A skier descends Sawtooth Ridge at Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort. (Bill Stevenson / Northstar-at-Tahoe )
Ski magazine last year pronounced that Northstar-at-Tahoe north of Lake Tahoe had shaken off its "Tahoe underdog" rep. So much has happened at this 3,000-acre resort, including the opening of a ski-in, ski-out Ritz-Carlton last year on the mountain and a change of ownership last week. But for now, one of the resort's best budget offers remains intact: Stay & Ski Free packages.
The vibe: Vail Resorts, which owns Heavenly at South Lake Tahoe, just bought the resort for $63 million, according to an announcement last week. Vail also owns Colorado resorts at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone. Northstar-at-Tahoe is scheduled to open Nov. 20, and, after receiving a dusting of snow last week, snow-making has begun.
The deal: The Stay & Ski Free offer starts at $115 plus tax per person, based on double occupancy. The deal includes a stay at a resort residence plus two free lift tickets (or if you wish, a cross-country trail pass or a $25 resort gift card). Staying at the resort also comes with neat extras such as free Internet and free ice skating and rentals.
I like this special because it's not just a one-time offer; the free lift ticket comes with each night you stay.
When: The offer is good daily Nov. 20 through Dec. 23 and April 3 to closing. Blackout dates are Dec. 24-Jan. 1 and Feb. 18-23. For the rest of the season, it’s generally good on weekdays.
[For the record, added at 4:25 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5: An earlier version of this post said the offer is good Mondays through Thursdays from Jan. 2 to April 2. In fact, lodging and lift-ticket dates are somewhat different. The Northstar-at-Tahoe website has details.]
Tested: I checked the deal online and found a studio condo at Aspen Grove for $115 plus tax per person on Dec. 9. By comparison, without the package, the same condo cost $229 per night, or $114.50 per person. Although the 2010-2011 daily lift ticket prices haven't been announced, they were $84 per adult last season. So for the date I checked, the package would save me around $168.
Contact: Northstar-at-Tahoe, (888) 298-3156