California ski resorts Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows announced Tuesday that they will combine ownership for the upcoming 2011-2012 season. The two Lake Tahoe areas have long split the allegiance of local skiers and boarders, and mergers had been rumored for decades. Under the new deal, which is still awaiting final Forest Service approval, one lift pass will serve both areas, and a shuttle will cover the 10- to 15-minute drive between the mountains. That means that skiers who purchased a season's pass to one of the resorts will now be able to use it at both. The combined operation will also give Squaw and Alpine the largest skiable acreage in the United States, with more than 6,000 skiable acres, surpassing Montana's Big Sky and Moonlight Basin resorts, which have 5,532 skiable acres. Unlike the conjoined Montana areas, however, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are separated by a 460-acre block of private land. Squaw Valley also played host to the 1960 Winter Olympics.
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