Leaves are still clinging to the trees in my backyard, but that hasn't stopped ski resorts from getting the word out on the upcoming winter season. Most of the time, they boast about the latest changes, like a new trail or quad chairlift. Big whoop. But now and then something catches my eye. This year it's the latest developments at Northstar-at-Tahoe in California. The
same Ritz-Carlton team that helped transform Colorado's Beaver Creek from Vail's forgotten little sister into one of the finest family-friendly mountains in the country has descended on Northstar. A new Ritz will make its debut this December mid-mountain, surrounded by a greatly expanded teaching area and a new Burton Snowboard Academy. If it sounds strikingly similar to Beaver Creek, you're right. Ritz knows how to focus on the family market. And if they have the same success as their Colorado cousin, expect Northstar to rise out of the shadows and challenge Squaw Creek and Heavenly as one of Tahoe's premier ski areas.
Posted by Steve Jermanok, Globe correspondent
Steve Jermanok blogs daily at www.ActiveTravels.com.