Modesto family enters Blue World |

Modesto family enters Blue World

Susan Wood
Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily Tribune Eric, Lisa, 10, and Claudia Haas are spending five days at Lake Tahoe after winning a Blue World advertising campaign contest.

South Lake Tahoe is throwing a big wad of green at a visiting Modesto family of three for winning the Blue World sweepstakes.

The all-expenses-paid vacation – valued at $10,000 – was aptly named after the image-building advertising campaign sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. It’s one Eric and Claudia Haas didn’t expect – even after they were notified.

At first, Haas thought it was a hoax and waited for a catch. More than 3,700 entries were received via radio and the Internet.

The couple and 10-year-old daughter, Lisa, were whisked away Friday in a limousine from their Central Valley home – with friend Ian Norris tagging along. They’re in the midst of spending five nights at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, their home base for skiing, including lessons, shopping and dining excursions. Furnished ski equipment came in at half the valued amount.

The February promotion intends to reacquaint people with South Shore attractions in the hopes of driving up bookings at lodging establishments.

“It’s been a relaxing trip,” Claudia Haas said Sunday. “And it’s good for Easter break.”

Lisa, who is out of school at this time, went out to hit the Heavenly slopes on Easter morning with her father. Mom stayed back for a jaunt to the hot tub.

It was the Haas matriarch’s way of recovering from and celebrating her first time on skis Saturday.

She’s from Brazil, while her husband hails from the Bay Area. They met on a blind date and wed a dozen years ago.

Like many Bay Area residents, the family has visited the Tahoe area but not with the welcome mat so fully extended. They usually visit Rio or Mexico on vacation.

“This has been great. This will definitely be the one thing I’ll ever win,” he said, returning to the room Sunday evening after skiing spring’s corn snow. “I’ve never won anything of this magnitude before.”

Today, the family will enjoy an on-mountain picnic hosted by Heavenly. The trip ends Wednesday.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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