Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts are closer to building a gondola that would connect them.
Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth says the resorts have a handshake agreement to lease privately-owned land along the proposed two-mile route.
"We are choosing the capacity of a gondola, that will allow us to provide for the shortest towers, the fewest towers possible, and -while we're looking to place those lift towers- will allow us to not impact any wetlands areas."
The preliminary plans call for a gondola system with a capacity of 1,400 skiers every hour.
The gondola cars would seat eight. The trip between resorts, going over the mountain known as K-22, would take about 13 minutes.
Squaw Valley expects a 25 percent reduction in vehicle traffic and exhaust created by skiers driving between resorts.
Wirth says the gondola will give skiers access to more open terrain near the gondolas's station platforms.
"When we went into thinking about how to connect the mountains, one of the primary tenets was to make sure that it was accessible to all skiers, all snowboarders, of all ability levels. And to achieve that, we went with a gondola."
Wirth says workers and materials will be delivered on site with helicopters. No new roads will be built.
Neither the final cost nor start date for the project has been determined.
The two resorts have been owned by the same company since 2011.
The resorts have been in talks with the landowner to lease the property for the last two years.
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