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Family Ski Trip to Tahoe

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Huddler, Jan 4, 2013.

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  1. Huddler

    Huddler VIP Whale

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    I am thinking about taking my 11 year old daughter and 9 year old son to Tahoe to ski over Spring Break, March 25-30th. They have never skied before but are usually up for anything. Heck, Santa brought them Yamaha 125 dirt bikes for Christmas and they learned to shift gears and ride with 10 minutes. So, they will just need maybe a half day lesson and then be good to go.

    I have no idea where to stay or ski. I would like a resort that is right at the base of the ski area so we can go back and forth to the room easily without having to drive. I would like an indoor pool/jaccusi because I know I will be sore! I dont necessarily need a casino where I am staying but it would be nice, and hopefully a few others close by. We dont need a ton of treacherous black diamond slopes or cross country adventures. I havent skiied in 12 years and they have never skiied so this would be more of a learning without getting killled experience. Bunny slopes, green, and some easy blue's should do us.

    Where would you recommend we stay? What other things would be fun for the kids to do in the area? How is the snow there toward the end of March? What casino's have good bj rules and ddb vp pay tables? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
     
  2. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    Lake Tahoe is weird only in that 1/2 of the lake is California (no gaming) and the other 1/2 in Nevada. For Heavenly, the closest you can get to getting up the slopes without driving and also be close to the casinos is to stay at the base of the gondola which is accessible with a valid lift ticket. I know there are lessons given at the top of the gondola as you see all the instructors and groups of various levels of skier when you disembark. I would suggest going to skiHeavenly.com for information and some sense of direction. I would google map to find locations and names of places to stay which might fit your needs. Marriott comes to mind but we don't stay there so I never pay attention to the surrounding hotels / resorts.

    The casinos are probably walking distance from the base of the gondola but the choices are meager compared to Vegas. Good luck and book early for the best rates (if any are left)....

    There is also an extensive shuttle system run by Heavenly which is free and stops at all the major hotels / hostels. You might check that out also as it is convenient and usually only requires a couple of buck$ tip to get a smile from the drivers.
     
    1st Super Bowl DT...Panthers / Browns no doubt
  3. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Don't mean to be a buzzkill, but are you sure this is how you want to spend a spring vacation.

    There is the obvious concern "what if they try skiing and don't like it"

    But even if they do like it, there is also the question of how much they'll really get out of it. You seem to have a lot of faith in them to pick things up quickly, but half a day's lesson will basically be enough to get them snowplowing down the bunny hills with frequent stops.

    That is all very well, but if you're sticking just to the bunny hills anyway, how much extra do you get out of skiing Tahoe than skiing elsewhere?

    If it was me, I'd want to take them someplace local a couple times for some basic lessons and to make sure they actually enjoyed it. You want to make sure they get to a level where they can tackle just about anything but the expert runs safely, so they can get the most out of it.

    Just my .02
     
  4. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    South Lake Tahoe has the most accessible skiing at Heavenly. I like the skiing on the North end of the lake, but they require driving.

    The casinos in South Lake Tahoe are all right on the Nevada border. I would guess it's 2-3 blocks of casinos. I've stayed at most of them and have few complaints. There is a resort right at the base of the gondola, but the casinos are a short walk away. I was always happy with Harvey's, but I doubt you could go wrong with any of the hotels that have rooms that appeal to you.

    I wouldn't worry too much about skiing. If you don't want to ski, there is a LOT to do in town and at the resorts. On a good weather day, nothing compares to the view from the top of the lift at Heavenly.
     
  5. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    If you can forgo the casino then in all other regards you'll be better served at Squaw or Northstar than at stateline/SLT. Better hill (at Squaw), certainly more of a ski village vibe at both, ez access from Squaw to Alpine -- the underrated hill -- easiest ski in/ski out at Northstar, an array of stay accommodations; I'd certainly go condo/private rental through something like vrbo.com.
     
  6. lisaloveslv

    lisaloveslv Tourist

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    When we go to Tahoe we stay at the Ridge resorts on the Nevada side. The Ridge Tahoe has an indoor/outdoor pool, activities, spa, restaurant, and a dedicated lift to Heavenly. They also have a casino shuttle that operates late into the night.
     
  7. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    That's exactly what I was thinking. They're gonna need a lot more than a half day lesson to be able to go down anything more than the bunny slope. You could take them skiing down a hillside in a local park and they'd have the same experience as they would in Tahoe.
     
  8. mjamesp

    mjamesp High-Roller

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    I'm assuming proximity to the casinos is a consideration. With the 2 kids I'd look into the Embassy Suites right on the Cali / Nevada boarder. One block to the gondola at Heavenly and one block to the casinos. Breakfast, in-door pool/hot tub, cocktails in the evening.

    I've stayed there and had a great experience. With the 2 kids being inexperienced skiers I'd be looking for convenience. Getting to the snow with all the gear and out skiing can be a hassle, this is pretty convenient. The Nevada side of Heavenly has plenty of Green / Blue runs for lots of exploring. One morning lesson and the kids should be able do a lot more than the very beginner run. Optimally the kids would have skied a couple of times before the trip, may not be an option for you??

    This is coming from a weekend ski instructor/race coach Dad that takes 3 kids 12 and younger out to our local area each weekend and then out west once a year. Pay for the convenience. At the end of the day they will be tired and hungry (cranky). Snacks in the room, pool time and drinks for you, then dinner.
     
  9. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    That is a good and handy Embassy, and the two Marriott timeshares at the village are great.

    But I guess the underlying question is whether this is first and foremost about a ski getaway for the kids or a diversion with a casino? If the former, either village at Northstar or Squaw provides that in spades -- with all the ski-village attributes -- and Northstar is particularly user friendly, and as I said, both have true ski in/ski out, which you don't get whatsoever at stateline.

    Don't get me wrong, Heavenly is a helluva hill and the Sierra/high desert views from the top are unparalleled. But it's not Squaw from a ski perspective and it's not Northstar from a leisurely ski getaway perspective (unless a casino is mandatory), and particularly if the idea is to just turn the kids loose.
     
  10. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    For something fun, check out the Tahoe Queen ski shuttle, $125 for adults and it includes a round trip paddle wheel cruise to Northstar, breakfast, and a lift ticket to Northstar. It's $59 for just the cruise and breakfast. Did this about 20 years ago and it was unforgettable, we skied at Squaw, Northstar, Sierra Ski Ranch, Heavenly. The return trip was a hoot as they have a bar, so it becomes a floating party. We met a family from New Zealand, they were on their summer break.


    Can't make any recommendations for lodging as we stayed in motel in Stateline. It had an outdoor hot tub and it was fairly magical to ski all day then drink a few beers in the hot tub while it was snowing. For me, Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places I have visited, and I would absolutely go back, except the wife and kids want the beach for spring break.
     
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