VACATIONERS tube at Sierra at Tahoe. Mother Lode News file photo


Tahoe ski resorts celebrate the holidays

By December 13, 2010

VACATIONERS tube at Sierra at Tahoe. Mother Lode News file photo

LAKE TAHOE — Lake Tahoe is the place to be for the upcoming holidays thanks to record-setting November snowstorms that dropped more than 10 feet of snow, transforming the region into a winter wonderland in a little less than a week.

Starting the season with a healthy snowpack is a boon for travelers who will partake in the annual holiday festivals, legendary New Year’s Eve parties and countless entertainment options in the Lake Tahoe area.

Already boasting top-to-bottom skiing and some of the deepest base depths in the country, the incredible mid-winter snow conditions will allow for full operations at all seven resorts in time for the upcoming holidays.

Skiers and snowboarders heading to Lake Tahoe will have more choices in ski resorts, terrain and experiences — including over 124 lifts, 600 trails and over 15,000 acres of legendary terrain — than any other winter destination in the country.

As a destination, Lake Tahoe continues to offer the most affordable stay-and-ski packages in America with rates starting as low as $65.

In addition to incredible savings on vacation packages, guests headed to Lake Tahoe for the holidays can choose from a number of Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities ranging from family-focused offerings to the wildest slopeside New Year’s Eve block party in the country.

Following is a brief rundown of options this upcoming holiday season.

The holiday festivities at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort are slated to take place from Saturday, Dec. 18 through Friday, Dec. 24 and will include live music, carolers, Santa appearances and more.

Guests still needing to finish their holiday shopping should mark their calendar with the final opportunity to partake in Noel Nights Dec. 16 with 25 percent off merchandise at select village stores, ice skating, s’mores over rink-side fire pits, sleigh rides, cookie and ornament decorating and a Nutcracker Performance by the Tahoe Youth Ballet. Visit for details.

Squaw Valley USA plans to celebrate the holidays with two solid weeks of festive events geared toward the entire family including moonlit snowshoe tours, shopping and holiday feasts in this classic winter wonderland.

To top it off, Jonny Moseley will be on the slopes skiing with guests for free from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2. New this winter, Squaw Valley welcomes a host of new events for kids and families such as hot chocolate and s’mores snowtubing parties, kids concert and scavenger hunt. For complete details, please visit

Heavenly Mountain Resort has put together a number of family-focused holiday events certain to make this a December to remember including shopping deals throughout the modern village, outdoor ice skating, the Ripperoo Crew Kids’ Parade on Saturdays throughout the holiday season and performances of “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24 at the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa.

Returning for its sixth season in South Lake Tahoe, the production creates a magical winter wonderland that mesmerizes patrons of all ages. For more information, log on to

Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort will celebrate the holiday season with the grand opening of its new Blizzard Mountain tubing and snow play area on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 23-24, with appearances by the Blizzard Mountain Polar Bear, photo opportunities in Santa’s sleigh, snowman building competitions and Christmas tree decorating. Visit for complete details.

Families spending the yuletide season at Alpine Meadows can join Santa on the slopes Dec. 23-24 and should plan to stop by the Last Chair Bar and Restaurant to celebrate the holidays with live music, good company and a festive atmosphere. Check out for more.

Lake Tahoe is legendary for its 24/7 New Year’s Eve celebrations with massive outdoor block parties, plush cocktail lounges and cutting-edge nightclubs overflowing with revelers from dusk ’til dawn and beyond.

From shore to shore, partygoers will be ringing in the New Year at venues ranging from exclusive red carpet affairs to free festivals geared toward families.

More than 10,000 party-goers are expected to attend the ritual gathering that consumes the entire corridor between the casino venues of South Lake Tahoe. Montbleu Casino and Resort will be hosting the New Year’s Eve Perfection Party sprawling between three distinctively different venues including Blu Nightclub, Opal Ultra Lounge and the MontBleu Convention Center with over 30,000 square feet dedicated to the night club party scene.

Dance the night away to welcome in the New Year at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe with VEX Nightclub’s go-go dancers, aerial acts and VIP booths bringing Vegas-style partying to the shores of Lake Tahoe.

An inaugural family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration will be held in the Heavenly Village this season starting at 2 p.m. with a rail jam near the Gondola followed by a slate of activities geared toward an all-ages crowd including ice skating, snowboard/sledding simulators, adventure films, live music, and a climactic firework show and illuminated Gondola car being “dropped” from the top of Heavenly’s East Peak at 9 p.m., 12 p.m. EST, to officially usher in 2011.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort will once again be hosting a torchlight parade and fireworks display as part of its New Year’s Eve celebration with an after party and fine-dining reservations available.

The biggest party on the North Shore is slated for Squaw Valley USA’s Olympic House with the West Coast New Year’s Eve Celebration consisting of five bars, live music and DJs spinning tunes until the wee hours.

The resort is also offering a family-friendly option mid-mountain at High Camp with entertainment options suited for the entire family. This all-ages soiree begins at 6 p.m. and includes a starry-night cable car ride, spectacular surf and turf buffet dinner, music, dancing and a 9 p.m. East Coast champagne/sparkling cider toast followed by a climactic fireworks display.

Northstar at Tahoe Resort will be hosting a family-friendly “Fire and Ice” New Year’s Eve Party featuring the Controlled Burn fire dancers from Reno performing three shows. There will be live music, shopping, dining, skating, drink specials, and a fireworks show will light the skies at 9 p.m.

Destination travelers looking to follow the storms through real-time snow reports or plan a ski vacation this winter can log on to the recently redesigned website to find unbeatable deals and discount packages from all seven resorts and lake-wide lodging partners. Visit for further details.

Andy Laughlin

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