Everywhere you go at Lake Tahoe these days, there are smiles. After four years of extreme drought, there is snow – lots of it. It may not mean the end of the drought, but it brings hope and allows skiers and snowboarders to rediscover some of the best slopes in the country.
Lack of snow in January 2015 for “National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month” brought few participants and canceled programs.
This year, things are looking up for the National Snow Sports Industry Association event. Here’s a sampling:
Alpine Meadows has lessons for ages 13 and up through Friday, Jan. 29, that include a beginner lift ticket, equipment rental, a 2 1/2 -hour lesson, and priority lift access ($59). Northstar has half-day morning lessons for skiing and snowboarding with all-day equipment rentals ($155). Mount Rose Ski Tahoe offers a First Timer Package with lift tickets, rentals, and a two-hour group lesson ($107). Squaw Valley offers women two-hour snowboard lessons, rentals, and an afternoon session with wine at Trilogy Spa ($249). (GoTahoeNorth.com)
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Virginia City, which sits on Mount Davidson, is trying to divert skiers with what it’s calling the “Comstock Lift Ticket,” ($10) which includes a Virginia City Trolley ride, a tour of the Ponderosa Mine, and discounts on merchandise, restaurants and lodging. Find the deal at the visitors center at 86 South C St., Virginia City.
The annual Snowshoe Cocktail Races begin Saturday, Jan. 16, at Camp Richardson. Racers, cocktail trays in hand, try to maneuver up and down the beach and through obstacles. Often it looks more fun for the watchers than the racers. (Subsequent races are Feb. 20, March 19, and April 16; all races 7 p.m.; the Beacon Bar and Grill, Camp Richardson; free)
Area casinos are turning the lights on in their showrooms after a post-holiday hiatus, and the 1980s seem to be dominating. Tainted Love, at Harrah’s Tahoe, has the motto “’80s Dominance Is Our Goal” and may be one of the most versatile cover bands in the country, taking on everybody from AC/DC to the B-52s and The Clash to Whitesnake. (7:30 p.m. Saturday; $27.50; Ticketmaster)
Morris Day got started in a big way in the 1980s as a founding member of Prince’s band The Time. Now it’s Morris Day and The Time, and they’re at the MontBleu Saturday, Jan. 16, playing their own hits like “Fishnet.” (9 p.m.; $39.50-$49.50; Ticketmaster)
Thunder Valley offers the “Tribute to Motown’s Best” with the music of Al Green, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and others Sunday, Jan. 17. (7 p.m.; $28.75-$36.75; thundervalleyresort.com)
Cache Creek brings in Ashanti, just “Fooling” and more, Saturday, Jan. 16 (8 p.m.; $49-$75; cachecreek.com). The casino also begins a big band series for Sunday afternoons, with Bud E Luv on Sunday, on Jan. 17. (1 p.m.; free with club card or $20)
And Martin Lawrence tops the Reno offerings this week, playing his “Doin’ Time” tour at the Silver Legacy Friday, Jan. 15. (8 p.m.; $65-$85; silverlegacy.com)