SKI, APRES, REPEAT
Heavenly Mountain Resort is the only ski resort in North America to span two states with plenty of only-in-Tahoe experiences including photo opportunities at both on-mountain “Welcome to California” and “Welcome to Nevada” signs. For the second season, Helly Hansen Après Tracks allows guests of Heavenly lodging properties Gondola Vista, Lakeland Village and Zalanta Resort to ski a run with Heavenly Ski Patrollers after the resort closes on Sunday evenings. An exclusive après event at Lakeview Lodge follows with a complimentary beverage and appetisers. Spring Loaded returns in March with a multi-week celebration of winter and spring including Pink Heavenly, a weekend of cancer awareness events both on and off the slopes.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort maintains its reputation as a pure mountain escape for families and adventurers alike. The Timber Creek Family Learning Zone with enhanced natural terrain helps build confidence and skills; and for the avid adventurer there’s Expedition: Kirkwood, an advanced backcountry experience. New this season, Kirkwood is bringing snow-ready fat bikes to 37 miles of groomed trails at Kirkwood’s Cross Country and Snowshoe Center. Three interconnected trail systems in Alpine Valley are open to all ability levels.
Heavenly is scheduled to open Friday, Nov. 22 and Kirkwood on Wednesday, Nov. 27, conditions permitting.
Vail Resorts continues its commitment to EpicPromise, a corporate-wide charitable program, through the 2019/20 season with efforts to reduce energy and waste at Heavenly and Kirkwood Mountain Resorts. Last season Vail Resorts donated $1.9 million in grants to 93 Lake Tahoe organizations.
Sierra-at-Tahoe is enhancing its guest experience with new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for quicker access at all entry lifts. The resort will no longer provide paper lift tickets or require guests to show a pass every lap, as the RFID technology will be embedded into all tickets and passes for the 2019/20 season. Sierra-at-Tahoe unlimited season passholders receive a free membership to the Powder Alliance, a group of 19 independent ski resorts throughout the world, with three days of riding at each of these resorts.
Aramark’s Zephyr Cove Resort officially acquired Lake Tahoe Adventures and Nevada Adventures, with snowmobile operations in Hope Valley and summer ATV and Razor tours on the historic and renowned Rubicon Trail in Calif. and Pine Mountain located in Minden, Nev. Winter guests will have access to guided snowmobile tours at the resort’s current location on Spooner Summit and also in Hope Valley while expanding the legacy of former owners, Ari and Tina Makinen. Tours include transportation to and from each location.
Things are heating up at Harveys Lake Tahoe with the opening of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s HELL’S KITCHEN restaurant in late 2019. Based on the hit FOX reality show, HELL’S KITCHEN will include design and menu elements from the show. The restaurant is currently taking reservations for 2020 and will be located in the historic Sage Room at Harveys. The Sage Room Steakhouse, which has been a landmark since its opening in 1947, is moving to the resort’s 19th floor to offer diners dramatic views of Lake Tahoe as well as expanded seating opportunities.
SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL OPTIONS
Tahoe South has committed to Pledge for the Wild, an initiative to encourage guests to open their hearts and wallets in support of outdoor places including other mountain communities – Bend, Bozeman, Flagstaff, and Steamboat. With travellers frequently seeking sustainable tourism and responsible recreation, Pledge for the Wild provides opportunities to support the destination while on vacation, including options of donating $1 per hour when recreating. Donations can be made by texting WILD4TAHOE to 44-321, or at www.tahoefund.org. Tahoe South, the area’s Visitors Authority, selected Tahoe Fund’s new Environmental Venture Trust as the recipient. Similar to a traditional venture capital fund, it will provide seed funding for a variety of early-stage environmental projects to benefit Lake Tahoe. The first investment is a UV Light Pilot Project that analyses the use of UV light to treat invasive aquatic weeds, which the non-native species are a threat to the lake clarity.
Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is also partnering with Kind Traveler, the first socially conscious Give + Get hotel booking and education platform to promote sustainable travel. Through the site, with a $10 nightly donation to Take Care Tahoe, travellers can access exclusive rates to a curated list of hotels. For information on participating properties and how travellers can #TravelKindly to South Lake Tahoe, visit http://www.kindtraveler.com.
Travel in the snow can be stress-free when car-free this winter. Non-stop air service into Reno/Tahoe International Airport has made a winter getaway to Tahoe even more convenient with 130 daily flights from destinations including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle (www.renoairport.com)
From the airport’s baggage claim, South Tahoe Airporter offers round-trip motor coach service for travellers opting for a car-free vacation. The 70-minute shuttle is non-stop to South Tahoe then frequents the major Stateline resorts. (http://southtahoeairporter.com) They have a new luxury option for guests with custom door to door service: (https://southtahoeairporter.com/door-to-door-private-service/)
Those traveling with ski and snowboard equipment can utilize UberSKI, now operating in the South Shore area. UberSKI allows riders to request vehicles equipped with a ski rack or truck bed for convenient transportation.