Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows Ski Areas to Connect

As been rumored for several years, a recent interview with Troy Caldwell, the owner of the White Wolf property that lies in-between the two resorts.  According to a recent interview article there’s a ‘handshake agreement’ and “we’re 2-2.5 years away “.

Click here to for the interview article with Troy Caldwell and Miles Clark / Snowbrains.com

Kennedy Wilson And Partners Acquire The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Lake Tahoe

Company to begin sale of residential units in January…

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (December 18, 2012) – International real estate investment and services firm Kennedy Wilson (NYSE: KW) today announced that the company and its partners acquired The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Lake Tahoe from the property’s lenders. Pacific Western Bank provided $45 million of financing. The company invested $18 million of equity in the transaction for a 50% ownership interest.

Constructed in 2009, the resort includes The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and The Ritz-Carlton Residences. The hotel is the first Forbes Four-Star/AAA Five Diamond resort in the Lake Tahoe area and includes 170 guest rooms. The residential component encompasses the entire top floor of the hotel, and a private wing on the third floor includes 23 penthouse residences.

“The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is the premier highlands resort west of the Rockies and we are pleased to be able to acquire the property at a significant discount to replacement cost,” said Stuart Cramer, president of KW Residential Investment Group. “Along with the recent increase in investment and upgrading of properties in the area, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe now establishes Lake Tahoe as a true world class destination.”

Nestled mid-mountain on the Northstar California Resort, the Northern California contemporary mountain retreat features slope-side ski-in, ski-out access in winter and mountain concierge services for golf, mountain biking and hiking in the summer. The hotel’s signature restaurant, Manzanita, features seasonal French-inspired California cuisine, while the resort’s 17,000 square foot Highlands Spa provides treatments and therapies themed around water and the woods.

The company will begin marketing the 23 units at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Lake Tahoe in January.

“We expect sales at the property to benefit from the booming Bay Area economy and housing market,” commented Tori Long of Tahoe Exclusive Properties, the sales agent for the units. “Additionally, the penthouses will stand the test of time as the pinnacle of luxury ownership in all of Tahoe. Families will be pampered here, children will learn to ski and explore here, and they’ll enjoy the wonder of the mountains coupled with a level of sophistication and service unrivaled anywhere.”

Kennedy Wilson, together with its institutional partners, has acquired approximately $7.1 billion of real estate and real estate related debt since the beginning of 2010.

About Kennedy Wilson Founded in 1977, Kennedy Wilson is an international real estate investment and services company headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA with 24 offices in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Spain and Japan. The company offers a comprehensive array of real estate services including auction, conventional sales, property services, research and investment management. Through its fund management and separate account businesses, Kennedy Wilson is a strategic investor of real estate investments in the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Japan. For further information on Kennedy Wilson, please visit www.kennedywilson.com.

Fall Color and October Snow

In October?!! 4+ Days of Snow for Truckee & Lake Tahoe

It’s highly unusual to see a mid-October forecast calling for 4+ days of snow:

Union Pacific’s No. 844 rolls into Truckee

Steam Locomotive No. 844 is the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. It was delivered in 1944. A high-speed passenger engine, it pulled such widely known trains as the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger. When diesels took over all of the passenger train duties, No. 844 was placed in freight service in Nebraska between 1957 and 1959. It was saved from being scrapped in 1960 and held for special service.

No. 844 is traveling 13,000 miles through 15 states as part of Union Pacific’s 150th anniversary celebration.

Below is a video taken the morning of September 27, 2012 at Truckee:

Squaw Valley’s Expansion Plan

Squaw Valley has released its proposal for an expansion of the Village area.

To view a .pdf of the proposal click here.

To view Squaw Valley’s website for the expansion click here.

Caltrans announces QuickMap: real-time traffic & travel info

SACRAMENTO – Caltrans today announced it has launched Caltrans QuickMap, an online service that provides California motorists with real-time traffic and travel information that will allow them to make better decisions about how to reach their destination more rapidly.

To access Caltrans QuickMap, visit the Caltrans site at quickmap.dot.ca.gov.

“A wide range of useful information is now easily accessible to help motorists avoid congestion and reduce their travel times,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “This exciting innovation delivers real-time data so travelers can adjust their routes to get where they’re going as quickly as possible.”

Visitors to the online interactive travel map can access nearly 1,000 freeway cameras and more than 700 electronic message signs on highways statewide. They can also monitor traffic congestion, California Highway Patrol incidents, travel time information, lane closures due to highway roadwork, and Amber Alerts. Other helpful features of the service include chain control information and color-coded traffic speed displays for freeways statewide.

USA Today: Lake Tahoe named #1 ‘Best Lake in America’

LAKE TAHOE – USA Today hosted a contest for America’s Best Lake, and our own backyard treasure took the top spot.  For a link to the USA Today Story click here.

 

Truckee to Squaw Valley – State Route 89 – New Pavement / Delays

State Route 89 Placer County Improvement Project to Launch

 Squaw Valley Road – West River Street- Today, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced an eight mile, $7.2 million pavement project.  The pavement rehabilitation project will extend the pavement life by 10 years, restore ride quality for motorists, bicyclist, improve drainage and significantly reduce future maintenance needs.

The project on State Route 89 from the Nevada County line to Squaw Valley Road in the Lake Tahoe area includes in-place recycling and placing a 0.25 foot Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) overlay from Squaw Valley Road to Goose Meadows Campground.  Dig out and repair areas of severe failure with HMA, seal cracks wider than 0.2 inches and overlay with 0.25 feet of HMS for project limits from Goose Meadow Campground to West River Street.

The prime contractor on this project is SIERRA NEVADA CONSTRUCTION, INC. of Sparks, Nevada. Roadside message boards will be used to post the latest information.

Motorists can expect delays up to 30 minutes in various locations, and one-way traffic controls from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.

The project will begin July 16; the anticipated completion date is late 2012. Please be advised this schedule is subject to change without notification due to weather conditions.  Additional information on this and other Caltrans projects in the Tahoe Basin can be found on www.TahoeRoads.com.

2012 Draft Environmental Plan for Lake Tahoe Forests

The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management  has published a draft environmental document as an update to its forest plan. Once passed, the plan serves as a guide to the management of the Lake Tahoe forests for the coming 15 years.  The current plan hasn’t been updated since 1988.

Public meetings will be held in July to explain the various alternatives within the forest plan:

  • Tuesday, July 17, at the Forest Supervisor’s Office at 35 College Drive in South Lake Tahoe. Two meetings – from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
  •  Wednesday, July 18, at the North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 N. Lake Blvd., in Kings Beach.  Two meetings - from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
  • A webinar on the plan will also be available.

To view the draft environmental document click here.

Squaw Valley’s Julie Mancuso places 2nd in Alpine World Cup

 

Squaw Valley’s Julia Mancuso won all of her heats, then placed second overall in the 2012 Alpine World Cup held in Austria.

First place went to Lindsay Voughn from Vail, Colorado, who set a new World Record for the most points ever achieved in a Season.

The U.S. Ski Team finished fourth in the team event at the World Cup finals.

Truckee Airport: New Terminal Building Opening Ceremony

Truckee Airport’s brand new Administration / Terminal Building was unveiled to the public at today’s opening ceremony.

The Airport District recently completed construction of the new 11,000 sq. ft. Administration Building, which includes new and improved facilities for our community, the flying public, pilots and flight crews.

[Gallery not found]

 

 

 

Truckee: Top 25 Ski Towns of the World

National Geographic names Truckee one of the top 25 ski towns in the World for 2012.

For the complete story click here.

 

 

 

 

Lake Tahoe Skiing Elevated with Big Investments

The Denver Post features an article regarding the three Colorado companies that are pumping billions of dollars into Lake Tahoe area ski resorts.

According to Squaw Valley’s Andy Wirth, “It’s really the last bastion of undercapitalized, undermanaged and undermarketed grouping of resorts in North America. ”

To read the full article click here.

 

 

 

Vail Resorts buys Kirkwood Ski Area

Vail Resorts announces its purchase of Kirkwood Ski Resort – effective immediately, passholders at Northstar California and Heavenly Ski Resort may now ski at Kirkwood, while Kirkwood passholders may now ski at Heavenly and Northstar.

For the full story click here.

 

 

 

World’s First Ski-in / Ski-out Starbucks Opens at Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley has opened the world’s first ski-in / ski-out Starbucks Coffee restaurant.

For a news article in Truckee’s Sierra Sun Newspaper click here.

For a video of the grand-opening click here.

To search for Sqauw Valley Condos, Cabins & Homes click here.

 

Weather Window – A Winter to Remember: 1952

Great article on a Donner Pass train caught in the ferocious storms of 1952 – click here.

 

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency – New Code March 1st

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will be hosting two public workshops to orient customers to a reorganization of agency’s code that goes into effect March 1, 2012.

“These workshops are designed to help property owners considering home or building improvement projects, along with planners, consultants, contractors, and land-use attorneys,” according to a statement from TRPA.

The South Shore workshop is scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 at TRPA’s Stateline office. A second workshop will take place in Incline Village on Feb. 2.

For a summary comparison of the old code and the new code: Public_Review_Draft_Memo_9-29-2011.

 

Maybe! Snow inbound!

FROM THE NOAA WEBSITE:

…..IN ANY CASE, THE WAA LOOKS TO BRING FAIRLY LIGHT PRECIP WITH THE REAL MEAT AND POTATOES OF PRECIP CURRENTLY PROGGED FOR AROUND NEXT THURSDAY AS A WAVE IN THE FAST ZONAL FLOW APPROACHES THE REGION. THE 12Z GEFS SEEMS TO SUPPORT THIS AS WELL WITH INCREASING PROBABILISTIC QPF BY NEXT WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY.

HOLD ON FOLKS, PRECIPITATION IS COMING!

Truckee High School Football – Wins 3rd Consecutive 3A State Championship

Truckee defeated Moapa Valley, 21-6, last night to earn a third consecutive 3A state championships in undefeated fashion.

The Wolverines end the 2011 season with a 36-game win streak.

Northstar California Ski Resort Opening Friday

Northstar-at-Tahoe, now Northstar California Resort will be opening this Friday, November 18th.

Officials announced they estimate snow depths of 18-24 inches this week.

“We look forward to welcoming skiers and riders back to Northstar
for the winter season,” said Bill Rock, chief operating officer at Northstar,
in a statement. “Our snowmaking efforts have been extremely successful so far
this season, and we will offer some of the best early season snow conditions
around the lake.”

Ski Chairs expected to open are: The Big Springs Express Gondola, Highlands Gondola, Arrow Express, Vista Express and The
Big Easy.  Hours will be from 8:30 am to 4 pm.

Federal bill opens ski areas to summer recreation

By Dylan Silver
Tahoe Daily Tribune

 

LAKE TAHOE — A bill signed Monday by President Barack Obama could turn Lake Tahoe ski resorts into year-round playgrounds. But don’t expect waterslides down your favorite run, because that is now clearly illegal.

The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 is intended to allow ski resorts on National Forest land to offer natural, non-intrusive recreational activities all year.

“This act is useful to us in that it spells out what is allowable,” said Forest Service spokeswoman Cheva Heck.

The bill updates the 1986 National Forest Ski Area Permit Act, which only allowed nordic and Alpine skiing to be permitted on ski areas. Examples of allowable activities written in the update include mountain biking, zip lines, ropes courses and disc golf courses.

“Those possibilities might’ve been there,” Heck said. “But now we don’t have to have that conversation of what’s allowable and what’s not allowable.”

The bill also lists activities not permitted at the ski areas, which include golf courses, water slides, swimming pools and tennis courts.

Twenty-five of California’s 29 ski areas are on National Forest land, including eight Lake Tahoe resorts.

The Forest Service is estimating 600 jobs will be created with the increased activity at ski areas, according to a statement released Tuesday.

“This is great news for promoting job growth and economic stimulus in California,” said Forest Service spokesman Randy Moore in the statement. “Local restaurants, hotels and shop owners are likely to see an increase in business as visitors flock to scenic Forest Service locations for year-round activities.”

The National Ski Areas Association agreed the bill would have an impact at many mountains.

“Ski areas across the country are ready to step up summer programs,” said president Michael Berry in a press release. “Year-round activities at ski areas will allow resorts to create more year-round jobs and boost the economies of the mountain communities in which we operate.”

All activities will still be subject to local regulation, and plans will have to be approved by the Forest Service. To even be considered, activities must encourage outdoor recreation and the enjoyment of nature and harmonize with the natural environment, according to the bill.

Schaffer’s Mill – New Golf Membership Incentive

Since debuting in early September, the Shaffer’s Mill’s Membership Reservation offering allows someone to lock in the current $1,000 enrollment fee and delay their dues responsibility (as well as Member access to the Club amenities) until 2012.

The details of the Membership Reservation are as follows:

Enrollees pay the $1,000 non-refundable Enrollment Fee between now and October 31, 2011 (this locks-in the current Enrollment Fee, which we have officially confirmed will be raised at the end of this season).

Upon payment of the Enrollment Fee, dues responsibilities may be delayed until May 2012, at which time the annual dues payment of $4,500 is required.

At the point the $1,000 Enrollment Fee is paid, those with a reservation may access the golf course for the remainder of this season at the Member Accompanied Guest Rate of $80 per player.

With an increased Enrollment Fee on the horizon and the incredibly easy and affordable Membership Reservation program now on the table, there’s simply never been a better time to become a Member at Schaffer’s Mill Club. The Membership Reservation program is a limited time offer and will expire at the end of October.

If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Ben Keilholtz at membership@schaffersmill.com or call him at 480-220-9891.

 

 

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Join Forces

Yesterday’s rumor-mill around Truckee and Lake Tahoe became news this morning.

To read the joint announcement from Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows combining their operations click here.

To read the article in Truckee’s Sierra Sun Newspaper click here.

 

 

Wells Fargo Stagecoach @ Truckee’s 4th of July Parade

 

 

 

 

 

The Wells Fargo Stagecoach comes to Truckee this 4th of July, 2011.

Town of Truckee – Summer 2011 Road Projects

Project: Add turn lanes at the intersection of Donner Pass Road and the entrance to the town’s new corporation yard (Stockrest Springs Road) to provide greater access into the yard site and increased safety.

Estimated project start date: July

Estimated project end date: Mid October

Time of construction: Day work, night work possible

Traffic impacts: Minor delays, two way traffic most of the time with delays no longer than 5 minutes.

 

Project: New sidewalk and Class II bike lanes will be installed from Brickelltown roundabout under I-80 to Gateway East on-street parking area to improve pedestrian and bike safety, have better drainage and rehabilitate pavement on Donner Pass Road.

Estimated project start date: August.

Estimated project end date: Mid October.

Time of construction: Mostly day, night work possible.

Traffic impacts: Minimal.

 

Project: A roundabout will be constructed at the intersection of Alder Drive, Highway 89 North and Prosser Dam Road to allow greater traffic capacity for future traffic increases and to reduce vehicle speeds along Highway 89.

Estimated project start date: Already started.

Estimated project end date: October.

Time of construction: Day.

Traffic impacts: Alder Drive to be closed completely between Alder Creek Middle School and Highway 89 after school is out for the summer, as well as the western-most section of Prosser Dam Road approaching Highway 89. Detour routes and minimal delays on Highway 89 should be expected.

 

Project: Widening, deepening and restoration of Trout Creek as part of the Trout Creek Restoration Project along Donner Pass Road, downstream to the Balloon Track, in an effort to restore riparian vegetation and aquatic habitat as well as to provide 100-year storm flood protection.

Estimated project start date: August.

Estimated project end date: October.

Time of construction: Day.

Traffic impacts: Minor impact to local traffic using Trout Creek Road.

 

Project: Multiple roadways will receive new slurry seal across town, starting with a portion of Glenshire’s roadways in June and a portion of others in July and August to protect and prolong pavement life.

Estimated project start date: Ongoing.

Estimated project end date: Seals should be finished by Labor Day; 48-hour notice will be given to residents living on impacted streets.

Time of construction: Day.

Traffic impacts: Minimal delays with some street closures.

 

Project: Recess pavement markings to protect from snowplow damage, on areas that approach signalized intersections, on crosswalks in school zones and on the dual left-turn section of Donner Pass Road through Gateway.

Estimated project start date: September.

Estimated project end date: October.

Time of construction: Day.

Traffic impacts: Minor delays, traffic work zones, but no road closures planned.

 

Project: Aesthetic and pedestrian improvements as part of the Bridge Street Streetscape Project, in the form of beautification, new sidewalks and landscaping along Bridge Street, between Donner Pass Road and Jibboom Street.

Estimated project start date: Already started.

Estimated project end date: July 4.

Time of construction: Day.

Traffic impacts: Minor traffic congestion and parking impacts.

Snow Skiing / Riding this 4th of July !!

With new snow falling in June, three ski resorts – Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley & Sugar Bowl have announced they will spin the lifts and open for skiing and riding on the 4th of July Weekend.

ALPINE MEADOWS

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort will host the ultimate Independence Day celebration, offering skiing, snowboarding, and non-stop slopeside parties and live music from Saturday, July 2 through Monday, July 4, 2011.

Skiers and riders can hit the slopes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Some of Alpine’s most renowned terrain will be offered from the mountain’s summit all the way to the sun deck on the lodge, offering top-to-bottom terrain for all ability levels.

Ski and snowboard rental equipment will be available throughout the weekend. Additionally, two-hour beginner group ski and snowboard lessons will be offered each day at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. No reservations are required. Private instruction is offered every hour on the hour for all ability levels. Private lesson reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling the Alpine Meadows Snow Sports Center at (530) 581-8200.

Alpine will transition to party mode each day from noon to 4 p.m. when the base lodge fires up the slopeside barbecue, complete with live music and fun games and activities throughout the three-day holiday weekend. Commemorative Alpine Meadows 4th of July T-shirts will also be available for purchase.

SQUAW VALLEY

July 2, 2011 – July 4, 2011

Lifts: Funitel, Gold Coast, Shirley Lake, Links, Cable Car

Hours: 8am to 2pm (skiing & riding)

Lift Tickets: $49 for adults; $12 for kids 12 and under. All tickets include a commemorative T-shirt.

Passes: All 2011-12 season passes will be valid 4th of July Weekend.

With nearly 800 inches of snow we are going to open for skiing and riding on July 2, 3, and 4. How many times can you say you made turns on lift served terrain at Squaw Valley on the Fourth of July weekend?

We are having the ulimate independence day weekend with live music, drink specials, pool parties, Squaw Valley 4th of July Fine Arts & Crafts Festival, and the Lake Cushing Crossing.

SUGAR BOWL

Season Passholder Appreciation Day – 4th Of July!

That’s right, we’re opening back up for a season passholder appreciation day on the 4th of July! All season passholders from 10/11 and 11/12 can come on up to ski or ride Disney from 8:30AM – 12:00PM.

Join us for an afternoon on the Village deck as we cook up some great food on the BBQ!

Operations for 4th of July

• Disney will spin from 8:30AM – 12:00PM

• All 10/11 or 11/12 Season Passholders can ski or ride (Midweek Plus, Summit Sunday, Slightly Restricted or Unrestricted Passes)

• Please park in West Bay or Preferred Parking on the Judah side

• There will be no groomed terrain

• There will be no beginner terrain

• No lessons or rentals will be available

• Please leave your dogs at home

• Waiver must be signed on the morning of before loading the chair

 

 

Squaw’s Julia Mancuso Wins Silver at World Alpine Championships

For the Sports Illustrated story click here.

Sunset Magazine names Truckee a ‘Top-10′ Ski Town

Truckee has been named a ‘Top-10′ ski town by Sunset Magazine in their December 2010 issue.

  For the full article click here.

Squaw Valley’s Julia Mancuso – best Alpine World Cup Slalom since 2008

Source: U.S. Ski Team

COURCHEVEL, France (Dec. 21) – Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) produced her best Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom result since 2008, finishing 21st with teammate Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) in 23rd. Austrian Marlies Schild captured the victory Tuesday as an extremely tricky first run course set claimed 23 racers including World Cup leader Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) and Germany’s Maria Riesch.

The race will air at 12:15 p.m. ET on Universal Sports TV with streaming also available at www.UniversalSports.com. Schild is now tied with Finn Tanja Poutiainen, who finished second, for the slalom points lead.

“It was like a survival first run and I definitely got pretty lucky,” said Mancuso. “I wanted to ski solid, but I guess I needed to be a little faster. It will be good to have a little break now over Christmas and then get back into it. I’m very fired up with how things are going.”

With the exception of the Aspen slalom, Mancuso has surged since landing double silver at the Vancouver Olympics, scoring top 25 finishes in every World Cup race this season including a super G third two weeks ago in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It was a good day for Julia to take advantage,” said technical Head Coach Trevor Wagner. “She’s been training great slalom and just took it to the hill today.”

For Stiegler, who waved to the booming crowd of thousands then wished a worldwide television audience “Merry Christmas” after crossing the finish line, it was another huge leap toward regaining her World Cup form. She was 25th in Aspen, her first race back since suffering a severely broken leg two races into the Olympic season. Prior to that, she had been sidelined much of the two previous winters with an injury string that began in Dec. 2007.

“Resi is making some big steps,” said Wagner. “She just has to get used to skiing long courses and gaining some more endurance because right now she’s running out of energy on the last half of the course.”

Thousands packed the finish stadium and lined the slope to see the best skiers as the World Cup returned to Courchevel snow for the first time since 1979.

“I actually love the hill, it’s a perfect hill,” added Vonn. “The town is great and there are a ton of people here cheering loud for every racer.”

Vonn had a solid run going until slamming the tip of her right ski into a gate 30 seconds into the course on a section that claimed multiple racers.

“It was a challenging course with offset rhythm, and a lot of very, very tight combinations,” said Vonn. “There was a lot of very strange things going on the course today, but as athletes you have to try to do the best you can.”

The course also caused trouble for four-time Olympian Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO) and Hailey Duke (Boise, ID), who missed qualifying for the second run.

“Sarah was fourth at the split going onto the flats and then it got really swingy and caught up to her,” added Wagner. “Sarah’s stoked with her performance, she just didn’t look far enough ahead.”

With both Vonn and Riesch failing to finish, the overall lead is on pause until the World Cup resumes Dec. 28-29 in Semmering, Austria for a two-race technical series.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

Audi FIS Alpine World Cup

Courchevel, France – Dec. 21, 2010

Slalom

1. Marlies Schild, Austra, 1:34.95

2. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 1:35.73

3. Tina Maze, Slovenia, 1:36.93

4. Maria Pietilae-Holmner, Sweden, 1:37.20

5. Kathrin Zettel, Austria, 1:37.21

-

21. Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, CA, 1:39.53

23. Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY, 1:39.62

-

Did not qualify for 2nd run: Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), Hailey Duke (Boise, ID)

-

Did not finish 1st run: Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO)

Martis Camp – $53.7 Million in Sales during 2010

TRUCKEE, Calif…December 15, 2010 – Developers of Martis Camp, a highly successful private golf and ski community located in North Lake Tahoe, announced 62 property sales in 2010 totaling $53.7 million. This represents a 36% increase over sales transactions in 2009, and a performance that further demonstrates the strength and viability of this community, which continues to defy the high-end real estate market nationwide.

“In 2010 we sold 62 total properties – 57 developer home sites and five custom homes,” according to Martis Camp Sales Director Brian Hull. “But the more compelling story is the large number of homes at Martis Camp that are finished and are under construction. A total of 54 homes are under construction and 25 others are already completed, ranging in price from approximately $1.7 million to more than $10 million with an average home price between $2.5 million and $3.5 million. This level of private residential construction activity is just unheard of in these unusual and challenging market conditions.” Since sales were launched in 2006, more than 293 home sites, representing approximately $245 million in land sales have been made.

Much of Martis Camp’s appeal to buyers comes from its design as a year-round, four-season family retreat, along with the fact that most of the amenities are already in place. In the winter, club members can enjoy direct ski access from the heart of Martis Camp to Northstar™-at-Tahoe Resort via the Martis Camp Express quad lift or cross country skiing on miles of groomed trails. In the summer, members enjoy exceptional golf on the 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed course, hikes through the pristine Tahoe forest and a full slate of concerts under the stars at the Martis Camp Amphitheater. An incredible variety of classes are offered year round at the Martis Camp Folk School, as is access to the quaint Lost Library.

The Family Barn is an award-winning, one-of-a-kind recreation and entertainment complex that anchors the 2,177-acre private gated community. With a summer swimming venue, bowling alley, art loft, movie theater, indoor basketball court, soda fountain and outdoor concert park, the Family Barn is the consummate venue for year-round gatherings and events. Owners view Martis Camp as a family playground offering unlimited access to the natural world with authentic experiences.

In addition to the strong momentum on the residential building front, Martis Camp’s new clubhouse, the Camp Lodge, is under construction and planned for opening in summer 2011. Situated on a 90-foot rock precipice, the Camp Lodge is an iconic architectural masterpiece modeled after the grand lodges of the West. There are a number of places in the Camp Lodge that feature up to 270-degree views of the Carson Range, Lookout Mountain and Sierra Crest allowing club members and guests the opportunity to relax and dine casually on the terrace or make an occasion of it in an elegant dining room with unforgettable vistas of the surrounding mountain ranges. The Camp Lodge will also feature a full-service day spa with a delightful menu of massage and therapeutic treatments, outdoor lap and vitality pools, men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, fitness area and fully-stocked golf professional shop.

Martis Camp is growing rapidly thanks to a financially sound and responsible development team. DMB/Highlands Group, LLC, is comprised of two of the country’s premier recreational-residential community developers, DMB Associates and Highlands Management Group. In addition to Martis Camp, the team is responsible for the creation of Lahontan, a premiere North Lake Tahoe private golf club community. The DMB/Highlands Group track record of strength and stability provides security to owners and club members. “When folks come to North Lake Tahoe looking for property, Martis Camp appeals to both the heart and the head of the second home buyers like no other community. For those people who desire a 4-season lifestyle that appeals to all age groups, Martis Camp is unmatched,” says Hull. “I believe our success as a community is closely tied to the idea and the demand for a “timeless” purchase. Our owners want something that’s useable year-round plus something every person in their family will enjoy that can be passed down through the generations.”

###

About Martis Camp

 Martis Camp is a private, gated community that stretches across 2,177 pristine acres in North Lake Tahoe, Calif. The land plan allows for approximately 653 homesites with a mixture of estate lots averaging 1.7 acres in size and cabin lots averaging four-tenths of an acre in size. All residences are custom and follow the guidelines of the Architectural Handbook, which emphasize architectural creativity compatible with the mountain environment.

Martis Camp Club offers a vast array of amenities including the Family Barn complex with a summer swimming venue, bowling alley, art loft, movie theater, indoor basketball court, soda fountain and outdoor performance stage and amphitheatre; Martis Camp Club also offers members direct ski access from Martis Camp to Northstar-at-Tahoe™ Resort via the Martis Camp Express quad lift and an 18 hole Tom Fazio golf course; an 18-hole putting park designed by Dick Bailey; a planned Camp Lodge with dining venues, club spa and fitness center, locker rooms and vitality pools; Folk School; Lost Library; 26 miles of private trails for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and a planned Warming Hut at the base of Lookout Mountain.

For more information and photos of  Martis Camp real estate property for sale click here.

Squaw Valley USA Sold to Denver-Based KSL Capital Partners

 



Dear Valued Guest,

I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce myself to you as Squaw Valley USA’s new President and CEO, and be the first to share some exciting news about the resort. Today we’re pleased to announce that Squaw Valley USA is set to be acquired by KSL Capital Partners of Denver, Colorado.

It’s with a respectful eye for the past that I say this news is part of a new era in Squaw Valley’s incredible history. KSL is dedicated to further enhancing the resort and the guest experience by committing over $50 million in additional capital improvements over the next 3-5 years.  The KSL team, all of whom are skiers and riders, are thrilled to be the new owners of Squaw Valley and are excited about the resort’s future. 

These are transformative times for Squaw Valley; a new era is dawning by way of our entire team’s dedication to the guest experience that will put us on par with the very best resorts in North America. 

In many ways, the transformation is well underway with many improvements for the 2010-11 season: 

Olympic House Renovations:
Olympic House has been remodeled to include all new menus and a fully renovated Bar One. New menus include fresh salads, gourmet pizzas, Asian stir-fry bowls and custom-made burritos.

New Mountaintop Kids Zone: Belmont Park has transformed into a kids terrain park complete with a snow fort and kid-friendly jumps, bumps and whoopty-doos.

Expanded Demo Center:
Located in the Village, this high-performance shop will work in conjunction with the on-mountain Gold Coast Demo Center allowing guests to conveniently try out this season’s latest technology. The shop will also offer the best in tuning with a brand new Wintersteiger tuning machine.

Expanded Night Terrain Park:
For the 2010-11 winter season we’re greatly expanding night skiing and riding with new lighting in the Riviera Terrain Park and halfpipe.

Renovated Squaw Kids Children’s Center: The Squaw Kids Children’s Center has been renovated, including an expanded second floor, larger lunch room and more rental room space.

Three New State-of-The-Art Grooming Machines: Three new grooming machines have been added to Squaw Valley’s snow cat fleet, significantly improving snow surface quality and grooming by 25%.

Improved Snowmaking: Squaw Valley’s snowmaking multi-year equipment upgrade to greener and more efficient models continues into its ninth year. We’ve also expanded snowmaking in the halfpipe.

39° North remodel completion; transformation of entire ground floor
The final stage of the $3 million remodel of the mid-mountain restaurants at Gold Coast is complete. On the ground floor 39° North has been transformed with new food and an entirely new aesthetic.

New Gates To Skills Ski Clinic: Skiers can experience race course excitement and be coached by one of the best—Thomas Gardtman.

New Shops in the Village: Squaw welcomes a host of new shops to the European-style base village: Squaw Dogs, Marmot and Squaw One Logo Company.

New Conference/Events Center: An extensive remodel of the Olympic Village Lodge & Conference Center (OVL) is complete and will be available for meeting space, weddings and conferences.

And we’re really just getting started, thanks to KSL’s commitment to the future.

In short, much has changed, yet there’s much more yet to come that has us excited to embark upon the new season. To date we’ve received nearly 8 feet of snow from the current storm cycle with more snow forecasted for today and early next week. We will continue opening more lifts and terrain as conditions permit as we look forward to an exceptional Thanksgiving weekend.

I wanted to be sure you received this important announcement before we notified the press which will happen shortly.  I appreciate your attention to this note and thanks in advance for your dedication and commitment during the 2010-11 season.

I’d like to thank you for choosing Squaw Valley USA as your mountain getaway. We look forward to seeing you on the slopes this winter!

Best Regards,

Andy

Andrew D Wirth | President and Chief Executive Officer
Squaw Valley USA

 

Truckee / Tahoe Snow Forecast – 11/19 to 11/21/10

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM FRIDAY TO 4 PM PST

SUNDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RENO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM

WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND GUSTY WINDS…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM

4 PM FRIDAY TO 4 PM PST SUNDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO

LONGER IN EFFECT.

* TIMING: SNOW WILL BEGIN FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND CONTINUE THROUGH

SUNDAY OR SUNDAY NIGHT. PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOW WILL AFFECT THE

TAHOE BASIN LATE FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING AND

SATURDAY NIGHT.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: 3 TO 5 FEET OF SNOW WILL OCCUR ABOVE 7000

FEET. 1 TO 2 FEET WILL OCCUR BELOW 7000 FEET WITH HIGHER AMOUNTS

UP TO 3 FEET POSSIBLE BELOW 7000 FEET ALONG THE WEST SHORE.

* WINDS: SOUTHWEST WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH.

RIDGE GUSTS UP TO 100 MPH.

* CONSIDERABLE BLOWING SNOW AND LOCAL BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE

POSSIBLE SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND SATURDAY NIGHT.

* IMPACTS: HEAVY SNOW AND POOR VISIBILITY WILL CAUSE SIGNIFICANT

TRAVEL DELAYS OVER MOUNTAIN PASSES AND ROADS AROUND THE TAHOE

BASIN. ANYONE TRAVELING IN THE SIERRA SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR

DANGEROUS WINTER DRIVING CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE RAPIDLY DURING WINTER STORMS…SLOW

DOWN AND ALLOW EXTRA TIME WHEN TRAVELING. CARRY TIRE CHAINS…

FOOD…WATER…BLANKETS AND A FLASHLIGHT IN YOUR CAR IN CASE OF AN

EMERGENCY.

2010-2011 Ski Season Opening Dates

050106-burnout-northstar-copy

Opening Dates for North Lake Tahoe Area Ski Resorts (conditions permitting):

  • Alpine Meadows – December 10th
  • Boreal Mountain Resort – October 29th
  • Diamond Peak Ski Resort – December 16th
  • Donner Ski Ranch – tba
  • Granlibakken – tba
  • Homewood Mountain Ski Resort – December 10th
  • Mt. Rose – tba
  • Northstar-at-Tahoe – November 20th
  • Squaw Valley USA – November 20th
  • Sugar Bowl Ski Resort – December 11th
  • Tahoe-Donner – December 10th

Booth Creek Sells Northstar-at-Tahoe to Vail Resorts

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2010

For More Information Contact:
Kirsten Cattell, Communications Manager
(530) 543-3132
Booth Creek Closes Sale of Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort to Vail Resorts, Inc.

Truckee, Ca-October 25- Booth Creek Resort Properties LLC (Booth Creek) announced today that it has closed the sale of the stock of companies that operate the Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort in Lake Tahoe, Ca to Vail Resorts, Inc (NYSE:MTN). The operations of the Northstar at Tahoe Resort are conducted on land owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties and such land will be leased to Vail Resorts under a long term arrangement. Booth Creek will continue to own the company that operates the Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, under a similar arrangement with CNL Lifestyle Properties.

Vail Resorts, as the owner/operator of numerous world class resorts, is uniquely suited to continue Northstar-at-Tahoe’s transformation,” said Chris Ryman, president/partner of Booth Creek.

“We would like to recognize everyone on the Northstar-at-Tahoe team for their invaluable contributions to the success of this resort. We are proud to have been associated with such a talented group of individuals” said Ryman and Betsy Cole, chief financial officer/partner of Booth Creek.

“Chris, Betsy and the entire Northstar-at-Tahoe team have created an incredible success story in the resort industry. My family and I are proud to have been associated with Northstar-at-Tahoe over the past fourteen years,” said George Gillett, majority partner of Booth Creek.

For the winter 2010-11 season, all guests should be assured that the joint programs between Northstar and Sierra resorts of Double Whammy Season Pass, Vertical Plus and Fast Pass Membership will continue to be sold and in place.

For more information call (530) 543-3132.

Vail Resorts Announces New Benefits for its Lake Tahoe Season Pass Programs

Vail Resorts, Inc. today announced that it has closed on the acquisition of Northstar-at-Tahoe(TM) Resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif., one of the premier mountain resort destinations in North America. As part of the acquisition, Vail Resorts is also announcing significant added value for all of its pass holders for the 2010-2011 winter season.

“We are thrilled by the opportunity to bring Northstar-at-Tahoe into our family of world-class mountain resorts and offer our most loyal guests even greater value on their skiing and riding this winter,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “We’ve taken the best deal in skiing and made it even more compelling, as the Epic Season Pass will now offer eight great resorts for the 2010-2011 ski season. We also have added access to more resorts for both Northstar and Heavenly pass holders and have even offered new value for our Colorado Pass holders, with five days of skiing at either Heavenly or Northstar. Skiers and riders want more choices and better value and our acquisition of Northstar-at-Tahoe is all about delivering that for our guests.”

Epic Season Pass:
•Epic Season Pass: The revolutionary Epic Season Pass features unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and Heavenly in California/Nevada at $629 for adults and $329 for children (ages 5-12) through Nov. 7, when sales end. Epic Pass holders will now also receive unlimited, unrestricted access to Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe – eight great resorts in total for the 2010-2011 ski season.
•Epic 7-Pack: New this season, the Epic 7-Pack features seven days of unrestricted skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Heavenly at $479 for adults and $239 for children through Nov. 7, when sales end. The Epic 7-Pack can now be used at Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe for the 2010-2011 ski season as well.

Northstar-at-Tahoe 2010-2011 Season Passes:
•Double Whammy Unlimited-Adult: The Double Whammy Unlimited Pass offers unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe resorts at $799 for adults. Existing pass holders will be able to exchange their Double Whammy Unlimited Pass for the Epic Season Pass ($629) and receive a refund for the difference in the price (over $100 in most cases). Moving forward, we will promote the purchase of the Adult Epic Season Pass, providing unlimited and unrestricted skiing and riding at eight resorts at a much lower price than the Adult Double Whammy Unlimited.
•Double Whammy Unlimited-Teen/Child: Offering unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Northstar and Sierra, the price of the teen ($449) and child ($119) pass will remain unchanged. Teens will have the option to upgrade to an adult Epic Season Pass. Children will have the option to upgrade to a Child Epic Season Pass or a Child Heavenly Pass.
•Double Whammy Limited: The Double Whammy Limited offers skiing and riding at Northstar all season long with 10 restricted dates and unlimited, unrestricted skiing at Sierra at $519 for adults and $299 for teens. Adult pass holders will now receive skiing and riding at Heavenly, with the same restricted dates as Northstar. Teens will have the option to upgrade to a Teen Heavenly Pass at $309.
•Double Whammy Value: The Double Whammy Value offers skiing and riding at Northstar and Sierra with some restricted dates and no access to Northstar on Saturdays between Dec. 18, 2010 and March 26, 2011. Pass holders will now also have access to Heavenly with the same restricted dates. The pass price is $419 for adults.
•Northstar Only Pass: The Northstar Only Pass offers skiing and riding at Northstar on weekdays only at $319 for adults; not valid at Heavenly.
•Sierra Only Pass: Will remain valid at Sierra; not valid at Heavenly, Northstar or other resorts.

Heavenly 2010-2011 Season Passes:
•Heavenly Pass: Ski and ride at Heavenly all season long at $379 for adults, $309 for teens and $199 for children. Some restricted dates apply. Heavenly Passes will now offer access to Northstar and Sierra with some restricted dates; not valid at Northstar on Saturdays from Dec. 18, 2010 through March 26, 2011.

Colorado 2010-2011 Season Passes:
•Colorado Pass: The Colorado Pass features unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin and 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek at $479 for adults, $359 for teens and $239 for children through Nov. 7, when sales end. Some restricted dates apply at Vail and Beaver Creek. The Colorado Pass will now feature five free days of skiing and riding at either Heavenly or Northstar; some restricted dates apply.
•Summit Pass: The Summit Pass offers unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin. $429 for adults, $339 for teens and $229 for children through Nov. 7, when sales end. Not valid at Vail, Beaver Creek, Heavenly, Northstar or Sierra.

EpicMix:
•A new online and mobile application that offers skiers and riders a seamless and effortless way to digitally capture and share their mountain experience, EpicMix will be available for guests at Northstar at the start of the 2011-2012 season. EpicMix automatically collects the ski and ride stats of guests throughout each of its resorts, by leveraging Vail Resorts’ state-of-the-art radio frequency (RF) scanners installed at each of its 89 lifts across Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly. An RF-enabled chip embedded in Vail Resorts’ season passes and PEAKS lift tickets will automatically track guests’ lift rides, calculating vertical feet skied and days on the mountain and will recognize special achievements and accomplishments by granting guests commemorative, collectible digital pins. EpicMix will have hundreds of available digital pins for a multitude of unique experiences available at each resort.

In the coming weeks, the Company will also be announcing new benefits and programs for purchasers of daily lift tickets at both Northstar and Heavenly. For additional details, please visit www.epicpass.com or call 1-800-842-8062.

Historical Haunted Walking Tour – Oct. 21-22

Mysterious sightings, unusual happenings and historic tales come to life in Truckee’s 2nd Annual Historical Haunted Walking Tour on Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22. Tour guides skillfully combine stories and legends with interesting facts in this “adults only” tour that begins with a complimentary glass of wine at Moody’s Bistro & Lounge and benefits two local non-profit organizations: Trails and Vistas and the Truckee Donner Historical Society.For more information on this year’s Historical Haunted Walking Tour click here.

Governor Schwarzenegger vetoes CA ski safety bill

The Associated Press
and Sun News Service Reports

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed legislation that would have imposed the nation’s toughest safety standards at California ski slopes. Schwarzenegger on Friday signed legislation that would have required helmets for skiers and snowboarders under 18.  But the bill, SB880, won’t go into effect because the Republican governor vetoed a companion bill that mandates ski resorts to prepare annual safety plans.

In his veto message, Schwarzenegger says the ski resort standards called for in AB1652 would have placed an unnecessary burden on resort operators without any assurance of fewer injuries and fatalities.

AB 1652 was authored by assembly member Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, and co-authored by Senator Leland Yee, D- San Francisco, while SB 880 was authored by Yee and co-authored by Jones.

“I am very disappointed that the governor vetoed AB 1652 given the fact there was no opposition to the bill,” Jones said. “It is highly unusual for a Governor to substitute his personal judgment about the impact on the industry for the industry’s own judgment. This bill had no opposition because everyone, except for the governor, recognizes how important injury prevention and safety are, especially for children.

AB 1652 was sponsored by the California Ski and Snowboard Safety Organization, founded by Dr. Dan Gregorie.

“We fully appreciated the ski industry’s collaboration and support on both AB 1652 and SB 880, bills that would have provided for the use of helmets and increased access to snow sport safety information,” Gregorie said. “By obtaining data specific to the ski resorts, individuals and families would have been able to make informed decisions about their own snow sport experiences.”

“Many California ski resorts are located on U.S. Forest Service land, and are already required to compile and file safety and accident reports with USFS as well as maintain some of this information in the resort management office,” Schwarzenegger wrote in his veto message. “Ski resorts in California also already mark their ski area boundaries and trails with appropriate information. This bill may place an unnecessary burden on resorts, without assurance of a significant reduction in ski and snowboard-related injuries and fatalities.”

While both bills earned at least two-thirds majority to pass through the assembly and senate earlier this year, it was opposed by many Republicans who saw them as forms of “nanny government” that levy a huge burden of policies on California ski resorts that would have to obey the strictest regulations in the nation.

Care Flight among the top for industry safety standards serving Tahoe Truckee

 bilde1

By Kurt Althof
Care Flight public and customer relations manager

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling on regulators to require new lifesaving technologies on many air ambulances such as night-vision goggles and terrain avoidance systems. The devices are costly, but the NTSB says they would save lives in a health care system increasingly reliant on helicopters for transporting critically ill patients.

Care Flight’s Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Margaret Tole couldn’t agree more. “Safety is our number one priority because we can’t provide exceptional patient care if you don’t operate safely,” said Tole.

Care Flight, which services the Truckee and Lake Tahoe region, has always been on the leading edge of aviation safety. In 1995 Care Flight added satellite phones to each aircraft to ensure yet another communication option, especially needed when flying in rural Nevada and other areas where cell service and even radio repeaters can be inconsistent.

Night flying can be hazardous and Care Flight began flying with night vision goggles (NVGs) in 2005. Unlike many other flight programs, Care Flight has trained all of the medical staff, not just the pilot, to ensure there are three sets of eyes keeping a look out for any possible danger. Care Flight uses the same night vision goggles the military uses.

“Each pair runs about $10,000, but they are well worth the investment,” said Tole.

In October 2008, Care Flight again voluntarily upgraded the safety equipment in the aircraft with the addition of Terrain Avoidance and Warning Systems (TAWS), as well as dual, moving, GPS systems with live weather feeds, and upgraded satellite phones.

In addition to all of the safety upgrades and investments, Care Flight contracts with Air Methods Corporation to provide the aviation component for the program, which includes pilots and mechanics. Air Methods Corporation is the largest medical helicopter operator in the country and is also an industry leader in safety enhancement and training. As part of the Air Methods Corporation, every single Care Flight trip is tracked via real time satellite, not only by the Care Flight dispatch center in Reno, Nev., but also an Operational Control Center in Denver, Colo., staffed with pilots and weather technology. Care Flight’s Aviation Communication Specialists require verbal position reports every 15 minutes from the pilot to ensure the flight is going as planned and constant communication is maintained.

“Care Flight is committed to clinical excellence and safe operation,” said Tole. “We will continue to strive toward improved safety at every opportunity as well as support the NTSB safety recommendations.”

About Care Flight

Care Flight, headquartered in Reno, Nev., has served the northern Nevada and north eastern California area since 1981 and was one of the first hospital based programs in the country. Care Flight staffs three bases 24 hours per day, seven days per wee in Reno, Nev., Gardnerville, Nev., and Truckee, Calif. Each base covers a 150 miles radius totaling 40,000 square miles. Each aircraft is staffed with a critical care flight nurse and critical care paramedic. Care Flight is a division of the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA).

Winter Driving Tips – from the CHP

Winter Driving Tips for the Lake Tahoe Area

• Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust system are in top condition.

• Check your antifreeze and be ready for colder temperatures.

• Check your tires. Make sure they are properly inflated and the tread is in good condition.

• Always carry chains.

• Other suggested items to carry in your car are an ice scraper or commercial deicer, a broom for brushing snow off your car, a shovel to free your car if it’s “snowed in,’ sand or burlap for traction if your wheels should become mired in snow; and an old towel to clean your hands.

• It is also a good idea to take along water, food, warm blankets and extra clothing. A lengthy delay will make you glad you have them.

• Put an extra car key in your pocket. A number of motorists have locked themselves out of their cars when putting on chains and at ski areas.

• Allow enough time. Trips to the mountains can take longer during winter than other times of year, especially if you encounter storm conditions or icy roads.

• Keep your gas tank full.

• Keep windshield and windows clear.

• Slow down. A highway speed of 55 miles an hour may be safe in dry weather – but an invitation for trouble on snow and ice. Snow and ice make stopping distances much longer, so keep your seat belt buckled and leave more distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Bridge decks and shady spots can be icy when other areas are not.

• Be more observant. Visibility is often limited in winter by weather conditions. Slow down and watch for other vehicles and for snow equipment.

• When stalled, stay with your vehicle and try to conserve fuel while maintaining warmth. Be alert to any possible exhaust or monoxide problems.

- From the California Highway Patrol

Prominent Silicon Valley couple aims to save 100,000 acres in Sierra Nevada

Jim and Becky Morgan of Los Altos Hills — he, the retired CEO of Applied Materials and she, a former Santa Clara County supervisor and Republican state senator — have started a project to raise $100 million over the next five years to acquire and preserve land in the Sierra Nevada.  For the complete story click here.

Green Building Code Goes Into Effect

The state’s green building code, the first of its kind in the nation, took effect August 1st, the California Building Standards Commission has announced. This new code standardizes practices for reducing the environmental impact of buildings in a variety of ways. It encourages the use of renewable, recyclable, and recycled material in the building process. It also encourages the reduction of a building’s potable water use by 20 percent, and it establishes a two tiered 15 or 30 percent energy savings above current levels for all buildings through a combination of more efficient appliances and windows, better insulation, and other performance enhancing measures. Application of the code is currently voluntary. It was adopted last year as a step toward mandatory green building standards, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for by 2010.

Winter Adventures in Truckee

Truckee, Calif. (Winter 2008–09) — Nestled in the Sierra Nevada with elevations that begin at nearly 6,000 feet, Truckee has become a favorite winter destination for visitors seeking a little adventure. Truckee’s mountain, meadow and lake terrain sets the stage for a truly diverse mix of recreation that scales from the serene to the heart pounding. And for those who find escape with a rich cup of coffee, artisan jewelry and one-of-a-kind design, Downtown Truckee’s shops, galleries, and restaurants provide ample diversion.

Surrounded by world-class ski resorts, skiers’ and snowboarders’ toughest decision is where to go first. Each resort offers the opportunity to experience some of the country’s best terrain with a total of 10,000 acres. Resorts include Squaw Valley USA, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Alpine Meadows, Sugar Bowl, Boreal, Homewood, Royal Gorge, Donner Ski Ranch and Soda Springs.

Every winter many families enjoy the simple pleasure of sledding down the many hills in and around Truckee. Saucers and sleds can be purchased at one of the hardware stores in town including Mountain Hardware and Sports and Porter’s – Truckee. A popular sledding hill in town is Tahoe Donner’s Trout Creek, where visitors can sled on a golf driving range that doubles as a play area in the winter.

Visitors can blaze through the snow while taking in spectacular Sierra Nevada views with Eagle Ridge Snowmobile tours. Offered for all levels, Eagle Ridge takes visitors on tours that range from two hours to a full day. Eagle Ridge is easy to access from its location 14 miles north of Truckee on Highway 89 at the turnoff to Jackson Meadows reservoir. For more information, visit www.tahoesnowmobiling.com or call (530) 546-8667.

Those who enjoy hiking during the summer will undoubtedly enjoy snowshoeing in the winter. Resorts including Northstar-at-Tahoe, Resort at Squaw Creek and Royal Gorge all offer snowshoe rentals and groomed trails perfect for beginners. For those looking for more adventure, trails abound in the Truckee area. Each winter visitors have a blast exploring landscapes such as the Martis Valley, Castle Peak, Donner Memorial State Park and the Emigrant Trail. For more information and rental equipment contact The Sports Exchange, www.truckeesportsexchange.com or (530) 582-4150.

Glide through the crisp mountain air at Truckee’s outdoor ice rink located just a half-mile south of downtown in the Truckee River Regional Park on Brockway Road. With skate rentals, a snack bar, group and private lessons for all ages as well as a rink-side fire pit, the Truckee Ice Rink allows visitors to skate under a canopy of tall conifers and twinkling lights that festively drape the rink. Visit www.tdrpd.com or call (530) 582-7720 for more information. Located south of Truckee on Highway 89, Squaw Valley USA is home to an Olympic-sized ice pavilion overlooking scenic Lake Tahoe. Guests will experience an exhilarating ride in a cable car up to High Camp with the purchase of an ice skating ticket. Families, couples and individuals can also enjoy Northstar-at-Tahoe resort’s ice rink located in the Northstar Village and featuring lessons, rentals and fire pits where skaters can warm up and make s’ mores.

Wilderness Adventures Dog Sled Tours takes visitors on a ride they’ll never forget, skimming across fields of snow with amazing views of the Sierra Nevada peaks and valleys. The company welcomes visitors to take part in its daytime and sunset tours. Dog sled tours are also available at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort and the Resort at Squaw Creek. For more information, visit www.tahoedogsledtours.com or call (530) 550-8133.

Cross country skiing offers the opportunity to get out and enjoy some of Truckee’s beautiful, world-renowned trails. Royal Gorge, located on Donner Summit only 13 miles from downtown Truckee, is North America’s largest cross-country ski resort. Rent equipment at the resort or visit Paco’s Bike and Ski where the friendly staff will outfit skiers in the proper clothing and gear for cross country or skate skiing. Visit www.pacosbikeandski.com or www.royalgorge.com. With 48 different trails, Truckee’s local Tahoe Donner Cross-Country Ski Area offers terrain for skiers of any level, including two trails for snowshoeing. Cross country skiers should be sure to not miss the trek down into beautiful Euer Valley.  Northstar-at-Tahoe offers nearly 40 kilometers of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing with lessons and rentals available through the resort. Picnic tables and warming huts are available for breaks along the way.

Ice fishing is a magnificent way to enjoy the winter and commune with nature. Not only does Truckee offer the necessary climate for this sport, but it also has an array of locations where rainbow and brown trout can be found. For more information call Mountain Hardware & Sports at (530) 587-4888.

Escape the crowds and truly get away from it all in Truckee’s backcountry. Skiers and snowboarders can create their own adventure skiing to a variety of backcountry huts. For a more comfortable backcountry experience there is also Lost Trail Lodge. Hidden four miles into the Coldstream Canyon, the lodge is an ideal spot to access some of the Sierra Nevada’s best skiing and ice-climbing terrain. With its proximity to Interstate-80, the lodge is in the perfect location for a week-long adventure or a weekend getaway. Visit www.losttraillodge.com for more information or call (530) 320-9268.

Those in need of equipment rentals for a backcountry excursion should check out The Backcountry. From split boards to Randonnee and Telemark set-ups as well as ice climbing gear, The Backcountry can outfit visitors for nearly any outdoor adventure. For more information, visit www.thebackcountry.net or call 1-888-625-8244.

Truckee offers first-class shopping and dining in historic downtown where visitors will find a variety of merchandise and a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. Cottonwood Restaurant, Dragonfly Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Pacific Crest Grill, Bar of America, The Squeeze In, Pianeta Ristorante, Burger Me and Moody’s Bistro and Lounge are just a sample of Truckee’s main dining attractions offering satisfaction for every taste. From children to adults, anyone can find a special souvenir while visiting Downtown Truckee’s noteworthy stores including Different People, Jackass Ridge Ranch, Down by the River, Truckee Variety, High Camp Home and The Pharmacy.

For great shopping beyond the downtown Commercial Row, check out Sassafras boutique in the Safeway shopping center or the KidZone Treasure Chest by Smokey’s Kitchen on the West end of town.  For crafting experiences, stop in at Paper Paradise by Wild Cherries, Gioielli, a specialty bead shop in Brickelltown or Lake Tahoe Yarn, located in Riverstone Home and Garden.

For Truckee Real Estate, Truckee forclosures, to search the Truckee MLS, view Tahoe Donner real estate, Northstar real estate, or to search the Tahoe MLS, contact Sierra-Tahoe Realty at 530.582.9980

Finally, the Legacy Trail offers a tranquil view of the Truckee River for those looking to unwind after a long day of shopping, accessible through Riverview Park or the Truckee River Regional Park.

Truckee is just 40 miles from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento, and three hours from San Francisco with easy access off of Interstate-80.

Truckee named Top 10 “Dream Town” by Sunset Magazine

photo10

It’s no longer a secret.

Truckee has become a popular travel destination, but now that Sunset Magazine has named Truckee one of the top 10 dream towns in its August 2008 issue, the mountain community may see some an increase in activity.

“This validates everything we who live here already know – that it is a dream town,” said Mayor Barbara Green.

Ranked among other U.S. towns like San Luis Obispo, Calif., Crested Butte, Colo., and Prescott, Ariz., Truckee was commended for “it’s tight-knit, outdoorsy community, with good restaurants and year-round recreational fun,” according to the Sunset Magazine article.

This isn’t the first time Truckee has gained national attention from the media as an ideal place to settle in the Sierra Nevada. In 2006, Outside Magazine named Truckee the “Best Outside Town” thanks to the surrounding vertical terrain and low-key atmosphere.

“It’s always good when we get listed in these different magazines – it lets people know we exist,” said Vice Mayor Mark Brown. “We depend so much on tourism and this helps with our image and visibility.”

Sunset Magazine also paid tribute to Truckee due to its close proximity to San Francisco, but “worlds away in real estate prices.”

That exposure could influence readers to value Truckee as more than just a place to visit, but a place to live as well, said Stefanie Olivieri, president of the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association.

“In my eyes, Truckee has been a dream town all my life,” Olivieri said. “The recognition is nice … people who read the magazine and are thinking about moving will certainly take Truckee into consideration.”

TripAdvisor Ranks Lake Tahoe No. 1 U.S. Destination for 2008

Lake Tahoe real estate

(NORTH LAKE TAHOE, California/Nevada) – Lake Tahoe is tops among travelers, so say the users of TripAdvisor, who ranked Lake Tahoe as the number one U.S. destination for the 2008 TripAdvisor Inaugural Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards. Lake Tahoe was also ranked tenth in the world for travelers’ favorites in the TripAdvisor list, which was released yesterday.

“TripAdvisor is considered the world’s largest travel community,” Andy Chapman, director of tourism with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, said. “To be ranked as the preferred destination in the country and number 10 in the world is thrilling and an absolute honor, especially since this distinction comes from those that know Lake Tahoe the best, having experienced our product firsthand – the travelers.”

According to TripAdvisor, the Destinations Awards represent the opinion of millions of travelers. The winners were determined by a combination of TripAdvisor travelers’ favorite places and overall popularity on TripAdvisor.

“Whether it’s the unique beauty or abundance of attractions, the 2008 Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards honor the most beloved destinations from around the world,” said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor. “Determined by millions of travelers, the Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards are unique because they single out not just popular places but truly exceptional places that enthrall travelers and keep them coming back.”

Lake Tahoe faced stiff competition, as the top five favorites in the U.S. also included Big Sur, California; San Francisco, California; Poipu, Hawaii; and Sedona, Arizona. Top in the world were Milford Sound, New Zealand; Queenstown, New Zealand; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Cayo Largo, Cuba.

Lake Tahoe is also popular with those frequenting Orbitz.com, when last winter it was ranked the number one destination for hotel and vacation packages booked by travelers at Orbitz.com for travel between November 20 and May 1, 2008.

With North America’s largest alpine lake as the centerpiece and massive granite peaks as the backdrop, Lake Tahoe’s scenery is unparalleled. Also making it a popular travel destination is its luxurious lodging accommodations, as well as easy access via the Reno- Tahoe International Airport and VIP airport shuttles for groups of any size.

North Lake Tahoe is also home to a bevy of special events, including the Lake Tahoe Music Festival (July 17 through August 9), comprised of numerous and varied outdoor concerts, and the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival (July and August) with bard performances on the sandy shores of Incline Village. The 23rd Annual Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival (September 5-7) serves as the pinnacle of all food events in North Lake Tahoe and features cooking and outdoor grilling classes with celebrity chefs, Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook-Off (Iron Chef style), reserve wine and spirits tastings, boutique winery tastings, a grape stomp, winery dinners and special restaurant presentations and tasting events, live wine auction, as well as the Farmer’s Market and Gourmet Marketplace.