Sierra Ski Resort Reduces Operations

TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) - The Royal Gorge cross-country ski resort atop Donner Summit plans to reduce its weekly days of operation from seven to five this winter.

"It's an issue of demand, an issue of cost, and it's a staffing issue," resort spokesman Mike Livak said.

Business is normally slower on Tuesdays and Wednesdays - the two
days the resort and its Ice Lakes and Rainbow lodges plan to be closed, Livak said.

"Sometimes it costs us more to open the doors than if we don't," he said, adding staffing seven days a week can be a challenge as well.

The resort still plans to be open seven days a week during holiday periods.

Royal Gorge bills itself as North America's largest cross-country ski resort. It operates on more than 9,000 acres - 5,000 acres of which is leased from the U.S. Forest Service.

The construction of Royal Gorge in 1971 launched an era of cross-country ski resorts across the nation.

Livak said owners are taking their time on a Royal Gorge development project that could add 950 units to the Serene Lakes area.

"The more information we get before (an environmental review of the project) the better," he said.

Developers now are studying issues concerning water, sewage treatment and a second access into the Serene Lakes area required
by Placer County, he added.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-11-01-08 1751EDT