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Northstar-at-Tahoe

These days, it’s easy to forget Northstar was once a Tahoe underdog. Especially when après-ski—after you soared down “seamless groomers,” riffled through powdery woods and hit one of the ultra-hip terrain parks—means getting bubbled by jets in a two-person copper tub at the Ritz-Carlton spa while gazing at big vistas.

Not feeling so ritzy? Enjoy a few drafts around the firepits at the Overlook while the kids skate for free in the Village. Dinner? Epicureans like Manzanita, where San Fran power chef Traci Des Jardins might just visit to admit “I became a chef because I thought it would be a good way to support my dream of being a ski bum.”

Bums whose lifestyles involve less foie gras, however, appreciate slices from Rubicon—and the value-priced “Stay and Ski Free” deals. In other words, Northstar’s trademarked ethos of delivering “a good day” to all and finding fresh ways to do it is working. While some dislike the trek from parking to Village to the actual skiing—and lovers of true double-blacks still should go elsewhere—more converts love the innovative ways this “mellow mountain” turned “top notch resort” delivers great times to many different styles of skiers. Think Beaver Creek meets Deer Valley with a come-one-come-all California attitude. —S.R.

What’s New: Treeskiing skills clinics; new rental fleet; new cool features in The Stash.

Mandatory Run: Lookout Mountain on a powder day.

Don’t Miss: Fresh grilled lunch in the sun with Lake Tahoe views at Summit Deck & Grille.

Northstar-at-Tahoe Now Part of Vail Resorts

Northstar-at-Tahoe Now Part of Vail Resorts
Northstar Village
Vail Resorts acquires Northstar-at-Tahoe from Booth Creek Resorts for $63 million.
Vail Resorts has expanded its family of ski resorts once again. After acquiring Northstar-at-Tahoe on Oct. 25, Vail Resorts now owns two resorts in the Lake Tahoe region. In recent years, Northstar-at-Tahoe has expanded to include more diverse terrain and a new base village. Kelly Ladyga, director of corporate communications at Vail Resorts, believes this was a key factor in their decision to purchase Northstar-at-Tahoe.

Autumn Food and Wine Festival

Autumn Food and Wine Festival
AFW main
Three full days of food, wine tasting, and cooking demonstrations at Northstar at Tahoe.

Northstar at Tahoe is hosting the Autumn Food and Wine Festival this Friday, September 10, through Sunday, September 12. The festival is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary, and celebrity and executive chefs from all across California and Nevada will be present, offering cooking demonstrations, tastings, cook offs, and more.

Earthly Delights

Earthly Delights

Manicured and easy-going. Family-friendly in creative ways. Brimming with dynamic, leading-edge terrain park innovation, yet very—and we do mean very—spiffed up. With the November ribbon-cutting of the mid-slope Ritz-Carlton Highlands (a 170-room grand hotel unparalleled in the mountains of the Far West), Northstar-at-Tahoe joins the ranks of elite, full-service destination resorts. And to think this former-cinder-cone-turned-tree-farm was once a Tahoe skier’s afterthought.

Cruise in sweet solitude through Lookout Mountain’s glades on a powder day. Pull your squirming toddler and gear from curbside to liftline in a free handcart supplied for this very purpose. Ski lap after high-speed lap on pine-flanked pitches covered in easy-carving corduroy. Hop a box and hit a few easy rails in the Burton Progression mini-park with your elementary schooler—or even sign on for a morning’s instruction at the innovative Burton Academy—and try not to find yourself feeling cool. After the lifts close, enjoy regional cheeses and fine California whites by the glass at Olivier Napa while your tweens skate on the adjacent free outdoor rink. Or gaze at alpenglow and treetops while melting into the waters of the Ritz-Carlton’s new 17,000-square-foot Highlands Spa.

Amidst all these pleasurable sensations, one thing will quickly become clear: Far from being a Tahoe afterthought, recent improvements at Northstar and its dynamic new Village have been meticulously planned. Best of all, Northstar’s thoughtful touches extend across a range of economic brackets. So whether your ideal ski day lunch is a brown-bag picnic on a bench with a view, heaping plates of crafted-from-scratch Mexican food on a sun deck with the masses or epicurean creations from acclaimed Bay Area chef Traci Des Jardins at the Ritz-Carlton’s new Manzanita, Northstar delivers. It may not have the stirring steeps of some of Tahoe’s other signature spots, but it now has nearly everything else.

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MUST DO Check out the grand front entrance of the Ritz-Carlton and its multi-tiered lobby’s “big tree” design, with a grand staircase winding up a central “trunk,” canopied by faux branches and leaves of etched glass.

MUST SKI Lookout Mountain’s Prosser, just after it has been groomed, for a near perfect taste of gravity and speed.

APRÈS Cocktails and nibbles on the Ritz’s slopeside/poolside “beach” or in the lobby bar—both great for pampering and people-watching. Olivier Napa for great wines by the glass; The Chocolate Bar for cocoa-infused adult beverages and other treats.

DINING On mountain: The Summit Deck for rotisserie platters; the Lodge at Big Springs for Mexican food. At the Ritz: Manzanita for California French with a focus on regionally sourced ingredients (ask for the chef’s table). In the Village: Baxter’s for American comfort food with a touch of gourmet San Francisco flair; Mikuni for stylized sushi.

LODGING The new Ritz-Carlton Highlands Lake Tahoe is California skiing’s plushest ski-in, ski-out full-service hotel; ritzcarlton.com/lake-tahoe. Village-at-Northstar condos are lift-adjacent, central to all the action and roomy, particularly at One Village Place and Great Bear; tahoemountainlodging.com. Northstar’s earlier era of homes and condos offer great value; northstarattahoe.com.

INFO northstarattahoe.com

Lunch to go.

A gourmet deli and market right in the village. Earthly Delights has a wide-ranging breakfast and lunch menu as well as produce and sandwich makings. Plus, they have a full wine bar. Perfect if you want meals to go.
http://www.earthlydelightstahoe.com; (530) 587-7793

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