But more than the size of the tree, Curtzwiler is proud of the community involvement in getting the tree there.

“My payment is bringing the community together,” Curtzwiler, who had a smile on his face the whole morning said.

Curtzwiler helped put up the tree last year but said it was much easier this year because all the help from the city and community.

“We pulled it off like clockwork,” Curtzwiler said.

Now that the tree is in it’s stand, about 4,000 lights will be hung as well as a tree topper.

The lighting ceremony will be held on Friday, Nov. 29.