Lake Tahoe, CA & NV (Mar. 5, 2010) - Lake Tahoe is the ideal winter destination for families looking to fill their ski vacation with unique experiences that come at levels of affordability that can extend the average family ski trip. Lake Tahoe boasts more ski resorts in close proximity than any other winter destination, and its limitless recreation options both on and off the slopes enable parents and kids to choose from an endless variety of adventures and non-stop fun. With cold winter storms recently blanketing the Lake Tahoe region with over three feet of light, fluffy snow, the entire family can enjoy fresh tracks whether it be making snow angels, sledding down the mountain or learning to ski or snowboard.
The seven Ski Lake Tahoe resorts and surrounding lodging properties offer the most affordable ski vacation packages in the entire country including a number of kids stay-and-ski free promotions that parents may find appealing when planning a vacation in the current economy. Many resorts have recession-minded offers this season with added value and free additional nights that can help turn a weekend trip into a true vacation.
World-class ski and snowboard instruction is available at all seven resorts with many of the resorts designating areas of their mountain as "Beginner Zones" or "Family Fun Areas" complete with interactive features and entertaining characters. For parents looking to sneak in a little grown-up time while on vacation, certified daycare options exist both at the ski resorts and at many of the lodging properties around the lake in addition to interchangeable lift tickets so both parents can use the same lift ticket to get in some turns.
The modern mountain villages located on both shores of Lake Tahoe serve as ideal base camps for the entire vacation with restaurants, shopping, theatres and arcades all within walking distance. Convenient lake-wide shuttle options exist between the resorts and lodging properties along with reliable roundtrip transportation options for destination guests flying into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which has never experienced a closure due to snow.
Averaging more than 300 days of sunshine each year, the California skiing and snowboarding experience includes slightly warmer temperatures, allowing families to focus on the fun side of the sport and leave the face masks and extra layers at home. The Ski Lake Tahoe resorts have been designed with the specialized needs of families in mind boasting heated walkways, specialized surface lifts, enclosed gondolas and aerial trams, all of which make for a more enjoyable day on the slopes for mom, dad and kids. Throw in off-the-slope options such as ice skating, tubing, sleigh rides, swimming lagoons, bungee trampolines and paddlewheeler boat tours and Lake Tahoe quickly separates itself as the ideal winter destination for family ski vacations.
Alpine Meadows now offers new GPS tracking technology used for all kids enrolled in ski and snowboard day camps. With the device, a child's location is tracked in real time and can be located immediately by a resort representative. This technology offers an additional element of safety and allows parents and children to log onto the resort's Web site and view the trails skied during a given day. Parents and children alike will enjoy making laps on the Tiegel Terrain Park designed specifically for little rippers with rollers, banked turns, mini table tops and the ever popular Tuga Tunnel. Also new this season, Alpine Meadows' Mountainside Dining Experience takes families and groups of up to 20 guests via snowcat to a secluded, mid-mountain chalet for a private dinner, evening of star gazing and fun with friends. New this March, Alpine Meadows offers snow tubing every Friday through Sunday. Visit www.skialpine.com for more information.
Heavenly Mountain Resort has family travel covered from top to bottom, climaxing with improvements to the resort's family recreation area Adventure Peak including a four-lane tubing hill accessed by a state-of-the-art magic carpet reminiscent of the Jetsons. Stretching hundreds of feet up East Peak, the new tubing hill is an incredible addition to Adventure Peak which already boasts sledding and ski bikes. On the mountain, Heavenly offers three ski school locations for convenient and easy access and families can now log onto www.skiheavenly.com to view video profiles of top instructors and pick the coach that best suits their children's personality and skiing or snowboarding style. Off the slopes, families can choose from an entire array of activities such as sightseeing, ice skating, dogsled rides, snowmobiling, arcades, spas, boat cruises, sleigh rides, incredible shopping and a variety of dining options all conveniently located throughout the Heavenly Village surrounding the Heavenly Gondola.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort serves as an ideal base camp for families hoping to fill their vacations with adventurous experiences such as dog sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or evening snowcat tours to the top of Red Cliffs for spectacular views of the High Sierra. Grover Hot Springs State Park is also located nearby and is a popular après ski diversion for families looking to soak and splash their cares away. The Kirkwood tubing park is located near the heart of the Mountain Village and offers fun for all ages through a park that takes the effort out of tubing as guests relax and enjoy the ride both up and down the hill. The Tahoe Learning Center offers all the products and services families need for a enjoyable day on the slopes conveniently located under one roof including lessons, rentals, and the Kirkwood Mountain Sports outfitter providing quick access to supplies that may have been forgotten. Park the car in the preferred lot reserved for families with pre-purchased lessons and it's a short stroll to rentals, lessons, lift tickets and the new Wonder Carpet lift designed specifically for beginners. Kirkwood is also home to one of the best deals in the Sierra, Kid's Ski Free on Sundays with the purchase of any Adult Lift Ticket or for an ultra-low $9 Monday through Saturday. Log on to www.kirkwood.com for details.
Families can make turns right off the plane at Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe boasting Lake Tahoe's highest base elevation and stunning views of Lake Tahoe. The resort's layout is ideal for families with its naturally funneling trails, dedicated beginner's 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 and is made up of whoops, rollers and banked turns. Families can take advantage of the $130 "Runs 'N' Roses" lift ticket package good for two adults and two children ages 12 and under valid every day of the season. The new Winters Creek Lodge offers families a state-of-the-art day lodge facility with a contemporary style and the positioning of the new lodge lends itself to a more conducive guest area, providing improved traffic flow for parents as they pass from the slopes to the lodge with their children in tow. Visit www.mtrose.com for further information.
The modern mountain village at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort was designed with the family experience in mind. Parents will appreciate courtesy carts for toting gear, convenient guest drop off area, streamlined gear rental processes and numerous enclosed gondolas including the new 8-passenger Highlands Gondola providing a direct connection between the Village at Northstar™ and the new Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe. New this season, the resort's beginner teaching terrain was doubled in size and redesigned to include more of the sculpted smart terrain™ that the resort has determined helps improve the learning curve for beginners. A new quad chairlift - The Big Easy - was also installed and provides improved access to the beginner area, as well as direct access to the Ritz-Carlton Highlands. After the lifts stop turning, the Village at Northstar becomes a beehive of family-focused activities. The centrally located outdoor skating rink is surrounded by comfortable viewing cabanas complete with lounge chairs, fire pits and plenty of Apres drink options. There are a variety of interactive options including candle and teddy bear making, and jewelry design. More adventurous types can check out the Apex Bungy trampoline, mid-mountain tubing park and Turtleneck Tuesdays on the skating rink. For more information log on to www.northstarattahoe.com
Recognized by Transworld Snowboarding as a "Best Value" resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort understands that families are in search of added value and ways to stay within a budget while on vacation. In response, the resort created the 3-Pak lift ticket allowing adults to ski/ride for $49 per day while kids 13-22 pay only $42 per day. The resort also created the Parent Predicament Ticket solving the age old daycare dilemma by allowing parents to swap out use of the same lift ticket. Better yet, take the entire family skiing or snowboarding together with the new Family Private Lesson offering a personalized experience with instructors specially trained to teach multiple ability levels in the same lesson. Sierra-at-Tahoe's family-friendly mountain layout includes the "ParentZone" consisting of bleachers and tables where they can relax and cheer on their children participating in ski and snowboard school. The resort has also created interactive Adventure Zones complete with sound effects and interactive features with themes such as Gold Rush, Bear Cave, Teepee Town, and Pony Express. The Adventure Zones go beyond simply entertaining and actually teach children about the history of the Lake Tahoe area such as sharing the fact that the Pony Express actually ran directly through the resort. Log on to www.sierraattahoe.com for more information.
Kids 12 and under ski and ride for only $10 at Squaw Valley USA every day, all season. This lift ticket price makes Squaw Valley one of the most affordable major resorts for families with young children. The Village at Squaw Valley offers a family-friendly setting with countless activities from rock climbing to the ever-popular Sky Jump bungee bounce. Squaw Valley is a great place for families of all abilities as the unique mountain design allows beginners to learn to ski and snowboard at the top of the mountain overlooking incredible views of Lake Tahoe. Rather than learning the sport next to the parking lot, Squaw skiers and riders can take the Cable Car up to High Camp where they can learn on smooth, wide open green runs. Other fun family activities include the scenic ride up the Cable Car to High Camp where guests can choose from ice skating at the Olympic Ice Pavilion, swimming at the pool and lagoon or touring the Olympic Heritage Museum. This season marks the 50th Anniversary of Squaw Valley USA hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics and the resort has been celebrating all season long. Families can simulate competing on the original 1960 Olympic Downhill course and even make turns with Olympic Gold Medalist a