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Tahoe ski bargains

Tahoe-area ski resorts roll out the red carpet


That noise you heard coming from California ski resorts recently is a collective sigh of relief coming from ski resort operators and lodging managers who finally are getting the snow they have been praying for all through the early winter. The winter storms have arrived, bringing a big boost in business from skiers and snowboarders who have been limited to man-made snow and fewer runs for most of the season.

Seattle and Portland have sent their record snowfall on down to Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Mountain as well as other ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada. The big dump of snow comes after one of the driest Decembers on record.

The amount of terrain opened up for skiing and snowboarding varies from resort to resort, but higher elevation areas are seeing the most benefit from the snowfall. Prior to this the weather this season was so dry that false rumors were flying around that some resorts were closing for the entire year. Spokesmen for the ski resorts say that was wildly inaccurate and several resorts have kept skiers busy on hills covered with man-made snow. But there's no question everyone is glad to see the real thing, and local lodgings are pulling out all the stops to make sure visitors come up and take advantage of the white stuff.

Lake Tahoe's Resort at Squaw Creek, for example, is offering a winter fun package sure to interest those traveling with children this winter season. It includes accommodations, children's welcome amenity on arrival, free ice skating and skate rentals, free sledding and a free 12-and-under child's lift ticket to Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. Prices start at $299 per night. Phone 800-327-3353 for details and restrictions.

The Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge is offering a flat 20 percent off their rooms right up until March 31, 2012 – although you do have to book by February 10 to get the deal. It's not valid Feb. 17-19 and all you have to do is click on the “Save 20 percent” from the promo menu on their website. Phone 800-448-4577.

Tahoe Beach and Ski Club is offering 20 percent off any day, any time. All of the one-bedroom suites are equipped with a jetted tub and the property has a pool, sauna and many other features such as wireless internet. In order to receive 20% please call 1-866-4MY-VACATION (1-866-469-8222) or the resort at 530-541-6220 and mention California Weekend Get-a-Way. When booking online please enter promo code CAGET in order to receive the discount. (Discount based on availability, valid on new reservations and cannot be combined with any other promotions. You must be 21 years of age to check-in and provide a valid credit card and photo i.d.).

The Avalon Lodge is offer the fourth night free – amounting to a 25 percent discount on any of their rooms. Guests are served a fresh continental breakfast and there is wireless internet throughout the property. The property is known for its close proximity to the beach and skiing. Bikes, kayaks and other sports equipment are available free for checkout. Phone 877-969-7829.

The West Shore Café is offering a special Romance Package for Valentine's day that starts at $179 for accommodations plus a lift ticket or $50 credit for the restaurant. There are six luxurious guest rooms available and the property's location on the lake offers gorgeous views. Phone 530-525-5200. www.westshorecafe.

Forest Suites Resort has packages with either Sierra at Tahoe or Heavenly lift tickets. The Heavenly package, for example, is Sunday-through-Thursday and includes one free lift ticket with your reservation. Accommodations are all suites. Good through April 15, 2012. Phone 800-822-5950.

(Editor's note: is California's leading source of information on getaway travel in the Golden State. Visit the site often to find the latest getaway specials, a comprehensive list of resorts and lodgings and to use the Getaway Machine travel calculator to match up your needs and preferences with exactly the right lodgings and location.)

Photos, from top: Squaw Valley chairlift; Squaw Valley gondola

Photos courtesy Squaw Valley

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