To celebrate the incredible skiing and snowboarding conditions, Lake Tahoe ski resorts have been busy transforming their modern mountain villages into winter wonderlands complete with twinkling lights, festive decorations and even a few early sightings of holiday carolers. With a white Christmas now guaranteed, the resorts are putting the bows on an impressive lineup of seasonal events, family-friendly festivals and numerous appearances by Santa on the slopes.
"Lake Tahoe has long been a favorite destination for families who value the precious time spent together during the holiday season," said Julie Maurer, president of Ski Lake Tahoe. "This season the resorts are in especially great shape with countless new amenities and great snow conditions to serve as a memorable backdrop for an unforgettable, action-packed ski vacation."
With more ski resorts in close proximity than any other winter destination in North America, Lake Tahoe also offers a full spectrum of affordable lodging options ranging from convenient slope-side condominiums to luxurious lakefront suites. Stay-and-ski packages start as low as $79 per person with numerous resorts currently offering free additional nights on stays of longer than three days.
The Reno-Tahoe International Airport serves as a reliable gateway for air travel into the region. Yet to experience a closure due to snow, the airport recently completed more than $27 million in upgrades. RTIA was recently named the number one airport in the nation in terms of new flights including additional nonstop service from the Ontario International Airport.
The following is a rundown of current conditions and upcoming holiday events at each of the seven Ski Lake Tahoe resorts:
Alpine Meadows will be opening for the season on Friday, December 7th adding yet another top-rated resort to the endless variety of ski and snowboard options currently available in Lake Tahoe. Guests can celebrate the Holidays at Alpine from December 22nd through the 24th with live music, festive après ski parties and turns with Santa from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley will be leading free daily mountain tours from December 26th through the 31st departing at 9:00am from the bottom of the Summit Six Chairlift. Visit www.skialpine.com for more information.
Benefitting from its lofty summit elevations, Heavenly Mountain Resort was able to open additional chairlifts and terrain as a result of last weekend's storms giving powder hounds a healthy taste of its world-class tree skiing and breathtaking lake views. Guests can celebrate the twelve days of Christmas during Heavenly Holidays, a two-week festival featuring professional ice skating shows, ice sculptors, carolers, local artists and a sixteen-foot snow globe inside which kids can get their photos taken with Santa. The action gets underway December 19th and culminates December 31st with A Heavenly New Year's Celebration featuring a "gondola drop" and fireworks show at 9:00pm. Further details can be found at www.skiheavenly.com.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort's geographical disposition atop the Sierra Crest has resulted in an impressive early season snowpack and wall-to-wall coverage. The resort has announced it will be opening 100 percent of its mountain this weekend along with opening the family-friendly facilities at the resort's Timber Creek Base Area. The resort will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary in conjunction with its annual New Year's Eve festivities on December 31st including a torchlight parade, slope-side party, firework show, DJs, fire dancers, aerial performers and snowcat tours. Log on to www.kirkwood.com for the full story.
Boasting the highest base elevation in Lake Tahoe, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe has opened the Slide Mountain portion of the resort as a result of the recent storms with top-to-bottom skiing and riding now available via both of the resort's high-speed detachable six-pack chairlifts. The resort's 12th annual Santa Ski Crawl is slated to take place Saturday, December 15th rewarding skiers and snowboarders dressed as jolly old Saint Nick with a $39 lift ticket. Typically 3,000 patrons dressed as Santa then take over the bars, pubs and restaurants of downtown Reno climaxing with a midnight rendition of Christmas carols sung beneath the city's trademark arch. Visit www.mtrose.com for event details.
The grooming and snowmaking crews at Northstar California Resort have been busy rolling out the corduroy carpet and buffing out the progressive terrain parks in preparation for the resort's 40th Anniversary Celebration slated to take place December 22nd. Hosted by Northstar team athlete Shaun White, the gala birthday bash will include a clinic at the one-of-a-kind Burton Snowboard Academy with Shaun, live music, a 70's themed costume contest and a complimentary sparkling cider toast complete with s'mores. The resort will also bring storybook holiday traditions to life during its Noel Nights on December 6th, 13th and 20th with ice skating, holiday carolers, horse-drawn sleigh rides, holiday crafts, ornament painting, hot chocolate around fire pits and pictures with Santa. Log on to www.northstarcalifornia.com for more information.
Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort recorded some of the deepest snowfall totals over the course of last weekend's storms enabling the resort to open its Grandview Express chairlift with runs for every ability level and two terrain parks. Guests are encouraged to celebrate the holiday season at Sierra-at-Tahoe during a two day festival scheduled for December 22nd and 23rd filled with festive events and family-friendly activities such as snowman building contests, candy cane limbo, hot cocoa bean bag toss, frosty eating contest plus live music by the Bear Bones. Further details can be found at www.sierraattahoe.com.
The upper mountain at Squaw Valley was covered during last weekend's storms delivering incredible skiing and riding on the resort's open bowls and legendary expert terrain. The Holidays at Squaw consist of two full weeks of festive celebrations from December 15th through January 1st including free sleigh rides, snowman making contests, live music and plenty of Santa sightings. The mountain will be aglow on Christmas Eve for the annual torchlight parade, as well as on New Year's Eve as fireworks light up the resort's slopes. For the over 21 crowd, the End of the World Party on December 21st, and the NYE Bash on December 31st are certain to push the party envelope to its extreme. 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 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 or to book travel, lodging and transportation for Ski Lake Tahoe resorts and their travel partners, visit www.SkiLakeTahoe.com.