SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Visitors to America’s favorite lake (USA Today, Aug. 2012) can expect a winter of major content as Tahoe South (TahoeSouth.com) resorts are poised with prime attractions, sizzling special events and a combination of unmatched outdoor recreation and nighttime amenities.
“The destination is on a major uptick with a record-breaking summer and the ongoing economic recovery,” said Carol Chaplin, executive director at the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “Plus, there’s an enthusiastic outlook as local weather indicators point toward a season of big snow.”
Tahoe South offers an element of city flair to complement an energetic vibe, mixing with untamed natural beauty to create a winter wild side.
Heavenly Mountain Resort has an amped Unbuckle at Tamarack, Tahoe’s ultimate après ski party, with DJs, half-off drink specials and go-go dancers at the Tamarack Lodge every sunset.
The Gunbarrel Grill becomes an on-mountain man cave, stocked with flat screen televisions and table service with special pricing on heady microbrews and two-hands-required gourmet burgers.
On the slopes three new intermediate runs await those who didn’t have the chance to sample the Galaxy “trail pod” added last season. And 10 new, energy-efficient Viking V2 snow guns installed this summer at the lower Stagecoach run in Nevada add to Heavenly’s extensive snowmaking capacity.
Heavenly is bringing back the infamous 500 ft-long, 56 ft-wide half pipe to the High Roller Terrain Park. The location allows for a uniform consistency between both sides of the pipe, meaning one side won’t melt faster than the other.
Building on Heavenly’s long-standing tradition of freestyle skiing and competition, the resort will host the U.S. Freestyle Championships, March 29 to 31, 2013. Heavenly’s Sho Kashima, a member of the U.S. Ski Team, will join the nation’s most accomplished freestyle skiers to showcase their talents in preparation for the 2014 Olympics.
The new EpicMix Racing mobile app lets guests time their runs to compare with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, which can be shared through social media. Heavenly’s photographers will continue to take portrait and action photos by scanning a guest’s RF-enabled lift ticket or season pass.
Heavenly’s Peak Performance Academy offers new clinics led by the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors teams on select February and March dates. These gurus will work with skiers and snowboarders in an all-mountain clinic featuring video analysis and off-piste tactics, while addressing individual’s personal goals. Go to SkiHeavenly.com.
Sierra-at-Tahoe charges into the 2012-13 winter season with new Sierra Snowcat Tours that will whisk skilled skiers and riders to the top of Huckleberry Canyon to access pristine backcountry terrain. This adventure unlocks access to the pillow drops, cornices, rock chutes, open bowls and gladed runs of a backcountry trek. The Sierra Snowcat is also available for private tours by groups of five or more.
The force is strong at Sierra for Younglings and Padawans this winter in the new Yoda’s Riglet Park. Here, North America’s only Burton Star Wars Experience uses the beloved intergalactic saga to help children ages 3-6 make their first snowboard turns. Jedis-in-training will learn through interactive drop-in nodes showcasing custom-made wood carvings of R2-D2, C-3P0, Chewbacca and more.
Sierra’s new Ski, Stay and Soar winter lodging package takes adventurers to new heights with two lift tickets, two 20-minute helicopter rides by Reno Tahoe Helicopters and a two-night stay in South Lake Tahoe starting at $265/person. Skiers and riders can shred one day then soar the next for aerial views of the terrain they covered at the resort. Or go gung-ho and do it all in one day for an unforgettable take on Tahoe’s high altitude attitude. For more information visit SierraAtTahoe.com.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort celebrates its 40th Anniversary this season with several upgrades from its new parent company, Vail Resorts. Kirkwood guests are anticipating new bragging rights with the addition of EpicMix mobile app technology, to demonstrate to friends just how epic the resort is with cold hard stats via favorite social media channels.
Expedition: Kirkwood provides a level of education and training that goes well beyond the classroom with a series of new courses for the 2012-13 winter season. Outdoor adventure-seekers can step 5-feet outside the facility at Kirkwood and put their knowledge to the test in Class A avalanche terrain. Expedition: Kirkwood provides avalanche certification courses, women’s specific programs, beacon training, powder cat tours, private guides, specialty ski and board clinics, and progressions sessions in some of the most extreme in-bounds terrain in North America.
The mountain explodes with new hard core special events like the Swatch Freeride World Tour, which combines that event with the Freeskiing World Tour and The North Face Masters of Snowboarding to create one unified global championship series. The only U.S. event in the six-stop world tour is Feb. 27 to March 3, 2013. For more information visit kirkwood.com.
Transitioning from world-class skiing, additional winter thrills throughout Tahoe South include treetop ziplines, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross country skiing at Historic Camp Richardson Resort, scenic boat cruises aboard the Tahoe Queen or MS Dixie II and tours with Reno Tahoe Helicopters and Borges Sleigh Rides.
Once the sun sets on Tahoe South, it’s the call of the wild at Lake Tahoe’s nightlife epicenter as award-winning entertainment cues up with Grammy-toting musicians, live music, lounge acts, 24-hour gaming and an active bar and social scene.
The 2012-13 season heats up with an entertainment schedule rich with new celebrations and special events.
Winter Snow Blast, the latest fete to hit Tahoe South, combines a monthly on-mountain live show and après ski party at Heavenly Mountain Resort, followed by a boot-stomping concert in nearby Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.
The SnowGlobe electronic music festival will once again ring in the New Year, but with new after-concert festivities at MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa. MontBleu will also throw poolside parties on holiday weekends that go until dawn, while the Horizon Casino Resort keeps the enchantment alive with a new schedule of Illusion Fusion magic shows. For an evening of hip and irreverent comedy, the Improv at Harveys attracts renowned stand-up performers.
Foraging foodies can head to the new lake view haute spot, Bistro on the Pier, or take their favorite frau to the Himmel Haus for contemporary German cuisine and a stein or three.
Primo’s Italian Bistro offers a cozy atmosphere to refuel after a day of fun, or try the perks at 968 Hotel’s new coffee bar and pub.
Meanwhile, Dotty’s Casino with its recent 6,500 square foot renovation tempts travelers to try their luck. Inside, the Lucky Beaver steps up with a modern saloon-style bar and restaurant serving hormone-free, grass-fed beef as featured in the Jack Pot burger loaded with bacon, fried egg, avocado, cheese, Ortega chilies and beyond.
Tahoe South’s lodging options provide a variety of value winter packages and deals at TahoeSouth.com/deals.
For real time updates on events, promotions, packages, conditions and events in Tahoe South, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is on Facebook: facebook.com/TahoeSouth, Twitter: twitter.com/SouthShoreTahoe, and YouTube: youtube.com/LTVA. For Tahoe South information call 1-800-AT-TAHOE (1-800-288-2463) or go to tahoesouth.com.