Luxury Las Vegas

Swaddled in the Hoilday Spirit - Gift Guide 2012

Luxury Las Vegas continues to be Las Vegas’ premier metropolitan magazine offering Extraordinary Living for Extraordinary Lives.

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[ L A K E TA HOE ] BY DAWN DENBERG Photo courtesy by shutterstock.com/ Galina Barskaya I grew up on skiing. For the better part of two decades, my parents, my brothers and I would fly to Colorado for our yearly powder fix. But we also relished the gourmet dining, lively entertainment and great shopping. This was the only way I knew a ski town to be. So years later, 1997 to be exact, when I ventured up to Lake Tahoe for the first time, I was, well, confused. Where were all the fashionable boutiques, upscale eateries, and other apres ski hot spots? In my mind, a take-and-bake pizza shop, a Hanes underwear outlet, and a strip mall bar did not exactly scream sophisticated resort town. The skiing was decent, but the infrastructure left much to be desired. But over the next decade, and into the current one, Tahoe has slowly but surely reinvented itself. Beginning in 2001, Heavenly Mountain (skiheavenly.com) began retooling its property from a day ski area to a destination resort. A base village was created with new hotels, restaurants and shops, and a gondola installed just steps away from all this commerce. Around the same time, Squaw Valley (squaw.com) transformed a parking lot into an 30 LUXURY LAS VEGAS | NOVEMBER 2012 equally appealing base village. Then Northstar-at-Tahoe (www.northstarattahoe.com) stepped up to the plate, making it the third resort in the area to build a pedestrian-friendly village. And just last year, Squaw, which now owns neighboring Alpine Meadows Resort (skiapline.com), began yet another renovation; this time committing to a five-year, $70-million- dollar improvement plan. Among the upgrades already completed: a new day lodge, new on-mountain restaurants, and the world's first ski- in-ski out Starbucks. Although Colorado will always hold a special place in my heart, I rarely visit any longer. The upside of skiing Lake Tahoe is just too high. For starters, there are the vistas: You get to take in the largest alpine lake in North America along sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. And then there's the weather: Daytime temperatures rarely dip below zero—a real boon for thin blooded Las Vegans. And given that you can be slope-side in under two hours by hopping a flight to Reno, well, then what are you waiting for?

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