| TahoeDailyTribune.com

Snowstorms to unlock more terrain at Tahoe ski resorts

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The storms kicking off December will help unlock more terrain at Lake Tahoe ski resorts.

Multiple feet of snow could fall by Monday morning from two separate storms and Heavenly Mountain Resort is eyeing opening several new trails and lifts this weekend.

A combination of powerful snowmaking and Mother Nature will allow the resort to open Sky Express, Tamarack Express with Dipper Express to follow.

“Depending on how much snow arrives, the team will be looking to add Comet Express as soon as possible,” said resort spokesman Cole Zimmerman. “Stagecoach Express and its base area is on track to open at the end of next week.”

At Kirkwood Mountain Resort, the focus for the weekend will be snow safety and avalanche mitigation.

“Once the storm cycles pass, the team will then assess terrain expansion as quickly, and safely, as possible,” Zimmerman said. “We ask for additional patience as our crews work hard to expand terrain through these incoming weather conditions, including wind impacts. The three resorts are excited about the weather patterns since opening earlier than anticipated on Nov. 12.”

At Northstar California, coming off the grand opening of the newly upgraded 6-person Comstock Express last weekend, the resort hopes to open Tahoe Zephyr Express soon followed by other key lifts.

“With some of the best early season conditions seen in the last 10 years, the team is hopeful to further add Martis Camp Express and backside terrain before the holidays,” said Zimmerman. 

All plans are dependent on conditions.

Schools closed, chain controls in effect as snow falls at Lake Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The snow started falling in the early morning hours Thursday at Lake Tahoe.

Chain controls are in effect and all schools in the Incline Village, Truckee and South Lake Tahoe areas are closed Thursday, Dec. 1, due to hazardous road and weather conditions.

The National Weather Service is expecting a foot or more of snow at lake level and possibly more than 2 feet for the surrounding mountains on Thursday.

The service has cut its winter storm warning short for the fast-moving storm and lasts through 4 a.m. Friday.

Chains are required on all vehicles except 4-wheel drives with snow tires on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit and over Kingsbury Grade on Nevada State Route 207.

The same requirements are also in effect From Truckee on Interstate 80 west to Emigrant Gap.

Chains or snow tires are required around Emerald Bay and from Tahoma to Tahoe City.

The weather service says the snow will taper off this evening.

For more information on roads, visit nvroads.com or call 511.

Barton Health Hospice hosts event in memory of loved ones

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Barton Health Hospice is hosting “Light Up a Life,” a remembrance event, from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at Edgewood Tahoe.

Open to all community members, this non-denominational ceremony provides the opportunity to gather in honor of those we have loved and lost. 

“Grief is a powerful force, especially around the holidays when parties and celebrations become a poignant reminder of what has changed in our lives,” said Tina Bruess, grief counselor with Barton Health Hospice. “This event gives voice to the dissonance felt by people who are grieving, a time to share and pay tribute to the memory that still lives on within us.”

Light Up a Life will be held in the North Room at Edgewood Tahoe, 100 Lake Pkwy in Stateline. The event offers music, light refreshments, mutual comfort, and a time of remembrance for anyone who is feeling the loss of a loved one, not just those who were served by hospice.

Barton Hospice staff will share readings and remembrance messages and the event will culminate with the lighting of a tree decorated with photo ornaments honoring hospice patients lost. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to share the name of a loved one prior to the event.

For more information or to share a name, call 530-543-5592 or email tbruess@bartonhealth.org.

Northern Lights returns this weekend to Crystal Bay, Incline Village

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Northern Lights festival has returned to Incline Village and Crystal Bay, with an official tree-lighting kick off and day of events beginning Saturday, Dec. 3. 

The day will begin with a Sip and Snack at the Country Club Center with opportunity to try tasty bites and drinks from Austin’s Restaurant, Cool Mess, EXP Realty, Fumo, Incline Spirits, Lakeside Personal Training, and Mountain High Sandwich Co.. The event is a part of a larger Sip and Shop event that happens every Saturday this month to promote local businesses, led by the Incline Village Crystal Bay Business Association and founder Linda Offerdahl. 

“We have these Sip and Shops to promote shopping local business Saturday,” said Offerdahl. “But we didn’t have a community event.” 

The Northern Lights festival was originally created to highlight Incline Village and Crystal Bay businesses during shoulder season, but according to Offerdahl, has become a staple in the community for the holidays. 

“It started out as a vehicle to bring more people here,” Offerdahl said. “I think now it’s really settled into something that celebrates the season and allows the locals to come together for socialization.” 

In order to bring the community together, this year, following the Sip and Snack, guests can walk over to the UNR at Lake Tahoe campus to visit Candy Cane Village on Patterson Hall Patio from 4-6 p.m.

The North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District will be bringing Santa Claus and Mrs. Lolly Claus in to light up the Candy Cane Christmas Tree on their fire engine, and the pathways of the campus will be decorated with candy canes. IVCBA will be handing out candy canes, and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Captain Corey Solferino will be having cocoa with guests. 

“It’s really meant to be something that celebrates that whole corner of Incline Village,” said Offerdahl. “We’re starting a new tradition of a tree lighting ceremony to bring the community together.” 

The celebration will continue with a choral performance by Incline Elementary School Students and snow science presentations at the UC Davis Science Center. AAEW will be providing a selfie-station to take photos at, and the Incline Village Rotary Club will be collecting toys and donations for Toys for Tots. 

The evening will conclude with S’mores and Happy Hour at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe from 6-7 p.m. with a story time with Mrs. Claus. The Hyatt currently has their Gingerbread House and Train Display up throughout this month of December, and will be in sights for guests. 

There will be complimentary parking at the Hyatt main lodge from 3-8 p.m. on Saturday. 

There will be more events throughout the month of December celebrating small businesses and the holidays throughout Incline Village and Crystal Bay, leading up to News Year’s Eve parties at Alibi Incline Public House, Crystal Bay Casino, Glasses Wine Bar, and the Grand Lodge Casino. 

Throughout the month, there will also be the Deck the Halls Lighting Contest, which sees Highway 28 light up for the season in a way Offerdahl has never truly seen in her time living in the basin. 

“I’ve been here 34 years and I’ve never seen lights,” said Offerdahl. 

Now, the trees outside of businesses and the businesses themselves are lighting up the night for the season, and giving chances to win different awards, including the Griswold Residential Award for the brightest residential display and brightest business display, and the Most Creative, which will see the best themed merchant/business window display. 

To learn more about the festival and to see the full list of events happening this month, visit northernlightstahoe.com/events

Residents are also invited to join in on the fun, and can decorate their homes for a chance to win a Griswold Award as well.
Provided/Chris Talbot

Inaugural Gather for Good Gala comes to South Tahoe

STATELINE, Nev. — The inaugural Gather for Good Gala will be coming to South Tahoe from 5-11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, to benefit children globally.

The event is being presented by Mom’s House for Children, and Founder and Executive Director Theresa Vigarino is excited to be hosting the event at Bally’s Lake Tahoe. 

“We’ve wanted to do this for a while, but there was COVID and then the fires, and so we got two and a half years of getting ready to throw this big party,” said Vigarino. “I always wanted to do it in Lake Tahoe. For me, there’s no place like Tahoe and the people.” 

After obtaining their nonprofit status in 2020, Mom’s House for Children began working all over the world to bring a better life to children in third-world countries. 

“So we really have been working hard and we wanted to celebrate our impact in Tahoe,” said Vigarino. “It’s the best place to be, so that’s why we decided we would have our annual event every year in Lake Tahoe.” 

The gala will serve as a fundraiser to bring clean water, childcare centers, food programs, emergency supplies, and more support to children in Africa, Europe, and South America. Many members of the Mom’s team, along with the international team will be in attendance, along with children who will benefit from the work and money raised at the gala. 

“I think it’s going to be such an epic, beautiful evening for all involved,” said Vigarino. “We’re going to be feeding kids in the process, so that’s what’s great.” 

Tickets to the gala are $150, and will include a specialty cocktail hour and full dinner. There will also be live artist creations, a silent and live auction, a raffle and prizes, and a global table with gifts from around the world where the organization does work. 

NAHKO will be performing at 8:30 p.m. for guests of the gala.

At 8:30 p.m., NAHKO Bear will be taking the stage to perform for guests. NAHKO is incredibly excited to come to Tahoe and help raise money for children in need. 

“It’s the first time working with Mom’s House for Children,” said NAHKO. “I’ve used my music, my platform, my voice, for many years to collaborate with different types of outreach programs, and it’s been a favorite activity of mine for a long time. I’ve known Theresa for a number of years, and she’s been bugging me to do a collaboration with her wonderful organization, and I’m just glad we’re finally getting to do it.” 

Tickets to the event are still available, and Vigarino is hoping that they will completely sell out. The sale of each ticket goes to helping children in need. 

“Everybody is going to have an amazing time and this can be the year that you really do give back,” said Vigarino. “I’m so excited to share who we are at a beautiful event like this and celebrate the impact that we’ve had and just make new friends and provide everyone with a beautiful evening. It’s really about opening the hearts of other people more than anything else.” 

To learn more, visit givebutter.com/gatherforgoodgala

EAT This week: Sage Leaf’s Huevos Rancheros

To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge — there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next. 

I am fresh off of binging “The Big Brunch” on HBO Max, so this week’s feature fits right in the pocket for me — it’s also insanely delicious so the fit was going to be there regardless. But, if this dish has never been part of your ordering arsenal, here are all the reasons why it should. 

Each layer is so perfectly crafted, it’s hard to pick out where to start so we’re just going to go from the bottom and work our way up. 

A rich base of refried pinto beans cooked through with cheddar cheese is where the celebration starts. House made fried corn tortillas are then topped with two fried eggs and drenched in a ranchero sauce that incorporates dried guajillo peppers, fresh jalapenos, chipotle peppers, onions, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and a boat load of fresh tomatoes. The finishing touches contain queso fresco, scratch guacamole, shaved radish, and micro cilantro. 

You might think this dish seems heavy, but it manages to be hearty without being heavy. The tortillas are thin, airy, and somehow magically stay super crispy with everything else going on. It’s easy to see where all the textures come from, and how they help maximize the flavors, but everything is supremely balanced. 

From sweet and smoky (ranchero sauce) to savory (beans) to rich (egg yolks) to salty (queso fresco) to creamy (guacamole), all of them are shooting fireworks at your taste buds like a Fourth of July gone wild – a holiday party that I will happily attend every day, if I could. 

A refined take on a somewhat traditional rural Mexican dish, but for me it checks boxes that I didn’t even know I needed in a huevos rancheros – and oh what tasty boxes those turned out to be.  

Sage Leaf is located at 893 Tahoe Boulevard, Ste. 600, in Incline Village. For menu, hours of operation and more information visit them on the web at sageleaftahoe.com or reach them by phone at 775-413-5005. 

Drink of the Week: Cold Water Brewery & Grill’s The Remedy

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.

If all goes as planned, you’re going to be reading this during a time in Tahoe where we’re getting hit with our second substantial winter storm of the season. Fingers crossed, the snow is flying, temperature chilly, and this week’s feature gives you all those warm feelings of a holiday hot toddy — and then some. 

The “then some” in this case goes hand in hand with the name, “The Remedy.” The traditional hot toddy is an age-old drink that steeps in the lore of temporary sickness treatments such as decongestion and sore throat soothing. But, this drink takes that concept and pushes all of their chips to the middle of table to raise the stakes. 

All of your standard ingredients are there: Jameson Irish whiskey, honey, lemon, and hot water. The bumps come from the additions of ginger, black pepper and turmeric — each bringing their own strong resume of health benefits. 

There’s a great smell of equal parts earthy, sweet and citrusy that emanate from this drink. The first drink brings about a sense of calming, like all it wants to do is give your insides a great big hug. If you’ve been walking the earth for any period of time, you know how great the pairing of honey and lemon is. The turmeric adds the deep, rich earthy notes, but then comes the bite in the back of your throat from the ginger and black pepper. 

It’s quite effective on all fronts it’s trying to serve. It’s super flavorful, the whiskey notes are there, and as a hot drink for cold times, it puts you on your toes and gives you all the feels. Happy snow day (hopefully)!

Cold Water Brewery and Grill is located at 2544 Lake Tahoe Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe. For food and beverage options visit them online at tahoecoldwaterbrewery.com or reach them via phone at 530-544-4677. 

Tahoe Action: Meyers Tree Lighting, breakfast with Santa, magic shows this weekend

Meyers Community Tree Lighting on Friday

The Meyers Community Foundation is getting in the holiday spirit with their 12th annual Tree Lighting from 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in the Divided Sky parking lot. 

The MFC will be serving popcorn and hot chocolate, and this year to reduce waste, they are recommending bringing your own mug for cocoa. 

The Christmas fire truck and Santa Claus will be returning via the Calstar helicopter (weather and circumstances permitted). 

This event is free and open to the public. 

For more information, contact MFC President David Reichel at 530-545-3055.

The annual Meyers Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony takes place Friday.
Provided / Rene Brejc

Breakfast with Santa at Fire and Ice Restaurant 

Join Mr. and Mrs. Clause for a morning of family-friendly fun with Breakfast with Santa at Fire and Ice Restaurant in Heavenly Village for Heavenly Holidays. 

From 8-10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, come see Santa, take photos, and enjoy a hearty, interactive breakfast the family is bound to remember. Reservations to this breakfast are required, and tickets are $15 for children and $20 for adults (plus taxes/fees). Seatings for the one-hour breakfast will be happening at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. 

Photos and access to Mr. and Mrs. Claus are included with purchase. 

To learn more, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/breakfast-with-santa-fire-ice-tickets-426968623647

Heavenly Holidays hosts character meet ups 

Ever Saturday in December this month from 2-5 p.m., come hangout with your favorite movie characters in Heavenly Village at the Ice Rink area. Take pictures with characters from Snow White, Frozen, Paw Patrol, and more. They will be at the rink, potentially skating, and roaming the village waiting to meet the whole family. 

Photos and a fun time are free this year, so make sure to stop by the village and join in on the fun. 

XX-Mas Burlesque at Hard Rock Lake Tahoe 

Dreu Murin Productions is excited to heat up the holidays this year at the XX-Mas Burlesque show at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe from 8-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3. Doors to the show will open at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available. General admission is $40 and VIP couch seating is $50. 

The show will be in the Vinyl Showroom and guests must be 21-plus to enter. 

Dancers from the Hard Rock Burlesque show will give an erotic mixture of classic and modern holiday song performances with a little bit of rock and roll mixed in. The show will include seductive dancers and risqué aerialists with a suggestive host that will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit. 

This show has additional show dates that include Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, and 30. 

To learn more, visit hardrockcasinolaketahoe.com/events/xxmas-burlesque

Alex Ramon is performing at Harveys this winter.

Alex Ramon Magic Show at Harveys

Alex Ramon is taking over Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Cabaret all winter long with his magic show starting at 7 p.m. nightly, except on Sundays and Mondays. 

Tickets for the shows are $45.87 each (plus taxes/fees) and are open to all ages. Children 2 years and younger are free. 

Ramon is known for his sleight-of-hand magic, and truly engages his audience with innovative deception and a sophisticated look at magic. Ramon has headlined in South Lake Tahoe for the past decade, and has created original music effects for Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift for her performance at the AMA’s. 

To learn more, visit www.caesars.com/harveys-tahoe/shows

Gift wrapping station at the Incline Village Library 

Take advantage of the Incline Village Library’s Holiday Wrap Station set up in the studio this month for free starting on Monday, Dec. 5 – Dec. 23. Bring your gifts and wrap them up using paper, ribbons, bows, tape, and scissors provided by the library. 

The library is located at 845 Alder Drive in Incline Village.

City, Historical Society partner for Festival of Winter Lights

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The 2nd annual Festival of Winter Lights will be held in the parking lot of the Lake Tahoe Historical Museum at 3058 Lake Tahoe Boulevard from 4-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10.  

Attendees will discover a full array of free holiday festivities including Borges Winter Carriage Rides, Holiday in History at the Museum, kid’s activities with the Tahoe Art League, photos with the Christmas Fire Engine, Trail of Lights, and visits to Santa’s House. Entertainment will be provided by the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Choir, Tahoe Shining Star Dancers and live music by Wesley Orsolic. 

Need to do some holiday shopping? Support local vendors and pick up some creative gifts for friends and family. While you shop, enjoy some hot beverages, or grab a bite to eat. 

In the spirit of holiday giving, consider bringing an unwrapped toy to support Toys for Tots. Drop off your donations at their booth and pick up a free magic kit for kids or participate in their nightly raffle.

Parking is available at the City Recreation Complex or the Boys and Girls Club. Since parking will be limited, carpool, consider taking public transportation or a free Lake Link shuttle to and from the event. To book a ride with Lake Link, visit www.tahoelakelink.com and download the app.

For more information, visit https://www.cityofslt.us/fesitivalofwinterlights2022

Stateline events center renamed to Tahoe Blue Center

STATELINE, Nev. — The events center under construction at Stateline will be known as the Tahoe Blue Center after a ceremony Wednesday revealed a partnership with Tahoe Blue Vodka. 

As the banner dropped at the event on Nov. 30, the billboards outside Hard Rock and Bally’s simultaneously changed to reflect the new name. 

The billboards now reflect the event’s new name.
Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribune

“It was around 2012 that the events center vision began to take shape, the same year that Tahoe Blue Vodka was born,” said Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority President/CEO Carol Chaplin in a speech at the naming ceremony. “Since then, the Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority and its many partners have successfully brought the building to where it stands today and since then, Tahoe Blue Vodka has become a strong brand in the market. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.”

“We are proud and grateful that our very own Tahoe Blue Vodka will be our strong and constant partner in bringing significant impact to our community for years to come,” Chaplin added. 

Carol Chaplin, Matt Levitt and Kevin Boryczki (from left) celebrate the new name.
Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Matt Levitt, founder and CEO of Tahoe Blue Vodka then took the mic

“This has been 10 years in the making … Tahoe Blue Center was on the list of initiatives intended to modernize and improve the basin and the infrastructure. The purpose of the center is to offer a year round venue for events and conventions that will enhance this iconic destination,” Levitt said. “Our goal as a community is to support sustainable and eco-friendly tourism and leave this place better than we found it. Our goal at Tahoe Blue Center is to lead by example.” 

Levitt and attendees of the media event raised a glass of Tahoe Blue Vodka to the banner displaying the new name. 

In an interview with the Tribune, Levitt reflected on the success of his business, stating he didn’t take a paycheck for the first four years. 

“Then there were another few years of just scraping by, it’s a very difficult industry to break into … the survival rate of start-ups spirits companies is 1%, I didn’t know that when I started it and it’s a good thing I didn’t,” Levitt said. “So no, I did not envision us getting to this point but in order to take the world on you have to have bottomless reserves of optimism and I think that’s helpful propel our company on, not just me but we have a great team and the team’s mentality is that we know we’re taking on the world.”

Work on the arena floor continued during the event.
Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribune

As the ceremony happened, work was continuing in the background. 

Kevin Boryczki, general manager for Tahoe Blue Center said that starting at 2 a.m. that morning, 15 concrete trucks began arriving to pour the concrete for the arena floor. 

“This is nonstop, they work around the clock to make this happen,” Boryczki said. 

The Tahoe Blue Center is slated to open in July 2023. Levitt told the Tribune that he’s excited for any events that meet their sustainability and growth goals to come to the center; he would be very happy to see Green Day or Elton John perform there.