White Pass expansion, 20 years of anticipation - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

White Pass expansion, 20 years of anticipation

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WHITE PASS, Wash. -- It's been decades in the making and now finally under construction, the White Pass Ski Resort Expansion.

It's June and in the mid-30's at White Pass, crews are working to beat the snow melt.

"It's an absolutely huge undertaking of an area our size, I really don't believe that there's been an expansion in the Northwest of this magnitude, ever," said Kevin McCarthy, general manager, White Pass Ski Resort.

The Hogback Area is road-less so everything has to be hauled-in with a snow cat and trailers. Working on top of the snow pack is safe for the trees and easier on the equipment.

Adding 750 acres of new ski territory almost doubles the size of White Pass Ski Resort. Two new quad lifts and a day lodge are highly anticipated by skiers and snowboarders alike.

"The anticipation I think is amazing."

"We are all really excited about it. It's just got a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier and look at the surroundings it's gorgeous."

With a $9-million price tag the expansion should attract new skiers and returning customers.
On a busy day over 3,000 people visit White Pass.

"The existing ski area is too crowded, you know there's a lot of bottle necks on the slopes," said McCarthy.

The expansion didn't come easy. For people like McCarthy the 'expansion anticipation' has been a 20 year process, as the environmental review was battled in court.

"I expected to see this through to fruition when I was in my 30's not my 50's let's put it that way. I guess I'd hoped," said McCarthy.

Electricians will wire the lifts over the next few months and the expansion should be complete by next ski season.