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Fight over Squaw Valley ski resort's expansion plan heats up ahead of public hearing

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RENO, Nevada — One of the northern Sierra Nevada's leading environmental groups is stepping up the fight against Squaw Valley's proposed expansion, saying its impacts on traffic and mountain scenery threaten to destroy the charm of the ski resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Sierra Watch's opposition comes ahead of a public hearing Thursday in Kings Beach, California, on Placer County, California, planners' draft environmental impact report of the project.

Operators of the Village at Squaw Valley are seeking approval to build a year-found indoor recreation center and 850 hotel-condominium units with 1,493 bedrooms on over 80 acres of the resort's parking lot.

Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch says it would mean as many rooms as in three major hotel-casinos on Lake Tahoe's south shore combined.

Squaw Valley President and CEO Andy Wirth says extensive work has been done to ensure the development fits into the mountain environment.

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