In this edition:
Boulder City, Carson Valley, Elko, Ely, Las Vegas, Laughlin, Lincoln County, Mesquite, South Lake Tahoe
The biggest event of the year in Boulder City is the Annual Art in the Park held downtown below the graceful trees of Wilbur Square and Bicentenial Park on the weekend of October 1st and 2nd. Somewhere upwards of 120,000 people attend the event, which is a benefit for the Boulder City Hospital. It can be a magical affair of art, crafts, the beginning of fall, and more importantly the end of the hot summer in what present residents call “clean, green Boulder City.” When everything aligns, it is the perfect Indian summer event. Don’t miss it.
But this has not always been so. Talking to kids who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, Boulder City sucked, and they couldn’t wait to leave. The city was in danger of losing it’s hospital. The Bureau of Reclamation was gifting the hospital located on Park Street. The Pink Ladies of the Hospital needed to raise some money, and Sara Denton had a home next to the Park suitable for entertaining with a nice view of the lake. Now Sara is much to modest to claim credit for the idea of selling art in the park, but only says that she was “instrumental” in getting Art in the Park going. In those early days the art was hung on a clothesline, and the really good stuff was hung inside in Sara’s living room.
Sara did have other interests in this little city, with growing kids to nurture and a little town to polish. She had many co-conspirotors in the form of her husband, Ralph Denton, who was a famous civil rights lawyer, Gene Segerblom, famed State Assemblywoman, and her husband, the photographer and artist Cliff Segerblom. I can imagine these co-conspirators sitting on a bench overlooking the park, the men reading the local paper and commenting on the news of the day and the ladies coming up with another idea to make this little town home. Good citizens, I call them. The people who care about a place and make it great. Their legacy is Art in the Park. Something not to miss.
Hikes of the Month
You know it’s coming. Every primal thread in your body is on high alert for it, and it affects every fiber of your being. You have that undeniable feeling of impending … WINTER! That being said, my decree for October is “Get thee to the Mountains!” (It may be your last chance.)
In the Carson Valley, that could mean a mere 30-minute drive to our favorite natural playground, Carson Pass. There are a variety of spectacular hikes beginning at the Forest Service Parking area there, including Frog Lake (perfect for families), Winnemucca and Round Top Lakes, Fourth of July Lake, and Meiss Meadows.
Round Top is a good medium-distance hike which starts off in stands of enormous red fir and western white pine,
quickly overtaken by whitebark and mountain hemlock as the trail rises. The whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is one of my faves, its gnarled and twisted trunks dense and hardy, allowing it to withstand the harsh winds and snowdrifts which attack it at this forbidding elevation. These beautiful specimens are our version of the legendary bristlecone pine, with its dense wood that allows the trunk to stand upright for centuries after the tree is “dead.” After reading at the trailhead about the symbiotic relationship between the whitebark pine and the avian Clark’s nutcracker (the trees’ only method of seed dispersal), we were delighted to see it unfold before our very eyes: the forest was replete with these noisy and very industrious creatures! Round Top Lake is an emerald gem, swimmable for the very brave, and graced with the backdrop of Round Top Mountain and the Sisters. A short side-scramble leads up Round Top, one of three peaks over 10,000 feet visible from Lake Tahoe, and still sporting significant snow drifts in September!
Another beautiful fall hike is the 12-mile roundtrip trek to Star Lake, a little jewel under the snow-capped peaks
which can be seen from the Carson Valley: Job’s Peak and Job’s Sister. With a short detour, you can jet up to Freel Peak, the highest peak in the Tahoe Basin (see link for directions). Although not what I would call a “social skills hike” (i.e. not crowded), we did encounter several mountain bikers whipping gleefully down the mountain, who were very courteous in passing.
WARNING: Both of these hikes involve an alluring drive through magical autumn aspen forests, so you may never even MAKE it to the trailhead!
Due to our proximity to Lake Tahoe, I would be remiss in not mentioning the Annual Tahoe 200 Endurance Run, which took place in September. Erik and I got duped into volunteering for this event, and had the time of our lives! The runners who trickled into our aid station were on mile 118 of a grueling 205-mile run through the forest around Lake Tahoe (by contrast, we were whining about and exhausted after setting up tents with air mattresses and blankets for the runners). The elevation gain? A mere 35 THOUSAND feet! (That’s the cumulative total of all the uphill sections of the course.) A warning on the race website sums it up: “Runners will experience the highs and lows of the terrain and their own consciousness.” See the website for info on racing or volunteering at next year’s epic event.
Carson Valley Activities
October is a fun month in the Carson Valley. A great event for the whole family is the Annual Scarecrow Festival, set to happen on October 1st from 9-3 at Heritage Park and Gardens. Participants get to make their own scarecrows using clothes and materials purchased at a great price on-site!
For some silly fun akin to the Virginia City Outhouse races, plan to attend the Slaughterhouse Lane Coffin Races, on Oct 8th in downtown Gardnerville, and stick around for the Western Swing Dance and BBQ that evening at the Community Center.
Squid, Inc. is a super-talented string quartet hailing from the Bay Area, performing at the Carson Valley Art Council’s concert series on Oct. 14 from 6-9. You can leave your preconceived notions of classical chamber music at the door; with their souped-up versions of traditional to modern tunes, these guys are NOT boring!!
For exposure to a bigger sound, hit up the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra’s October Concert, “Flight”, on Oct. 22 at 7 pm at the CVIC Hall in Minden featuring music from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, and others. This star of the Carson Valley was founded in the 1990’s, and has been a source of culture and entertainment to Valley residents as visitors alike, along with enriching the lives of the volunteer musicians who participate. Even the venue has an interesting story: the CVIC Hall dominates Esmeralda Street in downtown Minden, flanked by historic buildings, shops, and the quaint Minden Park and gazebo. It was built by the Carson Valley Improvement Club in 1913 and has been a hub of the community ever since. (It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983). The depth and character of this building, inside and out, really needs to be experienced first hand.
— Amy Meeks
Fall Colors in Elko County
Fall brings a lot of changes to the mountains of Elko County, and one of the best to take in is the changing of the leaves. Lamoille Canyon is one of the best spots to view the autumn spectacle as cottonwoods, aspen, chokecherry trees show off stunning gold, orange and crimson colors. The trees start to change at the end of September and usually peak around October 10th.
Music at the Western Folklife Center
The WFC theatre will be the spot for wonderful music on October 26 as the Haunted Windchimes come to Elko. This band from Pueblo, Colorado brings a unique blend of blues, folk, and Americana music to the G3 theatre. Check out the WFC website for details at www.westernfolklife.org
Lamoille Farmers Market
The next Lamoille Farmers Market is set for October 8th in Lamoille. This market is definitely worth the drive to get great meat, local produce and goods. Organized by Sue Kennedy, this market features around six local producers who sell locally raised chicken, beef, honey, vegetables, jams, jellies, and more. Kennedy Farms will be offering locally raised grass-fed beef, and my other favorite is Josh Bottari’s hand crafted sheep’s milk cheese. Hours are from 8 to noon, so come on out and support local agriculture — and it is best to arrive early for the best selection.
— Doug Clarke
Halloween in Ely
Ely celebrates the fall harvest and Halloween in a variety of ways, all designed to take advantage of our great fall weather. The Nevada Northern Railway’s Haunted Ghost Trains run each Saturday in October. Volunteers set up scenes which are just scary enough to make them enjoyable without being truly frightful. These can be seen along the tracks for the enjoyment of the train passengers, who dress in costume to be part of the fun.
The Lions Club has the Pumkin’ Chunkin’ Day with pumpkin pancake breakfast, treats, and tossing of pumpkins. This event continues to grow and is planned for Oct. 15 this year. The Howl-a-Ween Dog Parade is a great chance to dress up your dog and enter in the pet parade.
The White Pine Library of Ely hosts a Community Halloween Party at the Bristlecone Convention Center, and 500 plus children and parents come to see the decorations, enjoy the entertainment and get treats. Businesses and organizations set up tables and hand out goodies. Many thanks go to all the volunteers and businesses who work to make this event so great.
The White Pine Chamber of Commerce works with downtown businesses for the Trick or Treat the Street event. This is part of the Fun Friday events. People dress up, take the kids in costume and walk from business to business to get treats, take advantage of specials and sales, and see the decorations.
As part of Trick or Treat the Street, stores are encouraged to decorate in front of their businesses and ask staff to dress in costume. This year’s events take place on Oct. 28.
Ely celebrates many holidays throughout the year with decorations and parades. Friendly faces are out enjoying the small town atmosphere that makes being here so special. It is nice to be able to walk from store to store, enjoy the parades and visit with friends and neighbors in a setting that is comfortable and friendly. Not everywhere has this to offer. In Ely, one can step back in time to days gone by when small friendly towns celebrated together.
— Loraine Clark
Is there anything better than a steak and a sublime glass of Scotch? I can answer that question: no, there isn’t. Strip House at Planet Hollywood is making that special meal even more special with a one-of-a-kind rare Scotch cart. Among the Scotch whiskies found on the cart are Macallan 25 year, an outstanding Scotch from Speyside aged in Sherry casks and considered one of the most revered whiskies in the world. Adelphi Selection, a 28-year Longmorn, comes from one of Scotland’s most acclaimed bottler of rare single-cask and limited edition single malt whiskies. It was distilled in 1985 and bottled in 2014; there are only 203 bottles remaining. Another is The Glenrothes 1978, which is the last Glenrothes from the 1970s.
To complement the Scotch, the cart is equipped with specialized hand-cut glasses and crystal clear ice cubes made from water that has been boiled three times. No thanks. Diamond Jack drinks his Scotch neat. Strip House opens nightly at 5 p.m. 702-737-5200.
Several months ago, I indulged in Momenti Spirited Ice Cream, a super premium, alcohol-infused ice cream (alcohol seems to be a recurring theme of mine). It was at a private party and was a fun way to cool off at the end of a hot summer day. Recently, the ice cream became available in the retail market where it is now being sold in Las Vegas at Total Wine & More (730 So. Rampart Blvd. in Las Vegas and 501 No. Stephanie St. in Henderson) and Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits (9915 So. Eastern Ave.) Eight-ounce individual cups are $5.99.
Momenti (moments in Italian) ice creams and sorbets are infused with top-shelf liquors and wines. Unique flavors include: White Russian Pecan that is vodka and cream liqueur blended with fresh pecans; Chocotini Chip is a rich combination of vodka and dark cocoa sprinkled with chunks of dark chocolate chips; Vodka Cookies & Cream is whipped vanilla vodka infused with cookie crumbles; Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet has blackberries blended with Cabernet Sauvignon; and Limoncello Sorbet is a zesty sorbet highlighting sun-ripened lemons featuring award-winning Ventura Limoncello Classico.
— Diamond Jack Bulavsky
Spooooky Las Vegas
Great ghosts and goblins! It’s time for hunting down those spooktacular hauntings that can occur throughout the year; but, are even scarier if you come upon them around Halloween!
A few haunted tours to get you going this October start with going on the Haunted Vegas Ghost Hunt. This tour is designed to take you out of your comfort zone and can be done anytime during the year. But, Halloween is coming! Do it now! Tickets are $94.95. This tour leaves from the Royal Resort (99 Convention Center Drive) with the starting time of 9:30 p.m. It is a 3 hour tour … a 3 hour tour… get it? The tour will cover haunted parks, Red Foxx’s former home, a bridge, and it also includes pizza. You will receive all the ghost equipment you need and be taught how to use it proficiently.
The Goodsprings Ghost Hunt was spawned from the Haunted Vegas Ghost Hunt tour to solely focus on the area of Goodsprings. You will also be picked up from the Royal Resort at 6:30 p.m. for a 30-minute shuttle ride to Goodsprings which was founded in 1904. Goodsprings is an old western mining town which was the temporary home of Clark Gable while he awaited word of the tragic plane crash which took the life of his wife, Carole Lombard. For this tour you must call for tickets and reservations.
You can also drive out to Goodsprings yourself; but you will miss out on the before and after discussions of “the hunt.” Each ticket is $109 for 4 ½ hours and includes use of their EVP and ghost equipment, their paranormal ceremony, and pizza at the Pioneer Saloon, which is over 90 years old. No alcohol or drinks, besides water, are allowed on the shuttle.
If you are looking for more traditional Halloween scares Opportunity Village is hosting their annual Halloveen at the Magical Forest beginning October 14th thru Halloween night from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. General admission is $9.99 for children ages 3-12 and $11.99 per adult. Kids 2 and under are free! They will have movies, trick or treating and attractions. Or, if you want an unlimited ride pass for their ghost train, enchanted carousel etc., it is $18.99 per child and $21.99 per adult. You can also purchase the general admission and buy separate ride tickets in the park. Opportunity Village does a terrific job of themed holidays, especially for Halloween and Christmas. And proceeds go to a great cause benefiting people with disabilities.
This is one to try this year if you are into terror! Bonnie Springs Ranch in the Spring Mountains will turn into Bonnie Screams. They do not recommend children under 13 be allowed to attend; although, if you want the
nightmares to begin you will bring the kids. Each night, 6:30 p.m. until midnight, from October 13th through Halloween they will be hosting 3 haunted houses, along with a terror trail for general admission of $25. They also feature The Zombie Paintball Express bus ride through the desert, which is an extra $30 per ticket and is designed for you to eliminate the unwelcome zombies with paintballs that you encounter who cannot shoot back at you.
Bonnie Springs is an old west town with riding stables, petting zoo, and restaurant located in the Red Rock Canyon conservation area. It is located approximately 20 minutes west of I-215 & Charleston. There is a motel to stay in, with the restaurant open daily between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. every day. If you decide to stay at the motel, make sure you call first to see if there is availability.
RISE will be held at the Moapa River Reservation (by Moapa Travel Plaza off I-15). It is probably too late to purchase tickets and, even if you could, the price is steep. So, why am I even mentioning this? Well, if you happen to be in the area or just driving by between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. you will see hundreds of lit lanterns released into the air. (This can be kind of spooky.) They will be having a brief fireworks show after all the lanterns have ascended which would be around 10:30. The gates actually open at 3 p.m., and they will have live music; however, late ticket prices are $125 per adult AND they charge $25 for parking, which is not sold on site. (The best time to have bought for this event was back in May when a ticket price was $89, although parking was still $25.)
And this is just plane scary! Small planes will be racing around the track — the aerial track that is — at high speeds and low altitudes at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. The competition will be at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, October 16th, with gates opening at 9 a.m. and closing at 7 p.m. Practice and qualifying races are scheduled for Saturday, October 15th from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Children under 12 are free with adult purchase, with up to 2 children per adult allowed free. A weekend package with Hanger View is $49, which offers general seating. A Sunday-only adult ticket with Hangar View is $39, or $29 for just general admission. There are also discounters offering tickets for far less than those listed above. It pays to Google and also check the Tix4Tonight booths around the strip! Happy Hauntings!
— Pauline Cimoch
Mr.Warmth, Don Rickles Returns to Orleans Showroom
Returning for his 57th consecutive year as a Las Vegas headliner, Don Rickles with nicknames like “The Merchant of Venom” and “Mr. Warmth” will perform at The Orleans Showroom on Oct. 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $69.95.
Rickles first step toward national fame was in 1957 when he spotted Frank Sinatra in the audience at a nightclub in Miami Beach and zinged him. Rickles soon became the “in” comic among Hollywood stars, and his acting debut followed in 1958’s “Run Silent Run Deep.”
Rickle’s credits and honors run incredibly deep, while his career is still going strong. His best-selling memoir “Rickles’ Book” was released in 2007, followed in 2008 by “Rickles’ Letters.” He received two Primetime Emmy Awards, including Best Individual Performance in a Variety or Musical for the 2008 HBO special “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project.” In 2009, TV Land honored Rickles with the “Legend Award.”
The Venetian will present “An Evening with Al Pacino”
Actor, screenwriter, producer and director Al Pacino will bring “An Evening with Al Pacino” exploring a myriad of highlights from his stage and screen career to the Opaline Theatre inside The Venetian® on Saturday, Oct. 15. This special event will include a question-and-answer session. Pacino has starred in more than 40 films including “Scent of a Woman” for which he won an Oscar in 1992. He is one of the rare winners of acting’s triple crown: the Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award, and a National Medal of Arts for 2011 from President Obama. Tickets start at $72.45.
Vinnie Favorito Settles In at Westgate
The outrageous attack comedian Vinnie Favorito, who makes Don Rickles seem like a pussycat, is already very comfortable in the Cabaret Theater at the Westgate. It’s a perfect room for him to work his appropriately titled show: “Vinnie Favorito Unfiltered.” In truth, he’s never been filtered.
Favorito has an amazing ability to go around his audience and just call out people and make up impromptu commentary. Warning: don’t try to upstage him; his sharp tongue will always win. As long as you aren’t easily offended, you’ll laugh and your jaw will be sore from opening in inaudicble disbelief at what he says. He’s one of a kind!
Dining News Items
The Angry Butcher Steakhouse, a contemporary yet classic American steakhouse, is open at Sam’s Town in the Mystic Falls Park atrium. The patio, which is al fresco but an outdoor setting inside, and adjacent bar are open for a daily social hour from 4-6 p.m. with a special menu of small bites.
Shake Shack’s Shacktoberfest, now in its 11th year, is on tap from Friday-Sunday, Sept. 23-Oct. 2. The annual celebration features an Oktoberfest-inspired menu, including a Bavarian-Style Soft Pretzel, new to this year’s menu, and a special 25-ounce Shake Shack Bier Stein for $10.
BRAVO! At the Galleria Mall is introducing new menu items again, and they are winners. At a tasting, the main course herb-marinated grilled chicken with sun-dried tomato goat cheese, mashed potatoes and green beans was excellent as well as the antipasti salad, zucchini and eggplant fritti, linguine carbonara, dessert and “Happy Hour” $5 Lemontini.
MRKT Sea & Land at Aliante will host a “Passport To The World” six-course wine dinner on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. hosted by guest speaker and Master Sommelier Joe Phillips and feature Dom Perignon. Cost is $95.
— Jackie Brett
Multi-talented Neil Sedaka will be singing his many hits and playing piano at the E Center at the Edgewater on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $85.
Sedaka has written or co-written more than 500 songs for himself and others, collaborating mostly with lyricists Howard Greenfield and Phil Cody. Sedaka was catapulted into stardom after Connie Francis recorded his tune “Stupid Cupid.” She then sang her biggest hit and the theme song Sedaka and Greenfield wrote for the 1960 MGM spring break movie classic, “Where the Boys Are.”
Sedaka soon recorded his own chart toppers “The Diary,” “Oh! Carol,” ” Stairway to Heaven,” “Calendar Girl,” “Little Devil,” “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen,” “Next Door To An Angel,” and “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.” More hits followed in the 1970s including “The Hungry Years,” and two of his songs co-written with Phil Cody, “Bad Blood” and the quintessential “Laughter in the Rain,” both reaching No. 1 on the music charts.
Some more songs Sedaka wrote for other artists included: Frank Sinatra “The Hungry Years;” Elvis Presley “Solitaire;” Tom Jones “Puppet Man;” The Monkees “When Love Comes Knocking (At Your Door);” and The Fifth Dimension “Workin’ on a Groovy Thing.” This gifted songwriter also helped to launch the career of Captain and Tennille with their version of his “Love Will Keep Us Together.”
The Commodores Will Be Grooving at the Edgewater
The Commodores have maintained their place among the most successful entertainment groups in the world. They had a string of monster hits and massive tours in the late 70s and early 80s and won their first Grammy Award for the multi-platinum smash hit single and LP “Night Shift” in 1986. Today, the Commodores have their own label and six new albums in stores. They are currently working on new material for their next studio CD.
Riverside Headlines Three Tribute Shows in October
Three upbeat music tribute shows will take place in Don’s Celebrity Theater in October with 8 p.m. show times and tickets ranging from $30 to $36.
“Winter Dance Party” leads off Oct. 5-9 paying tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. John Mueller’s production is the official live and authentic re-creation of Holly, Valens and the Big Bopper’s final tour and the only show endorsed by the Holly, Valens and Richardson estates. Each live concert performance includes more than two hours of high voltage entertainment featuring all the hit songs of the 50s era: “That’ll be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Oh Boy,” “Rave On,” “La Bamba,” “Chantilly Lace” and many more.
“Legends of Motown” Old School Tribute will take the stage Oct. 12-15. This production captures the look, the sound and the feeling of being at a real Motown concert. Each group is talented in recreating their renditions of the Motown era with impressions of The Four Tops, The Temptations, and The Marvelettes. This show will also feature a special guest and the classic songs the groups made famous.
“December ’63” The Music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons will appear Oct. 19-23. This re-creation of a Valli concert experience includes the favorite songs everyone loves in the biographical Broadway musical “The Jersey Boys.” In 1962, the group released their first album with the No. 1 single “Sherry” and from there more mega-hits followed including “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Candy Girl,” and several others.
— Jackie Brett
Pahranagat Valley sets national high school record with 94th straight win
Who would have thought a few years ago that a little school like Pahranagat Valley High, enrollment 114, would be the owners now of two, count ‘em, two, national records for high school 8-man football. But they are, and how about that!
The Panthers, located in Alamo — a town of about 1,000 some 100 miles north of Las Vegas on U.S. 93, in case you have no idea where it is — on Sept. 2 set a new national record for the most consecutive wins by an 8-man football team.
Yes, Virginia, some small schools in the United States do play 8-man football. About 30 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, play that style of ball, usually but not always, among schools with enrollments of 125 students or less. Some smaller schools even play 6-man football. There are 34 schools in Texas that do. What a hoot that ought to be!
But we’re not talking about them, we’re talking about Alamo and their 8-man powerhouse. 94 wins in a row, undefeated, eight straight 1A state championships since 2008! Even 4A Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, good as they are, can’t match that!
The streak might even be longer by the time you read this.
At least once, in October, 2010, the Panthers were listed as the No. 1 eight-man team in the nation by Maxpreps.com, but that poll is highly subjective and changes weekly.
The new record tops Shattuck, Oklahoma’s total of 93 between 2003-2009. Pahranagat now ranks third all-time, regardless of classification, behind De LaSalle (Concord, CA) with 151 wins (1992 – 2003), and Independence (Charlotte, North Carolina) with 109 (2000-07).
In the streak, the Panthers have averaged 59 points per game, allowing just 12.5, and recorded 20 shutouts.
Pahranagat is a veteran team this season with five returning All 1-A Southern Nevada League members, including record setting senior quarterback Tabor Maxwell.
We said there was a second national record set by the Pahranagat Valley. That one is the highest score by one team in a single game: 128 points, against Coleville, CA, in the state semi-final playoffs in 2008, which was the 11th win in the current streak.
NBC Nightly News in 2014 sent veteran reporter Harry Smith to Alamo to do a story on the Panthers then, when the streak was only 72. He did a nice piece.
The team visited the Rose Bowl in 2013, when they played a game with a team in Los Angeles.
Pahranagat is looking to go undefeated again this year, but even if they don’t, the goal is still to win that ninth state championship, which will tie the Pahranagat Valley girls volleyball team, who won nine straight state titles themselves from 1997-2005.
Someday, the streak for the football team will end. Everybody knows that, but is it not a delight to the mind right now? Everyone in the state can be proud, if even just a little bit.
— Dave Maxwell
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch in Mesquite
In the past year, Mesquite has burnished its brand as a sports mecca with the re-opening of its pistol and trap shooting range, addition of a top ATV sales and rental outlet, expansion of its annual senior games event, and official designation as a bicycle-friendly community. Long known for premier golfing, spectacular public soccer and ballfields and the expansive beauty of Gold Butte, Mesquite has suffered a pinch of room shortages when hosting sports events and tournaments in the past several years.
Recognizing this need, the Lee Family, champions in the Southern Nevada hospitality business, have turned a long-shuttered property in downtown Mesquite into a down-home dazzler, The Rising Star Sports Ranch. Offering the best team and sports accommodations in the West, the Rising Star will score with golfers, teams and casual travelers. The Rising Star Sports Ranch opens October 1 with 210 guestrooms and a corral-full of fun for everyone who turns in for the night. This hotel resort sharpens visitor focus on Mesquite’s outdoor fun and outstanding facilities. City ballfields and recreation center are walking distance from Rising Star’s front door, and Mesquite’s world-class golf courses are just minutes drive away.
Hoteliers Greg Lee and Andre Carrier have gleaned keen insights in team housing needs from taking their own children to games and tournaments in several states. Sensitive to the needs of young athletes, parents and coaches, they have incorporated many innovations at the Rising Star, such as bunk-bedded rooms for kids, with adjoining team rooms where coaches and teams can strategize or relax. Their Rising Star Sports Ranch is complete with “The Backyard” where families, sports teams and golf buddies can enjoy a BBQ, play tennis and paddleball, hang out around the pool, visit the in-house arcade or just kick back in the grassy shade under a mesquite tree.
Not only will kids be impressed with the range of activities available just outside their “bunkhouse” door, their parents, coaches and adult sports enthusiasts will settle back in casual luxury in their own perfectly appointed king- and queen-bedded rooms. Every detail of Rising Star Sports Ranch carries out a modern Western theme that is a new gold standard of sports hospitality.
A new sports fieldhouse is being added in the Backyard, offering a spacious indoor athletic training area and endless event opportunities. With an onsite restaurant and 10 eateries within walking distance of the property, and with the I-15 freeway just a stoplight away, Rising Star Sports Ranch is in a league of its own for convenience, ambiance, and fun. Information and reservations at phone 702-345-4733 or www.risingstarsportsranch.com.
— Linda Faas
Lake Tahoe in October
It happens every year: the subtle changes of the season, and you start to see and feel that summer is over. You look at the clock and think it’s 5 pm and it’s already getting dark? The pine needles cover the yards and driveways and the squirrels and bears are foraging for winter. Fall is in the air, the weather is unpredictable, and some years here at the Lake autumn lasts a little longer than some would like, and other years the snow starts just as the World Series begins and doesn’t stop till Easter. Fall gets those cold snaps where everybody up here gets fooled and breaks out the snowblowers and start to hunker down. Then it warms up and we have a spectacular Indian summer, and it’s back to the beach. It’s an adventure here a Lake Tahoe in October, kind of a gift from Mother Nature, where you can have every season in one month.
Tahoe can be very predictable though, as in you know you’re going to find something to do, no matter what. From fish festivals to huge Halloween parties and fall foliage to wine tasting, there’s no shortage of events happening, either natural or man-made. Oh, and we have a visit from one of the Beach Boys doing Pet Sounds.
If you look around into the mountains anywhere around the Lake the aspen groves that sprout from the various creeks are popping with bright yellows and reds of the turning leaves: a great contrast to the green of the Jeffery pines and other evergreens. Taylor Creek on the south end of the lake flows from Fallen Leaf Lake and meanders through the forest and through a meadow and dumps out into Tahoe. It is a very special place in the fall. Not only can you see all the colors of the trees and bushes, you can see the cycle of life for a species of fish. The Kokanee salmon do their annual fall migration from Tahoe up the creek to spawn. And the good people of South Lake Tahoe throw a party with the Fall Fish Fest October 1 and 2 from 10 am to 4 pm. A full weekend is planned at the Taylor Creek Center off of Highway 89 (Emerald Bay Road): nature walks, streamside programs and a visit from Smokey the Bear and Lulu the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout.
On the same weekend as the Fall Fish Fest (Oct. 1 and 2), just down road on Hwy. 89 at Camp Richardson is Oktoberfest. So after witnessing the natural wonders of what Tahoe has to offer, go grab a beer and a bratwurst at the 22nd annual Oktoberfest, where the people at Camp Rich do the worldwide folk festival right. A well-stocked beer and wine garden, an assortment of German food and desserts, and the crowd pleasing Gruber Family Band performs lively polka music, and it’s free to attend.
Keeping with the festival motif, down at Stateline is the South Lake Tahoe Food and Wine Festival at Harrah’s and Harveys on October 21-23. The 7th annual event of wine tastings, dinners, concerts, and parties is a great excuse to get up to the lake and spend the weekend at a casino. Friday night is the right night for drinking and dancing, and you can start the festivities with some Sake Tasting at Harrah’s Sushi Kai from 10 pm to 11pm and discuss and taste the different types of the Japanese rice wine. Then, if you want to change gears completely, head on over to the Peek Kick Off Party inside of Peek Nightclub at Harrah’s, starting at 10:30 on Friday night and going to Saturday morning around 4:30 am. Sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka, the specialty drink will be Paris Mules, which are sure to get you dancing to the club music that thumps all night. After a long night of drinking, what could be better than a long day of drinking and eating? Saturday, October 22 at Harrah’s Special Events Center is the Grand Market Expo, the signature event of the festival. A wide selection of foods, wines, craft beers and liquors from culinary masters. $50 per person and well worth it. Great wines from some top notch vineyards and so much good food you will definitely get your money’s worth. Go to Caesars.com for more information or call 1-800-786-8208.
The week before the food and wine fest, Lake Tahoe will have a special treat when Brian Wilson presents Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary celebration and final performance in its entirety, along with rare cuts and greatest hits, at Harrah’s inside the South Shore Room on October 14 at 7:30 pm. A world tour for the celebrated iconic album, and a date is set right here in our small town.
Then, to wrap up the month, is another type of special treat with the 38th annual Freaker’s Ball, Lake Tahoe’s largest, oldest and most extravagant Halloween bash being held October 29 at MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa. The festivities start at 8 pm in four different venues inside the casino. Pretty much the entire casino will be turned into one big monster mash, and if you’re a fan of the pagan holiday this will be one frightful and raucous event. All sorts of ghoulish fun will be had, with costume contests and all sorts of crazy characters wandering here and there. While you’re there, raise your glass to the state of Nevada, which shares the same birthday as Halloween, and say thank you to the casual state drinking laws that let you party all night long.
— Brendan Packer