For 2nd year Lake Tahoe recognized as No. 1 destination by Orbitz.com | TahoeDailyTribune.com

For 2nd year Lake Tahoe recognized as No. 1 destination by Orbitz.com

For the second straight year The Orbitz Insider Ski Index has named Lake Tahoe the No. 1 ski destination.

The ranking for 2008 is based on hotel rooms and vacation package bookings on Orbitz.com.

“Travelers understand that South Lake Tahoe offers a world-class experience at affordable prices all season long,” said Carol Chaplin, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “Also, what other destination offers a combination of skiing, snowmobiling, boat cruises, headliner entertainment, gaming and dining all in close proximity?”

Orbitz.com is an online travel Web site that includes information on national and international destinations. Travel accommodations predict the year’s most popular destinations based on customer bookings, and reveals where to find great savings. Other destinations trailing behind Lake Tahoe in the top ten include Colorado, Utah and Canada. 

The Orbitz recognition followed the NBC’s Today Show selection of Lake Tahoe as one of their top picks for winter travel Budget Breaks: Beautiful Weekend Getaways. The episode aired on Sat., Oct. 18, 2008.

South Lake Tahoe area resort officials said they’re honored by the designation.

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“With the obvious centerpiece of Lake Tahoe and the number of world class ski and snowboarding options around the lake makes Lakes Tahoe an obvious choice for discerning travelers,” said Daniel Pistoresi, spokesman for Kirkwood Mountain Resort. “Kirkwood is a must for any true powder aficionado or skier/rider looking to experience the legendary terrain found only on our mountain.”

Sierra-at-Tahoe spokeswoman Kirsten Cattell said the resort is “thrilled Lake Tahoe has been recognized for the second year in a row.”

“We’re are looking forward to welcoming guests from all over the country and particularly Northern California who are looking to get away without going far from home,” she said.

Affordability may also play a factor into this year’s designation. Sierra-at-Tahoe is gearing up for the season by offering value pricing, she said.

“We know our core market is going to be very budget conscience this ski season so customers should look for great deals at Sierra-at-Tahoe this winter,” Cattell said.

Heavenly Mountain Resort spokesman Russ Pecoraro said the recognition is deserving and adds to the anticipation of the ski and board season.

“We’re going to start snowmaking this weekend, and we are looking forward to our Nov. 21 opening day,” he said.

Here’s what’s new at Heavenly, Kirkwood and Sierra-at-Tahoe

Heavenly was recently named a “World Saver” by Conde Nast Traveler in the category of leadership in environmental protection and is ranked among OnTheSnow.com’s top 10 “no-car needed” resorts.

The developments continue in year two of Heavenly’s ten-year master plan. Following the debut of Olympic Express and the Heavenly Flyer ZipRider last season, Heavenly will unveil three new gladed trails on the resort’s California side to include “islands” on groomed runs, giving skiers and riders the sensation of tree skiing without venturing off piste. The re-graded Skyline Trail will provide more convenient access to Nevada terrain from the California side of the mountain.

Sierra-at-Tahoe ranked by Transworld Snowboarding as one of the Top 10 resorts in the country for Best Value and Best Vibe, Sierra resort will improve its cutting edge Web experience with an interactive radar application of weather patterns over precise locations at Sierra Resort.

iPhone and other smartphone users can access the mobile Web site for live feeds of daily conditions, weather, news, events and more. Sierra-at-Tahoe will further reduce green house gas emissions by encouraging no-idling cars; implementing carpooling resources at SierraAtTahoe.com; and by purchasing 100 percent compostable disposable products for all restaurants.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort will add two new lifts to improve access to 700 acres and over 1,350 vertical feet of skiing and snowboarding in its legendary backside terrain as the first phase of its Mountain Master Development Plan.

The Lookout Vista lift replaces the hike to the famed chutes of Thunder Saddle. The Covered Wagon lift gains entry to the highest point crossed on the historic Mormon Emigrant Trail along with pristine powder stashes on Fawn Ridge.

For information about lodging packages ‘cool deals’, headliner entertainment, winter activities and events, visit http://www.BlueLakeTahoe.com/visitors/packages.

For information about South Lake Tahoe, call the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, 1-800-AT-TAHOE (1-800-288-2463) or visit http://www.BlueLakeTahoe.com.

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