Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mountain High - Thanksgiving Week Edition

We've just come back from a quick trip to Tahoe. We've not been up since summer and my body was begging for the scent of pine trees in the most unrelenting of ways. This trip was really just to get the house ready for winter. Provisioning. Cleaning. Organizing.

Squaw merged with Alpine Meadows this year and KSL, the owner of both properties, is halfway through a $30M renovation of Squaw. There have been lots of changes.

Here are some highlights:
  1. There is signage everywhere.
  2. The ticket kiosks and ski school office were demolished and a new skier service center was added to the Olympic House. The site of the former kiosks is wide open now and it's not an icy hike up to the Funitel.
  3. The filthy, dingy lower level of the Olympic House was gutted. All the restaurants and shops are gone, and all that remains of the original space is the fireplace and stairs. There is a gorgeous new locker room and a lot of dust as the construction continues. Fire pits are being installed on the KT deck along with private cabanas.
  4. The Blue Coyote is gone and the space is in the process of being converted to a new restaurant. That's number three in the spot if my memory serves correctly.
  5. The North Face has moved into The Village.
  6. The Rainbow Bridge (aka that weird spiritual shop) has closed, as has All Fired Up and the ice cream shop, which was much better during its first iteration as Ben & Jerry's.
  7. Chamois, the pizza place, appears to have lost its liquor license for two weeks. At least that's what the notice hanging in its window says.
  8. Starbucks has remodeled. The service is still mediocre.
Very little was open during our stay, just Starbucks, Mamasake and Mountain Nectar. Winter operations begin tomorrow. Thing 1 broke into tears when she saw Exhibition running Sunday morning, knowing we'd left all our ski gear down in the Bay. Fortunately or unfortunately it was for Squaw ski team members only to get a leg up on the other local race teams.

The drive up was tougher than usual. It was raining in the Bay and we saw four car accidents in the first 15 miles of our drive. It was snowing over the pass and Caltrans was hauling a few cars out of ditches in the Sierras, too. Not optimal but we arrived. And were rewarded with three days of falling snow and the area mostly to ourselves.

1 comment:

Polka Dot Moon said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family!!