South Lake Tahoe Correspondence – November 2017

                                                                                          Fall colors above Cave Rock

As Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part; the late fall is filled with anticipation while people wait for the snow to start flying.  November is also the preparation month for the town and local businesses getting ready for a busy ski season.  Would-be visitors wait at home and watch weather reports hoping to hear about a big storm in the Sierras.  Will the atmospheric river that flowed through last year and pummeled the area with record precipitation hit us again?  But instead of waiting for what might be, why not live in the now and enjoy the peace and quiet of Lake Tahoe in November.

Heavenly Mountain Resort officials weren’t sitting on their hands as they announced an opening day of November 17.  A clever tactic to announce the date, so as to get people buzzing about a ski weekend at Tahoe. Even if it doesn’t snow, the temperatures are getting colder, so that the state of the art snowmaking Heavenly uses will get enough runs open to satisfy the “jonesing” skiers.  Also, there will be plenty of opening day activities at the Heavenly Village at Stateline that weekend to add to the excitement.  Go to for information on lift tickets, season passes and other accommodations.

Visiting during the shoulder season in early November has its advantages, especially if you want to just relax and avoid the sometimes overwhelming crowds of winter weekends.  The Stateline casino-hotels offer discounted rates in their hotels, especially in the midweek days.  Get a nice, comfortable room at a reasonable rate at Harrah’s ( … and walk around like you own the place because business is slow.  All the top-notch restaurants are open and ready to give you a great meal and a wonderful time.

                                                                            The refurbished pier at Round Hill Pines beach

Many things may slow down during the autumn months here at the Lake, but construction definitely does not.  Round Hill Pines is getting a makeover for next season.  Crews started the demolition of the summer only resort on October 4, leveling the beach front bar and pavilion area.  Taking out the structures but not the footprint, as a full commercial kitchen, retail space, restrooms, and an open-air pavilion have already been taking shape as workers have laid the concrete slabs for the foundations and will work all winter to be ready for summer 2018.  And it’s about time something is being done at this charming little spot in Marla Bay, just a half mile away from Stateline, because the aging buildings that sat there for years were starting to become eyesores.  A refurbished pier and breakwater will also greet beachgoers and boaters next year, as well.

         Smoked Alaskan salmon BLAT with roasted pepper goat cheese from Bella Tahoe

Right now, cool, crisp days will greet visitors to the Lake, and the weather is anyone’s guess on any given day.   Even on days when the sun is shining, the temperatures don’t go very high, but throw on a sweater and go for a stroll along an empty beach.  Maybe stop by and grab a sandwich before you go at Bella Tahoe Catering and Deli, located at 152 Hwy. 50, Stateline, NV. 89449, right next to Lakeside Inn and Casino.   Bella’s offers to-go box lunches with a gourmet sandwich, fruit or pasta salad and chips.  Try the Rubicon Sandwich, freshly sliced pastrami with sauerkraut, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and stone ground mustard on toasted marble rye.  Go for a brisk walk, take in the beauty of the lake and then reward yourself with a good sandwich.  Winter will be here soon enough, so sit back and enjoy the wait.

— Brendan Packer