Resorts Entertain Guests with New Family-Friendly Amenities, Lifts and Lodges
Over the course of the last two seasons, Lake Tahoe resorts have introduced a number of industry-firsts to the applause of parents such as GPS enabled tracking devices for children and the ability to post on-mountain photos instantly to social media profiles through the simple scan of a lift ticket. Expanding on the already countless number of fun diversions available in the region, the resorts have added ziplines, snowcat rides, mini snowmobiles, adventure zones and interactive chainsaw carvings of Star Wars characters to the list of unique attractions in Lake Tahoe.
The welcoming atmosphere is noticeable as soon as guests arrive at the resorts with family-friendly amenities such as drop-off zones, close-in parking, heated walkways and complimentary wheeled wagons making it easy to get the young ones and their gear to and from the slopes. A number of resorts have remodeled their children's ski school facilities in order to streamline the morning process while others have built entirely new mid-mountain lodges to provide convenient access throughout the day.
Once on the slopes, families with young children will quickly appreciate the specialized surface lifts, detachable chairlifts, enclosed gondolas and aerial trams all designed to make the ski and snowboard experience as carefree as possible. The resorts have gone so far as to sculpt beginner terrain and create themed adventure zones to ensure kids have a fun, interactive environment in which to learn and explore. Guests end the day with complimentary piping hot cookies and gooey chocolate s'mores served up as a slope-side reward after an unforgettable day on the slopes.
Averaging more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Lake Tahoe's California approach to skiing and snowboarding consists of protected slopes and moderate temperatures allowing families to focus on the fun side of the sport and leave the face masks and extra layers at home. Throw in off-the-slope options such as ice skating, tubing, sleigh rides, swimming lagoons, bungee trampolines and paddle wheeler boat tours, and Lake Tahoe quickly separates itself as the ideal winter destination for family ski vacations.
Thanks to a recent wave of powerful winter storms, Lake Tahoe is now boasting mid-winter conditions perfectly timed for the upcoming holiday weekend and school breaks with miles of top-to-bottom runs suitable for all ability levels. Value-minded families can take advantage of unbeatable stay-and-ski packages starting as low as $79 for lift ticket and lodging as well as discount airfare into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport with one-way rates as low as $69.
The following are new family-friendly amenities and timely deals/packages at all seven Ski Lake Tahoe resorts.
Alpine Meadows recently remodeled the facility housing its Kids Camps to offer a streamlined, modern feel complete with automated registration kiosks, interactive education stations sharing the basics involved with skiing and snowboarding (i.e., proper layering, sunscreen use, safety code, etc.) and plenty of indoor play space. On the slopes, the revamped Tiegel Terrain Park is a big hit with families as it consists of smaller sized boxes, rails and terrain park features specifically designed for young children. Hotwheels Gully is another family favorite given its natural halfpipe shape and perfectly spaced whoop-de-doos. The resort has teamed up with Snowbomb this season to host the Lil' Air Festival March 10, 2012 showcasing the individual styles and talents of the ten and under age group. Visit www.skialpine.com for complete details.
Heavenly Mountain Resort unveiled a new children's ski and snowboard school lodge this season known as the Bear Cave conveniently located mid-mountain at the top of the resort's gondola. The building's design mirrors the architecture of the recently completed 14,720 square foot Tamarack Lodge anchoring the family-friendly amenities available at Adventure Peak. Already offering sightseeing, snowplay areas, lift-served tubing lanes and snowbikes, the mid-mountain playground now includes an adventure zone known as Black Bear Hollow that enables kids to learn to ski or snowboard in a safe, interactive environment. Kids can also join Heavenly's mascot Ripperoo on Saturdays as he leads kids on a merry jaunt with his marching band in tow as they sing, dance, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies to cap off a great day on the slopes. Log on to www.skiheavenly.com for more information.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort serves as an ideal base camp for families hoping to fill their vacations with adventurous experiences such as snowmobile tours, tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or evening snowcat tours to the top of Red Cliffs Mountain for spectacular views of the High Sierra. The resort's new High Alpine Adventure Center is conveniently located near the Mountain Village serving as a central hub for family adventure including the ZipTahoe Treetop Canopy Tour consisting of ten zip lines, aerial spans and bridge networks throughout the slopes of the resort. The Tahoe Learning Center at Timber Creek offers all the products and services families need for an enjoyable day on the slopes, and Kids Ski Free on Sundays with the purchase of any Adult Lift Ticket (one child per one adult lift ticket). For further details, please visit www.kirkwood.com.
Families can make turns right off the plane at Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe located less than 25 minutes from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. The resort's layout is ideal for families with its naturally funneling trails, dedicated beginners' area, easy-to-use conveyor lifts and detachable six-pack lifts. The Wild Horse Adventure Trail is always a hit with the kids as it winds through the trees evoking audible cries of excitement and laughter from both the young and the young-at-heart. The resort offers an interchangeable lift ticket for parents planning to share shifts on the slopes, and Family Packs can be purchased for just $138 including lift tickets for two adults and two children ages 17 and under valid every day of the season. Log on to www.mtrose.com for more information.
Northstar California Resort continues to improve upon its family-friendly village with the addition of new storefronts, movie theatres and hands-on arts and craft shops for the kids. The ever-popular ice rink serves as the focal point for family activities with comfortable cabanas and fire pits perfect for roasting s'mores. More adventurous types can check out Northstar's Apex Bungy trampoline, mid-mountain tubing park and moonlight snowshoe tours. The recently replaced Big Easy quad chairlift now provides ski-in, ski-out access to and from The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and greatly improves access to the resort's sculpted Smart Terrain™ proven to significantly reduce the learning curve for beginners. Thanks to the implementation of EpicMix technology, families can now use their existing social media profiles to instantly share photos taken by resort photographers situated around the mountain. Visit www.NorthstarCalifornia.com for the entire story.
In conjunction with Burton Snowboards and Lucasfilms, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort recently unveiled the new Yoda's Riglet Park combining industry-leading teaching methodology with lifelike replicas from the Star Wars galaxy. Kids and adults alike will be amazed by the craftsmanship behind these chainsaw carvings of fan favorites such as Yoda, Chewbacca, R2D2, C3P0 and of course plenty of loveable Ewoks. The resort has also upgraded the amenities available at its dedicated snowplay area Blizzard Mountain now accessible via a customized snowcat with lift-served tubing, bounce houses, snowman kits, snowball makers, fire pits and more. Sierra-at-Tahoe offers a season-long Learn-To-Ski or Snowboard Package for only $35 that includes lift ticket, lesson and rentals. Surf on over to www.sierraattahoe.com for more details.
Squaw Valley has made significant investments in upgrading both its facilities and on-mountain experience for families. The new SnoVentures Activity Zone consists of a renovated family-friendly lodge, lift-accessed tubing lanes and even mini snowmobiles designed especially for kids. Four new conveyor lifts, named after the resort's avalanche rescue dogs, have also been installed at the base of the mountain as part of an evolution taking shape to vastly improve the beginner learning experience. Families should mark their calendars for the week-long Kid-O-Rama celebration slated to take place February 18-25, 2012, consisting of parades, concerts, street parties, balloon animals and performances by renowned children's performer Todd Wees and his band. Big Truck Nights in the Village is always a crowd-favorite as kids can get close-up views of fire trucks, snowplows and grooming machines. For more information, visit www.squaw.com.
For complete details on booking a winter getaway to Lake Tahoe, please visit SkiLakeTahoe.com to conveniently access resort profiles, weather forecasts, real-time snow reports, webcams and online discounts on both lift tickets and lodging.
About Ski Lake Tahoe
Surrounding North America's largest alpine lake, the seven resorts that make up Ski Lake Tahoe are Alpine Meadows, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, Northstar California Resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and Squaw Valley. Lake Tahoe boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year, and the region has some of the highest annual snowfall amounts in North America. The seven resorts, all offering unparalleled scenic vistas of panoramic mountain and lake views, are located less than an hour from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. For further information and to directly book travel, lodging and transportation for Ski Lake Tahoe resorts and its travel partners, visit www.SkiLakeTahoe.com.