Walt Disney thought so. His legacy may reside in Southern California, but anyone who has skied Sugar Bowl knows that Walt Disney was also an avid skier. He was instrumental in the opening of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort in 1939 which featured the first chair lift in Northern California, which ascended Mt. Disney.
In the early 1960’s Disney began plans to build a Disney-style resort in Northern California. He first looked at Mineral King in Sequoia National Park, but soon discovered Independence Lake, a picturesque area adjacent to Mt. Lola 15 miles north of Truckee. The mountain’s high peak (9,148 ft) received an abundance of snowfall, and the lake was the perfect setting for a village resort. The setting was ideal for year-round recreation, and Disney began plans for a family resort along the lake. Disney hired friend and ski champion Will Schaeffler to survey the snow and terrain on Mt. Lola, who reported ideal conditions for a ski resort.
Walt Disney’s plan for the Winter resort were abandoned in 1966 when he passed away.