Stimulating the Slopes
|INTO THE WHITE: Carving into Squaw Valleys headwall (Nathan Kendall/courtesy, Squaw Valley Resort.)|
While California boasts several world-class resorts and notorious snow, traditionally many of the state's skiers have been heading east to Utah and Colorado. Expect that to change this year, as economic realities shift their collective gaze to their own backyard.
Escape to Squaw Valley's six peaks during the early season, and you'll feel like you own it. Even better? The price. The Early Season Weekend Special is just $87 per person, per night, and includes two nights lodging, two days of skiing, and a group lesson per person, from November 30 to December 18.
Squaw's close proximity to Reno, Sacramento, and San Francisco makes it a largely drive-to area relative to other resorts of its sizebut that also increases your chance of finding cheaper airfare. And for the first time, complimentary shuttles will run from Sacramento.
Northstar Resort invested $13 million in upgrades for the 2008-09 season, including 414 acres of additional terrain and an express quad lift on the advanced Lookout Mountain, allowing visitors to reach the summit in only six minutes.
Recognizing that skiers tend to be concerned with global warming, Northstar is offering guests a money- and planet-saving lodging package. Book by November 15, and pay as little as $108 per person, per night for a studio condo plus lift tickets, a $50 gas card, and green tags to help offset the drive. The gas card is valid at Northstar's gas station, which offers biodiesel. The package is valid November 21 through February 12 and April 8 through closing day, excluding certain holiday periods. A three-night minimum stay is required.
Like other western resorts, Heavenly has received a few inches of snow during the month of Octoberand, according to their blog, at least five inches of snow in October should result in a winter with 30 inches above the average snowfall.
Midweek incentives include a lodging special at the Best Western Station House Inn starting at $85 per person, per night, along with 25 percent off a level one or two group lesson (based on a three-night minimum). The package also includes two-for-one coupons to local restaurants and shows.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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