Planning to hit the slopes in North Lake Tahoe this season for some downhill action? You’ll find plenty of new and interesting offerings, from better snowmaking to cooler fun for the kids to new dining options.
Squaw Valley always has something new to report, and this year’s improvements include an upgraded base lodge, enlarged night skiing/terrain park, and a new demo center in its base village. Squaw also showcases an improved conference center for events, and upgraded snowmaking. Families with youngsters will be pleased to know the resort has also improved its KidsZone—with more space, a snow fort and mini terrain park—and has also wrapped up improvements to its Children’s Center.
At Alpine Meadows, new upgrades include the Magnestick, a magnet attached to the back of children’s ski school vests that actually sticks them to the resort’s chair lift and ‘unsticks’ as children exit from the chair at the lift’s end. Along similar lines is the Flake GPS, a tracking device worn by kids in ski school that prevents kids from getting lost or otherwise going missing.
Northstar-at-Tahoe, in Truckee, has a wealth of cool new doings at its mini alpine village. New shops include a pottery-making studio (All Fired Up!) where kids can get creative, and The Marketplace—where ski bums can stock up on beer, wine and deli items. And visitors can also now take a snowshoe stargazing tour, a brand-new offering led by a scientific expert and spurred by the success of their summer stargazing program.
If you can afford to splurge a bit—to the tune of $899+ per-person for a full-day—one of the most thrilling debuts this season is the launch of helicopter skiing, the first operation of its kind in the Sierra Nevada range. The venture is led by Pacific Crest Heli-Guides in partnership with HeliTahoe, and will limit involvement to 16 skiers per day.
Those seeking new or improved dining choices after a day of downhill racing will have a few options. In Tahoe City, the recently launched North Shore Hawaiian Grill serves up authentic and relatively affordable island fare. And near the shores of the Lake, the iconic Christy Hill has changed hands and now offers lunch, a special happy hour menu, and gourmet menu offering sophisticated items such as pan-roasted gnocchi with duck confit. And in Kings Beach, the former Tradewinds had re-opened as The Grid Bar and Grill—a lively roadhouse bar and eatery, with plenty of live music and other events.
There’s snow denying it—North Lake Tahoe just keeps getting better and better as a premier skiing escape.