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Diamond Lake Resort has installed a new conveyor belt to carry snowtubers up the hill. Photo courtesy Diamond Lake

Diamond Lake makes snow tubing easier

Winter at Diamond Lake is synonymous with cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, backcountry sno-cat skiing and, more than ever, tubing.

At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday,  the resort will celebrate the opening of a new tubing conveyor belt. With a length of 470 feet, the new belt is capable of carrying more than 1,000 inner tubers an hour to the top of the lift. Along with adding distance, Diamond Lake Resort President Steve Koch said it will reduce lines and extend operating hours.

"While you're here, grab an inner tube — we've got lots of them — and join in the fun," Koch urges. "Take a ride up the new conveyor belt and experience this childhood job as you fly to the bottom of the hill. Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and warm up when you're finished.

Koch says people, whether attending Tuesday's grand opening or making other winter visits, are also encouraged to bring snowshoes, cross-country skis and snowmobiles to experience the region's 350 miles of groomed trails. All of the items — snowmobiles, cross-country skis and snowshoes — are available at the resort's rental shop.

The resort has 38 two-bedroom cabins, one four-bedroom family cabin, one seven-bedroom lakefront cabin, 38 motel rooms, 10 housekeeping studios and a Jacuzzi suite.

Koch notes Diamond Lake Resort will again host the annual Seniors Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Week Feb. 1-4. Activities include lessons and activities, snowmobiles, guided snowmobile tours and half-price rental for cross-country skis and snowshoes. Nightly lodging rates range from $59 to $179, depending on the size of the cabin or motel rooms. For reservations and more on the Seniors Program, call 541-793-3333.

Backcountry sno-cat skiing will begin Jan. 1 for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders. Groups of five to 12 people age 16 and older leave the resort by 8 a.m. and try for six runs, depending on snow conditions. The cost is $385 per person. Skiers and riders must provide their own gear.

Diamond Lake Resort also offer guided tours in heated 10-passenger sno-cats. When weather conditions allow, one trip option is going to Crater Lake National Park's North Entrance overlook. Cross-country skiers have the option of skiing sections of the distance. Pizza tours are also offered.

For more information on Diamond Lake Resort and its 2016-17 winter activities, call 800-733-7593 or see www.diamondlake.net.

— Reach freelance writer Lee Juillerat at 337lee337@charter.net or 541-880-4139.

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