It’s no secret that the start of this season is the opposite of last season, weather-wise. Instead of avalanches and spinouts there are clear skies and easy driving conditions, along with snowmaking and anxious eyes peering toward the horizon in search of storm clouds. There is a silver lining though, as deals can be found and many lift ticket prices are still being offered at early season rates. Snow making operations are in full gear as ski areas work hard to provide as much coverage as they can to blanket the slopes with the white stuff, while groomers work their magic enhancing the quality of the snow.
Regardless of the snow conditions some things never change and world class entertainment options will draw revelers ringing in the New Year this year, as always. “Visitors can take in spectacular lake views while enjoying a wide variety of terrain options by day and high-energy performances from world-renowned entertainers by night – a ski destination experience that is unique to Lake Tahoe,” said John Wagnon, president of Ski Lake Tahoe.
Reno is a popular destination for New Year’s Eve celebrations and there are several big acts performing, including Wiz Khalifa, 2011 BET Best New Artist of the Year, and hip-hop legends Common and Aesop Rock. In addition Huey Lewis and the News will be performing, as well as Big and Rich with Cowboy Troy. If you are looking for more traditional entertainment take in a performance of The Nutcracker or Peter Pan. Comedy lovers will enjoy catching some laughs with comedians Katt Williams, Adam Corolla and Mike E. Winfield of NBC’s The Office. Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe has partnered with a number of Reno casino properties to offer stay-and-ski packages to round out the celebration.
Heavenly Mountain Resort offers the biggest slope-side New Year’s Eve block party in the area. Tens of thousands of carousers will spill out into the blockaded streets of South Lake Tahoe for the countdown at midnight. Heavenly Mountain Resort has a full slate of events leading up to New Year’s Eve, including professional ice skating shows, ice sculptors, a four-day concert series in Heavenly Village and “Unbuckled” après parties at the new mid-mountain Tamarack Lodge.
Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa has organized a Vegas-style New Year’s Eve pool party at the Onsen Spa complete with world-renowned DJs, silk aerialists and more than $50,000 in lighting alone. They have partnered with Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort to offer stay-and-ski packages.
Vex Nightclub at Harrah’s Casino will have DJs spinning until the wee hours while dancers perform on elevated catwalks and caged stages throughout the venue.
For a unique experience, Kirkwood Mountain Resort is offering customized snowcat rides to the top of the mountain for a champagne toast followed by dinner at the Wall Bar and a fireworks show. They are also sponsoring the inaugural Snow Globe Music Festival taking place at Lake Tahoe Community College in South Lake Tahoe from December 29-31. The three day festival will combine skiing and snowboarding with live music on multiple stages from headline acts such as Pretty Lights, Dilated Peoples, Thievery Corporation, Bassnectar and The Glitch Mob.
On the North Shore, skiers and riders can catch a pre-party at Alpine Meadows before riding the new Squaw/Alpine Express shuttle to join Squaw Valley guests for a champagne toast and the resort’s annual fireworks show. Following the festivities, guests can head to the Olympic House for a dance party with funk band Mojo Green and DJ Zeb Early. Guests can also opt for a family-friendly option to ride up the Tram for dinner, dancing and an East Coast New Year’s Eve countdown at 9:00pm PST so the little ones can get to bed early.
Northstar California Resort is hosting its annual Fire and Ice New Year’s Eve Celebration with DJs on the village stage and live music from tribute band Led Zeppelin 2 – The Live Experience followed by a fireworks display at 9:00pm. The modern mountain village has been transformed into a winter wonderland complete with twinkling white lights, festive decorations and family-friendly diversions..
For complete details on events and booking a trip to Lake Tahoe visit SkiLakeTahoe.com.
To purchase tickets for events in the Reno-Tahoe area, check Stub Hub and enter a city name, e.g. Reno or South Lake Tahoe.
To reach North Lake Tahoe from San Francisco by car (approximately 4 hours, depending on traffic and weather):
- Take Interstate 80 east (stay on 80 through Sacramento).
- Exit at Truckee onto Highway 89 south following signs to Lake Tahoe/Tahoe City
- Arrive in Tahoe City at the North Shore of Lake Tahoe
To reach South Lake Tahoe from San Francisco by car (approximately 4 hours, depending on traffic and weather):
- Take Interstate 80 east
- In Sacramento take US Highway 50 east
- Arrive in South Lake Tahoe at the South Shore of Lake Tahoe