LAKE TAHOE (KCBS) — A proposal to build a roller coaster-style ride on a hillside at Squaw Valley has ignited a controversy in Lake Tahoe.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the ride dubbed “Timberline Twister” would race downhill through a forest overlooking a sprawling indoor water park in a hotel and entertainment complex in Squaw Valley that was approved last year.

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Similar so-called “gravity rides” have been built at dozens of other resorts in the United States and Canada, including one called Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster at Heavenly Ski Resort on Lake Tahoe’s south shore.

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Conservationists and many Lake Tahoe residents complain the proposed roller coaster is an example of what they call crass Las Vegas-style commercialism that threatens the laid-back ambiance of Lake Tahoe.

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