Ikon Pass Expands Further Into Europe


Dolomiti Superski in Italy and Kitzbühel in Austria join Zermatt in Switzerland as the next two European ski destinations on the Ikon Pass, offering up to 21 days in the Alps for winter 21/22. Now Ikon Pass holders have access to snow at 47 global destinations across five continents and nine countries.

Home of the Alpine Skiing World Championships and the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Dolomiti Superski has 12 mountains, 450 lifts, 889 runs, and endless vistas in Northern Italy’s stunning Dolomites. A legendary town in the Austrian Alps, Kitzbühel has been making ski history for more than 120 years. KitzSki encompasses three mountains: Kitzbühel, Kirchberg, and Mittersill, and has 57 ski lifts and 143 miles of slopes on 96 trails, including the world-famous Streif downhill ski race course. Ikon Pass holders can also revel in Austrian strudel and other culinary delights, surrounded by stunning panoramic mountain views at one of the area’s 60 unique huts and on-mountain restaurants.


Ikon Pass Stats:

  • Destinations: 47                                                             
  • Continents: 5
  • Countries: 9
  • U.S. States: 15                                                                          
  • Canadian Provinces: 4                                                   
  • Total Acres: 393,681*
  • Trails: 6,229
  • Lifts: 1,278

*Does not include CMH stats

The Ikon Pass is available now at ikonpass.com.

~ Ikon press release

Total Skier Visits Up 22% at Ski California Resorts During Pandemic


According to a new report produced by RRC Associates for the National Ski Areas Association, despite the Covid-19 pandemic Ski California resorts saw increased visitation during the 2020/21 winter season. Skier visits at California and Nevada ski areas were up nearly 22% as compared to the 19/20 season, with a total of 6,753,303 estimated visits to downhill ski areas in 20/21. In a state-by-state ranking, this result positions California as the second most-visited state for skiing and riding in terms of visitation, trailing only Colorado.

Other interesting results from the 20/21 season reported by resorts in the Pacific Southwest (California, Nevada, and Arizona) outlined in the report included:

  • Average of 134 days open (above 10-year average of 126; fourth best in last 10 years)
  • 91% of resorts opened early or on time versus 48% of national average
  • Only 5% closed early, 55% on time, 41% closed late
  • 58% of visits from season passholders (highest ever), 34% from day tickets (lowest ever)

Learn more about Ski California and its member resorts at skicalifornia.org.

~ Ski California press release

“Envision Tahoe” Launched to Diversify and Strengthen Tahoe Basin’s Economy


Tahoe Prosperity Center, the regional community and economic development nonprofit for the Tahoe Basin, has announced the launch of a new initiative called Envision Tahoe: Prosperity Plan 2.0. This effort will bring together business, government, and civic leaders from California and Nevada to develop strategies to diversify and strengthen the regional economy so that it is more resilient and sustainable for those who live, work, and provide public services in the Tahoe Basin. TPC was selected by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to facilitate a Regional Economic Recovery and Resiliency Strategy and awarded a grant of $164,000 for the planning and community engagement effort.

In its role as facilitator, TPC is conducting an analysis of economic conditions and trends in the Tahoe Basin to identify challenges and identify near-term opportunities for diversification.

The committee will have its first meeting on Sept. 15 to review the findings of a baseline study and discuss diversification strategies. TPC will also conduct survey research to solicit input from businesses, workers, and residents throughout the Basin. For more information, visit tahoeprosperity.org/envision-tahoe.

~ TCP press release

FIREMAPS is a startup launched in San Francisco that aims to help homeowners create custom home hardening and preparedness plans in the face of the West’s wildfire threat. Courtesy screenshot

Startup Offers Tech-Driven Solutions to Defend California Homes from Wildfires


Firemaps, a startup using tech-driven solutions to defend California homes from wildfire, launched their platform across California on Aug. 26. Firemaps uses satellite and drone imagery to create ultra highly accurate three-dimensional maps to analyze properties, create a home hardening and defensible space plan, and dispatch the right workers via their marketplace of qualified general contractors. The company has raised $5.5 million in seed investment led by Andreessen Horowitz and including Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and investor Lee Fixel.

Homeowners submit their address at firemaps.com to access the services. The map is able to render details of the home’s landscape, topography, vent construction, deck construction, roof condition, and porch or deck vulnerability and can measure features of the property to an accuracy of within one centimeter.

~ Firemaps press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

THE BIG 2-5: After a quarter of a century with the Truckee Donner Land Trust, Perry Norris is taking a step back. While not an official member of staff, Norris will continue to engage with land trust projects as a consultant on land acquisitions. Courtesy photo

Perry Norris Stepping Down as Executive Director for TDLT


While the Truckee Donner Land Trust has been shaped by countless board members, staff, volunteers, and donors over its 31 years, no one person has done more to drive the success of the organization than Perry Norris, according to a TDLT release.

Starting in 1996 as a part-time employee in a mostly volunteer organization, Norris helmed the land trust through many of its greatest successes, including the acquisitions of Waddle Ranch, Royal Gorge, Webber Lake, Lower Carpenter Valley, Frog Lake, and Truckee Springs, permanently protecting more than 40,000 acres of open space throughout the region.

John Svahn, co-executive director, will take over the executive director position. Norris will remain engaged with land trust projects as a consultant on land acquisitions and managing new Frog Lake backcountry huts.

~ TDLT press release

Squaw Alpine Names Dee Byrne President and COO


Alterra Mountain Company recently announced that Dee Byrne has been named president and chief operations officer of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, based in Olympic Valley, effective immediately. Byrne will be responsible for all operations, driving profitability, and evolving this beloved destination into a dynamo on the global scene.

Byrne has worked in the ski industry for over 30 years and has held numerous positions across prominent mountains and brands. She joined Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in 2011 as the managing director of snowsports schools and ski teams, and was promoted to vice president of skier services in 2017. In addition to her role at the resort, Byrne serves on multiple boards of directors and is an advisor to Professional Ski Instructors of America on national and divisional levels, and received PSIA/American Association of Snowboard Instructor’s national “Distinguished Service Award” in April 2020.

~ Alterra press release

BOWLING IN RENO: Liz Bowling has departed the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association to become vice president of public relations with The Abbi Agency in Reno. Courtesy photo

Bowling Departs NLTRA, Joins PR Agency


Liz Bowling joined The Abbi Agency as vice president of public relations after eight years of service to the North Lake Tahoe business community. During her tenure with the region, Bowling most recently served as director of global communications for the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, spearheading visitor messaging through numerous content campaigns, including Stronger Together, Mask Up Tahoe, and the Traveler Responsibility Pledge. She was instrumental in the passing of North Lake Tahoe’s Tourism Business Improvement District, resulting in locally controlled funding for Eastern Placer County.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together and feel very grateful for the meaningful relationships that formed as a result of our collaborative efforts,” Bowling said.

Bowling will oversee strategic public relations, crisis communications, and destination travel accounts for The Abbi Agency, a Nevada-based integrated agency working at the intersections of branding, public relations, digital, and design.

~ Bowling press release

DRI Taps Development Executive to Lead National Environmental Fundraising Efforts


The Desert Research Institute is proud to welcome long-time education fundraising professional Kristin Ghiggeri Burgarello, who will serve as director of advancement.  In her role, Burgarello will lead fundraising efforts for DRI in collaboration with the DRI Foundation.

Burgarello comes to DRI from the University of Nevada, Reno, where she spent the last 17 years in development and alumni relations roles, including her last role as executive director of development and previous role as director of development of the Reynolds School of Journalism. While at UNR, she helped secure major gifts to support buildings, student needs, faculty support, planned gifts, diversity initiatives, and many other key areas of support for the university. She also worked collaboratively with the deans and development directors in the College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Liberal Arts, Reynolds School of Journalism, libraries, and Honors College to raise substantial funds to support their areas on campus.

In her role at DRI, Burgarello will focus on creating a culture of philanthropy that will direct awareness of critical environmental issues and the necessity to fund the life-saving research at DRI that aims to solve these and many other challenges affecting not only Nevada, but the western region, country, and world.

For more information on the work of DRI please visit dri.edu. Anyone interested in making a gift in support of DRI may contact Burgarello at (775) 673-7386 or kristin.burgarello@dri.edu.

~ DRI press release


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