Spring is in the air, and there is snow everywhere. But the big thaw is underway, while the days get longer and the temperatures start to rise. All the creeks and streams are swollen, and the meadows look like big ponds. When the snow starts to melt off the mountains, the number of people visiting Lake Tahoe starts to melt as well.
April is typically the slowest time of year up here at the South Shore. The ski resorts close, the parks and trails are still closed and it’s still too cold to enjoy the beach. The area goes into its cocoon while transitioning into another glorious Tahoe summer. But it wasn’t a typical winter up here — it was huge. So big that Heavenly Resort has announced an April 30 closing date, exceeding last year’s date by almost two months. This year we can just skip spring and have all the fun of winter right up until summer.
It always seems this time of year people don’t put Tahoe on their travel plans, but they are missing out. When things get slow, local hotels do their best to attract business, so they reduce their prices and make a springtime visit easier on the wallet — and it’s less crowded. If it’s possible to play hooky from work and get up here on a weekday, rates at a fabulous Stateline casino-hotels are excellent. Like at Harrah’s casino, where a great room can go for $65 in April, which isn’t that bad for this day and age. Plus Harrah’s rooms are quite nice, and the views from any spot in the hotel tower are wonderful. Spacious rooms with two bathrooms in each of them, designed so the person who can get ready faster doesn’t have to wait for the bathroom to be free to get down to the casino. Or get down to the showroom to enjoy some top notch entertainment at the South Shore Room. Like on April 6th and 7th, when STS9 hits the stage with their Get Loud Tour. The band describes their music as post-rock dance music, so get on up here and shake your booty on the dance floor. Then stick around on April 8th and see Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, and get ready to be into something good.
Likewise across the street at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the room rates plummet in April, but the entertainment is at a very high level. If you’re a heavy metal music fan, or a fan of any type of metal music, the Hard Rock is hosting the Spring Meltdown Festival April 20-22. It’s a music festival that will last three days, with three stages and over 50 bands, and there’s definitely going to be some hard rocking going down. Necks will be sore the day after this festival, as there will be some serious head banging going on. And the devil horns will be held high when bands like Origin, Ghoul or Alterbeast attack the stage.
The entertainment at the casinos doesn’t take a break during the slow period of April, and the redevelopment at Tahoe South just keeps chugging along too. One major project that has been building non-stop for the last year is at Edgewood Golf Course. The Edgewood Lodge will be ready and open for business in June, and people can make reservations for stays starting for June 22 at the Lodge. Go to www.edgewoodtahoe.com for more information. The Lodge has 154 luxury rooms and suites all located right on the shoreline and having every amenity imaginable. The construction has been a pretty remarkable feat, especially during a record setting winter; workers had to dig out the snow and then get to work building the Lodge. While the wait is on for the June opening date at the Lodge, people can visit two restaurants located in the clubhouse on the golf course. While the course is still buried under a few feet of snow, they are expecting to open for golf in May. The Edgewood Restaurant offers a fantastic place to enjoy Easter Sunday brunch on April 16. The restaurant offers panoramic views of the Lake and delicious food. Or come down for lunch at Brook’s Bar and Restaurant, open Wednesday through Sunday during the month of April. And, on a nice sunny day, sit outside and soak up some rays on the patio and munch on some food.
It’s not going to be the average run-of-the-mill spring up here at the Lake. It’s going to take a while for the snow to melt, and we may receive more snow, as it’s been known to snow during every month of the year. And after this winter, maybe we’ll get another two feet in April. People not making the trip up because “ski season is over” won’t have that problem this April, because every ski hill will be going strong throughout the month, and some places like Squaw Valley will be open till July 4th. Get on up here, get the deals, see a show, hit the slopes, and love Lake Tahoe.
— Brendan Packer