“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” took on a whole new meaning this past weekend as more than four feet of snow fell on Tahoe ski resorts, guaranteeing prime conditions for the holidays. With roads plowed, a forecast of sunshine throughout the week, and expanded ski terrain now open, Santa arrived early for winter enthusiasts and the area’s hospitality businesses.
With area ski resorts now boasting 136-183 inches of snow to date, resorts are close to having 100 percent of lifts/trails open for the 2022-23 season. www.visitlaketahoe.com.
“’Tis the season to be jolly and we sure have a lot to celebrate with this powder-filled start to the ski season well before the holidays,” said Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “We are appreciative of our snow removal teams and resorts to keep the roads and mountains safe. As always with storms, we highly encourage monitoring official sources, plan ahead, drive slowly and arrive prior to the storm or delay departures for a more seamless winter vacation.”
Heavenly Mountain Resort opened Stagecoach lift this past Saturday and anticipates to debut its new North Bowl lift soon. This is the new high-speed, four-person detachable lift – an upgrade from the former triple chair to increase uphill capacity more than 40 percent and reduce ride and wait times while providing better access to underutilized terrain.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort anticipates having 100 percent of trails open by this weekend just in time for Kirkwood’s 50th anniversary. A short film will debut at the sold-out event “50 Years Deep: The Story of Kirkwood,” but will be available via YouTube the following week. With these great conditions, Kirkwood expects parking lots to fill up and highly encourages carpooling and arriving early to avoid traffic around opening time.
Sierra-at-Tahoe is the comeback story of the year – the recent storm enabled Grand View to open Dec. 12 – a main access point and a lift that received extensive damage during the devastating Caldor Fire. More trails will be accessible as conditions allow.
Heavenly Village 20th Anniversary – the celebration as South Shore’s central winter gathering place will continue throughout the month with a full schedule of family events and activities. The good tidings and cheer for kids young and old includes: Breakfast with Santa, Dec. 17 and 24; Holiday Paint & Sip, Dec. 10-17; Santa Claus is Skiing to Town, Dec. 17; Heavenly Village Holiday Sip & Shop, Dec. 17; Village Ice Sculpture Contest, Dec. 26; Meet Your Favorite Characters, Dec. 26-30; Visit Lake Tahoe Ferris Wheel, Dec. 26-31; Holiday Face Painting, Dec. 27-31; Heavenly Winter Filmstream Festival, Dec. 29-30; Visit Lake Tahoe Build-A-Bear, Saturdays in December and even a Toyota Rail Jam. For details on each and specific locations for all events within the Heavenly Village, visit: https://visitlaketahoe.com/.
Live music on New Year’s Eve will take place on Heavenly Village’s Main Stage with multiple DJ’s and bands, Dec. 31, from 3 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Heavenly Holidays reaches its zenith on New Year’s Eve with a gondola drop coordinated with the midnight ball drop in New York City’s Time Square, at 9 p.m. PT, and 2023 will be rung in by ’90s alternative rock band, Gin Blossoms, accompanied by fireworks. To celebrate New Year’s Eve midnight Pacific Time, the largest gathering will be at Hard Rock’s Guitar Plaza with a DJ and fireworks show.
SAVE DRIVING TIPS
During snowfall, a fleet of city and state snow removal vehicles work throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin to keep roads clear and safe for travel. Safety and ease of travel are always key with real time road conditions and information available on California roads at Caltrans at www.dot.ca.gov or 1-800-427-ROAD (7623) or 916-445-7623. For road conditions in Nevada, visit the Nevada Department of Transportation at http://nvroads.com or 877-687-6237. Some key tips: slow down and always drive slower during snowy conditions, realize braking distances are longer no matter the vehicle – including 4-wheel drive, plan ahead, anticipate delays, leave plenty of space, carry chains and know how to install them. For more information: https://visitlaketahoe.com/destination-update/.
For winter recreational safety recommendations that every guest should know, Ski California offers a guide at https://safety.skicalifornia.org – from what to do before skiing or riding to how to ride lifts, to understanding trail signage and navigating potential hazards, and learning about deep snow and avalanche awareness.
Tourism officials encourage a “thoughtful visitor common sense and common courtesy” list of suggestions:
- Stay on the main roads – do NOT utilize apps that may take you through local neighborhoods as streets there may not yet be maintained resulting in getting stuck, thereby generating traffic congestion, and greater delays;
- Once in town, connect without a car: take the free Lake Link shuttle service to Heavenly and around the tourist downtown area. The system is convenient, and did we say “free?” www.tahoelakelink.com
- Drink Tahoe tap water and forget the plastic bottles – besides, Tahoe water tastes great;
- Re: trash, please appreciate the outdoors here as you would your home and place trash in a can or pack it out to an available receptacle;
- Please don’t leave any plastic sled behind – each one deserves a home!
CONSIDER REMOTE WORK
With the ability for many to work remotely we encourage winter enthusiasts to consider that into their plans, come prior to the storm/work and then play. If snowstorms occur on Sundays when most guests are leaving, consider staying another night for ease of travel.
For more information, events, promotions, packages, conditions explore Visit Lake Tahoe: www.VisitLakeTahoe.com.