Recent storms provide earliest South Tahoe ski resort openings in 13 years
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The early Nov. snowstorms and cold temps have the season in high gear with the earliest opening in over a decade at South Tahoe ski resorts. The timely weather portends a triumphant winter for South Lake Tahoe especially with active weather patterns in the forecast for early next week http://www.visitlaketahoe.com.
It all sets the stage with what’s new and can be expected for winter enthusiasts during the 2022-23 season:
SKI / SNOWPLAY
Heavenly Mountain Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort both opened Nov. 12. In order to provide a more enjoyable skier experience, both resorts will cap the number of ticket sales, so purchasing online ahead to guarantee access is highly encouraged. Debuting this winter season at Heavenly is the new high-speed, four-person North Bowl lift – an upgrade from the former triple chair to increase uphill capacity and speed access at the Stagecoach and Olympic lifts on the Nevada side of the resort.
Kirkwood Resort, long known for its cornices and deep powder, turns 50 this year. To celebrate, an Après kickoff party with live music, food, raffles, and premiere of the short film “50 Years Deep: The Story of Kirkwood,” is set for Dec. 17. Spots are limited to the first 250, with in person RSVP starting Dec. 2.
Sierra-at-Tahoe is proving resilient with its resurrection from the 2021 Caldor Fire, completing an exorbitant amount of restoration work to prepare for this season’s Dec. 3 opening. The Sierra-at-Tahoe spirit is alive and well with all trails planning to re-open, weather and conditions permitting. The comeback story of Sierra-at-Tahoe is detailed here.
For a complete guide to winter snow play including ice skating outdoors at Edgewood and Heavenly Village, indoor at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena; snowshoeing/groomed XC skiing trails at Camp Richardson as well as Kirkwood; snowmobiling at Zephyr Cove and Hope Valley; tubing at six different locations throughout South Shore, several year-round boat cruise and fishing charters, and even clear bottom kayak tours with Clearly Tahoe.
Black Bear Lodge acquired the Deerfield Lodge, an adjacent property and expanded an additional 22 rooms/suites while maintaining its renowned inviting charm. The hallways are painted a calming green, and rooms feature essential oil diffusers, products from William Roam, plush bath robes, slippers and morning java from locally owned, Drink Coffee Do Stuff. Located blocks from the lake and the mountain on Ski Run Blvd. in South Tahoe, the relaxing property is situated on two acres of mature landscape.
RnR Vacation Rentals, with homes throughout the south Shore, offers winter-long ski leases that provide coveted flexibility and convenience — putting avid skiers in prime position to cherry-pick all the great days. RnR has launched its Inflation Buster Special, with $500 off a ski lease for a South Lake Tahoe vacation home.
Desolation Hotel, an eco-luxury, micro-resort features 21 accommodations including soaking tubs on private balconies, indoor fireplaces, Frette linens and robes, and kitchenettes. Ten of the units are three-story townhouses with a private garage, EV charging, and washer/dryer. Amenities also include a 14-person spa, pool with a bar, gym, and on-site restaurant Maggie’s.
At Edgewood Tahoe Resort, luxurious new lakefront Villa Suites with five, three and two-bedroom options recently opened and are adjacent to the Lodge and the eighth and ninth fairways. Spectacular views, the finest amenities and privacy guarantee a memorable and opulent stay.
Hampton Inn & Suites, the nationally renowned chain sports a singular modern design providing guests a lobby bar, heated indoor pool, heated patio, hot tub, fire pit, and ski lockers. Located less than a mile from the beach and the Heavenly Gondola, the sustainability inspired hotel utilizes solar and efficient energy consumption, a complete water retention system, and 12 EV chargers.
Hard Rock Lake Tahoe is bringing back its one-of-a-kind LED tree in front of the Guitar Plaza with over 22,000 lights, over 17,856 individual channels programming nine computer to illuminate the tree.
Heavenly Village 20th Anniversary will celebrate two decades for the Heavenly Village as South Tahoe’s winter gather place with a plethora of events throughout December. The annual tree lighting with Santa is the kickoff ceremony for Heavenly Holidays, Nov. 25, complete with caroling, music and local dignitaries as St. Nick illuminates a 60-foot fir tree. Lightings continues daily at 5:30 p.m.
The entire month of endless good tidings and cheer for kids young and old includes Breakfast with Santa, Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 24; Holiday Santa Paws & Yappy Hour, Dec. 3, Dec. 10; 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. Costs and specific locations within the Heavenly Village vary, for all event information visit:https://visitlaketahoe.com/.
NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATIONS
Live music will take place on Heavenly Village’s Main Stage with multiple DJ’s and bands, Dec. 31 from 3-9:30 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 with a fireworks show. To celebrate midnight Pacific Time, the largest NYE celebration will be at Hard Rock’s Guitar Plaza with a DJ and fireworks show.
LEAVE THE DRIVING TO US – AND LAKE LINK FOR FREE RIDES
Going car free is entirely do-able at Lake Tahoe. For a comprehensive guide to getting there and getting around, visit http://www.linkingtahoe.com. The new app-based Lake Link http://www.tahoelakelink.com launched summer 2022, allowing visitors and locals to request free rides in 9-12 passenger vans on the main thoroughfares from the Nevada casinos (and in 2023, to and from the Events Center) to the Al Tahoe neighborhood in South Lake Tahoe, approximately three miles from the state line.
During snowfall, a fleet of city and state snow removal vehicles work throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin to keep the roads clear and safe for travel. Caltrans has current California road conditions at http://www.dot.ca.gov or 1-800-427-ROAD (7623) or 916-445-7623. For road conditions in Nevada, contact the Nevada Department of Transportation athttp://nvroads.com or 877-687-6237. For winter driving tips visit https://visitlaketahoe.com/destination-update/.
Tourism officials are encouraging mid-week, off-peak visitation for a more intimate experience and since we’ve all been through a lot these past few years, a request for exercising mindful and patient behavior. Tourism organizations are anxious for people to connect and to respect this beautiful natural environment and treat it and local hospitality staffs like they would their own homes and families. Visit Lake Tahoe offers timely updates and key travel information at “Know Before You Go” and Responsible Recreation.