Good value alternative to VRBO and Airbnb

alternative-to-airbnb-vrbo

Lake Tahoe Area Niche Rental Market: Snowpals’ Vacation Rentals and Ski Lease Listing is a Good Value Alternative to Expensive Listing Fees of VRBO, Airbnb, Vacation Home Rentals, Flipkey and Homeaway

Looking for a good value alternative to listing your vacation rental or ski lease on HomeAway, VRBO, Flipkey or Airbnb?

Not getting noticed because your listing is on sites next to 100,000 other properties? What does it matter if nobody can find you?

Snowpals’ listing is affordable, user friendly, and niche market targeted to Lake Tahoe Area Vacation Rentals and Ski Leases. We’ve been helping vacation rental owners increase their booking referrals since 1999.

Founded in 1999, growing strong for 17 years, we’ve been connecting San Francisco Bay Area residents and visitors to the Tahoe area together for outdoor activities and snow sports. Snowpals average 2,000 visitors daily with over 7,000+ members list as of Jan 2016 and 10,000+ audience reach for social media and newsletter members list. Increase your vacation rental bookings return on investment by advertising on Snowpals.

How much does it cost to list on Snowpals?

We have a simple listing fee of $35 for the entire ski season for ski lease advertising, and until August 1 for vacation rental advertising.

In comparison, let’s break down the advertising listing fees for Airbnb and VRBO:

AirBnB listing fees: Takes 3% of the overall rental price (plus added fees) as their charge. This includes credit card processing fees also. (note: guests are apparently charged 6-12% of the booking as a fee to them, so keep this in mind when pricing your home compared to your competition).

VRBO listing fees: They have the option of no listing fee and 10% fee per booking. This includes the credit card processing fees also. You can also choose to pay a yearly fee starting at $349 for the year. It says there’s a 0% fee, but it’s a bit misleading since you still have to pay for credit card processing. So in reality it’s a 10% fee with no yearly fee or a 3% with $349/yr. (or more depending on plan).

Snowpals is a good value alternative to listing on Airbnb and VRBO for the Lake Tahoe area; list your vacation rental or ski lease to get booking referrals. To get an idea of what people are listing; browse vacation rentals and ski leases.

Feedback from people who have listed with Snowpals:

“Tim and the Snow Pals’ team have made filling our ski lease drop dead simple. One post and we fill our lease right up.” – Micaiah F. of Meyers Ski Lease 12/5/2016

“We have successfully used Snowpals to fill a few vacancies in our house over the years (pre-season and mid-season). We received multiple responses in a short amount of time, and nobody flaked (unlike experience with other sources). Snowpals is definitely worth the minimal advertising investment.” – Jen W. of Carnelian Bay Ski Lease 11/30/2016

“Snowpals was a great site. I received 3 different enquirers and had my vacation rental condo booked for ski lease within a month of posting. I am pleased with the professional renter we were connected with and look forward to using Snowpals again next year.” – Kathleen M. of Northstar Condo Vacation Rental 11/25/2016

“Thanks to Snowpals we went from 5 members and an expensive, empty house to a dynamic group of 11 consisting of regular and weekdays only members in about a month’s time. A $35 listing fee saved the original members over $1200 each, and we all made new friends!” – Kate S. of South Lake Tahoe Ski Lease with Hot Tub 11/24/2016

“Snowpals was a great resource which helped us to find additional members for our ski lease. We now have a fun winter to look forward to with a great group of skiers from San Francisco. Snowpals’ website was easy to use, and ad placement just took a few minutes and we got tons of responses. I would definitely use Snowpals again.” – Alexis R. of Tahoe Donner Ski Lease 11/21/2016

“I was astounded by how much high quality interest I got through Snowpals – I could have easily filled my lease twice over.  Tim at Snowpals was very responsive; great experience overall, would use it again and would be happy to recommend to others.” – Anne R. of Tahoe City Ski Lease Memberships 10/27/2016

“Snowpals saved our winter this year! We wanted to organize a ski lease but had friends who were unsure if they could commit. We listed our lease on snowpals in mid September and were able to fill it by the end of September. And the people we met are amazing! I would highly recommend using snowpals for anyone trying to organize a ski lease.” – Agatha B. of Heavenly Ski-in/out Ski Lease 9/28/2016

“Snowpals is just what you need if you are trying to fill your ski lease with quality members.  I posted an ad on Snowpals, and within 9 days I had received a dozen inquiries.  We were able to close out our roster quickly and conveniently.  I will use the site again for certain.” – Alex P. of Alpine Meadows Year Round Family Ski Lease 9/17/2016

“Thanks for running Snowpals’ website. Met some of my best friends on here when I found my first ski lease. This year we advertised on Snowpals and filled our ski lease memberships quickly.” – Justin H. of Alpine Meadows Ski Lease 9/20/2016

“Snowpals helped us find amazing families and fill our lease more quickly this year than we ever have in the past!  I highly recommend snowpals for anyone who is looking to fill a few spots in their ski house!” – John H. of Tahoe Donner Family Ski Lease 9/12/2016

“Thanks for listing my ski lease quickly – in the last 10 days I got a lot of people who where interested, so now I finalized and we’re full 🙂 !  Thanks again for your help and for SnowPals, it’s great to get this done so quickly!” – Jan V., Tahoe Donner Luxury Cabin

“We found 4 great folks via Snowpals to fill up our ski lease. Totally worth the $35 ad listing fee. Thanks!” Mike M., Carnelian Bay Ski Cabin

“Last year we advertised on both Snowpals and Craigslist.  The Craigslist responders were to a person looking for the cheapest bed possible, with one scammer who wanted to come look at the house when we weren’t there, and tried to get all sorts of information from me. The Snowpals responders (last year and this year), were professional, business owners, professors, and high tech people. We will certainly be back next year!”- JoAnn M, ski lease organizer, Alpine Meadows Ski Lease

“I’m very happy with the quality of people referrals your site attracts. Keep up the good work!” – Sandy W., owner of Truckee Rental House

“It was awesome posting on Snowpals! Within 36 hours, I received a bunch of responses in my inbox, and our listing closed fairly quickly. All the emails were super nice and friendly, and many responses were from people already familiar with the Tahoe area and experienced in previous ski leases, which was a huge plus!” – Cindy L., Tahoe City Ski Lease

“Snowpals is a far better resource than Craigslist or the local papers. For several years running I’ve managed to find excellent full season renters in a very short time and with minimal hassle. Thanks Snowpals!” — Chris K., Markleeville homeowner

“We got about twice as many queries from Snowpals as from Craigslist. The queries seemed from ‘more normal’ people, and it was nice to not have to hit renew every few days.” – Trent G., Donner Lake Ski Lease

“Advertising my ski lease on snowpals was quick, easy and highly effective! In no time, I had responses from really nice, high-caliber potential ski cabin members. I filled my spots in no time with people I really like, who are a great fit for the cabin.” Heather D., Alpine Meadows Ski Lease

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Survival Guide & Tips: Skiing with Kids

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By Joe Woo, Snowpals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. 

Skiing with kids. It seems like a simple thing. But let me tell you. If you haven’t done it before and aren’t prepared for it, it can ruin a great time on the slopes. However, with the right preparation, it can be more fun skiing with them than skiing without them. For those of you toying with the idea of finally bringing the kids up or maybe you’re considering bringing up a nephew or niece…read this. What I’ll do first is share some of my kid skiing experience and what we do to make it lots of fun.

For me, skiing pre-kids was easy. I never thought about anyone else. I never considered having to ski with anyone. If anyone I was skiing with slowed me down or was having a bad time, I could separate from them and meet up with them later. That was no big deal. When you add kids to the mix, things really change. The main thing is that you can’t just dump the kids and continue skiing when they’re cramping your style. When you’re on the mountain with your kids, you’re stuck with them for better or for worse. What is a parent to do?

Over the last two seasons I’ve come up with a pretty good system for skiing with kids. My wife and I came up with it using trial and error to finally dial in something that works for our family. It was a lot of effort using trial and error and lots of frustration but it was worth it. Why go through all the effort? Why not just dump the kids in ski school for the day so that I could ski without them?

Cost is an obvious issue, but more importantly skiing with my kids is fun. It is more fun than skiing without them because when they’re having fun, there is nothing better than skiing together, laughing together and watching them learn, grow and overcome all the little challenges of skiing. The look on their face when they accomplish something they didn’t think they could is priceless and worth more than anything in the world. When it is good, skiing with them is better than any skiing I could do on my own.

So, what’s the issue? Those fun times were rare and didn’t happen often. When they did happen, they were priceless, however it seemed like the bad times outweighed the good times. Finding a way to make those fun times happen more was something I had to do.

So, how do you do that? What I discovered through two years of trial and error is CCSF. What does this mean? Confidence, Comfort, and Sated (not hungry) equals Fun. If you can get the Confidence, Comfort and Sate (not hungry) issues right that will equal Fun for your family. Lets look closer at each element.

Confidence

Confidence is a very important thing for anyone. It is especially important for kids to have when skiing. I’ll go so far as to say that confidence is so important that I believe it is the foundation to successful family skiing. Without confidence, the kids will never want to ski, will dread skiing and will make your time on the mountain miserable. You should do everything in your power to build your kids confidence in skiing.

How do you do that? For us we decided to always try and put our kids in skiing situations that we knew they could be successful. We never made them do anything we knew they would fail at. They quickly built confidence the second day they ever skied. The thing that built confidence the most was succeeding in tasks when they were scared of doing something even though I knew they could do it. These were the cases where I pushed them hard because I knew they could do it, but they needed to realize they could do it and when they did it you could see the confidence grow.

For example, my 5 year old son refused to ski without being between my legs and me holding him down the bunny slope. I knew he would crash at first if he tried skiing by himself as this was his first time on skis. After about 5 runs between my legs I started to stop actively holding him and he would ski holding me. Then after a few runs of doing that we would stop halfway down the hill, put his skis in pizza and let him go so that he was standing still on the hill in pizza. Then I would go about 10 feet in front of him and tell him to slide to me. At first it was a struggle because he didn’t want me to let go of him. He would cry when I would let go. I just wanted him to slide to me in pizza. He didn’t have to stop. I would catch him. But he was scared to do it, but I knew he could do it and he finally did through the cries and tears. Once he realized he had actually done it, he did it again.

At first it was 10 feet, then 20 feet and I would stop him. If he veered off course I would slide over to catch him. Then I told him to stop by himself and he just did it. He was amazed that he could stop by himself and the rest is history. He skied the rest of the day by himself without ever turning. Just pizza strait down the hill with his arms held in front of him like he was ready to do some serious karate chops. His way to balance I guess. The next day he was turning back and fourth and excited about skiing.

My daughter was the same progression at the same time. Soon they got bored of the slope and asked to do another lift. We moved onto another beginner lift with slightly steeper terrain and a longer run. That was last year at Diamond Peak. They gained so much confidence at Diamond Peak, Mt. Rose and Squaw Valley. I continued to teach them parallel skiing and my daughter is no longer in pizza. My son is in an advanced pizza today, but is almost ready for parallel skiing.

Today my younger son is six and my daughter is eight and both are happily skiing black diamonds off Red Dog, KT-22, Headwall and other lifts at Squaw Valley. My older son is actually skiing (as opposed to just surviving down) West Face, Tower 16 and the various terrains off Silverado chair! It is amazing what a little confidence can do. My kids are testament to that without ever having professional ski lessons. Whatever you do, make sure the kids gain lots of confidence. I truly believe it is the foundation to successful family skiing.

Comfort

Now your kids are confident skiers. Is that it? Not really. No matter how confident they are, if they are not comfortable, they will complain and ruin your day. Kids are not mature enough to overcome the little issues so they don’t ruin the big things like a fun day of skiing. Our kids are pretty tough and the last thing we do is baby them, but every kid has a limit to what comfort they’re willing to give up on to have fun on the slopes.

It is important that you take the time to learn what your kids comfort limits are and make sure those needs are satisfied. My kids don’t complain that much about their comfort. I think it is because I’ve invested in making sure they stay warm and dry no matter the conditions. They have top of the line ski pants, jackets, gloves, base and mid layers. They have great helmets and goggles. Goggles were an issue and I finally got them decent stuff that doesn’t fog and they can clean easily. Another important piece of equipment was the neck gator. It seals out the cold air getting in from the neck. The kids rarely complain about being cold or wet and it is one less issue we have to worry about.

Sate

Kids don’t do well when they’re hungry. Instead you sould make it a priority to make sure they’re sated and not hungry. This one is really simple. Kids start getting moody and melting down when they get hungry. It is amazing. They are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Feed your kids periodically and your chances are better at having a great day. We discovered that if we have a big breakfast, lunch around 12:30 or 1, 2:30 heavy snack and small snacks on the lifts in between, we avoid the hunger meltdown altogether. Now I always have a large Hershey bar in my pocket and on every other lift ride, I’ll give each kid one piece to eat. This system has worked great this season.

Skiing with your kids can be fun and very rewarding. Just remember that kids have unique needs that you have to consider. The best way I know is to remember CCSF. Confidence, Comfort and Sated equals Fun. Try is next time you’re out with the kids. Good luck!

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More skiing with kids tips for parents..

From Jeremy Feinberg, a Ski Instructor at Kirkwood for 6 years plus, a certified PSIA Level 2 instructor, training for Level 3; he teaches skill levels that range from first timers to expert; he coaches a Progression team that skis 99% of the legal terrain at Kirkwood.

As someone who makes their living teaching children how to ski I can say that there are some good things in this survival guide; a comfortable and well fed child is one who is set up for success, and depending on the child, confidence can be a limiting factor, however in the 1+ page of text there was very little emphasis on skill development and no mention at all of the physical and cognitive limitations that change as a child grows.

That being said, a few things to keep in mind include: 

It’s hard to learn new skills when people are on terrain that is at the edge of their comfort level, dial it back, gain ownership over the movements and then take it to the steeper snow.

Confidence can be a good thing, but you can have too much of a good thing… your child needs to ski in control and not be a menace or hazard.

Leash and harness systems enable parents to get younger kids on the snow but can reinforce bad habits, however the harnesses themselves can be useful for picking up kids from the snow and helping them on to the lift.

The Edgy Wedgie can be a useful teaching tool, try it for a run or two, take if off and see if the child can stop without it… use it for a few runs, not a few days or seasons.  

If its your child’s first time skiing, start on a small hill below the lift, 30-50 feet long and almost flat with a flat runout at the bottom, or a gradual uphill if you can find it, learn to stop there, then head to the chair.

Some children perform at a higher level with their parents around, some excel within their peer group under the tutelage of an experienced coach, it helps to know which group your child falls into

The pace of skill development as detailed in the Survival Guide sounds about right, just keep in mind that today I had a 6 year old girl first time skier (along with a five year old girl with separation anxiety issues whose mother checked her out after lunch) who was able to stop within the first hour, we were on the chairlift before lunch and making turns.  By the time her parents picked her up (1/2 hour early) she had taken several runs through the trees. Tomorrow after a brief warm up she will be ready for the lower intermediate lift.  Her older brother who was on a snowboard was unwilling to follow us through the woods.    Her parents were impressed by her success and gave me a generous tip.

If you want to get your child out of the wedge and making turns that have a least some parallel at the end of each turn, and you want that to happen quickly, ski school is the place for your child, especially on the weekdays when group sizes are small and only experienced and highly certified instructors are getting any work.  

Please don’t be that person who has their child skiing advanced terrain in a power wedge, if you are going to ski with your child and teach them how to ski, make the day about them, you need to be there to support them and help them along the way.  

Recognize the limitations of your own teaching abilities and don’t let your child (or yourself) get stuck in the skill rut; if you have any questions about how this can manifest one can use the intermediate rut as an example: go to most ski resorts and watch the way people on the intermediate runs ski, particularly how they initiate their turns.  What you will see in most cases are varying degrees of stem (wedge or pizza) to start the turn.  People make this movement because they are not comfortable performing a movement that ski instructors call crossover.

Crossover is the movement that separates advanced skiers from people that ski advanced terrain, it is defined my crossing your center of mass over your skis, down the hill into the new turn (basically throwing one’s body down the hill, swooping your skis underneath the body to catch the center of mass)  

Crossover one example of a movement that can define a skill rut, it’s difficult to teach and limits a person’s ability to explore and enjoy the mountain.

**On a related note** Teaching the spouse or significant other how to ski is tough, I call it the relationship tester, put that person in a group or private lesson, meet up for lunch and ski together in the afternoon, at their pace, where the instructor said would be a good place to ski.  Your romantic relationship is one of equals, the student/teacher relationship is not, things can get ugly quick.

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An Insider’s Guide to Ski Leases: Tips and Advice

apres-ski-club     heavenly-condo-rental

Ski Leases. The Ins and Outs of Getting Into One. I’d like to talk to you about ski leases. Not the kind to lease ski equipment, but condo and cabin rentals for an entire ski season for ski addicts like us. I had never heard of one until the end of last season. After I learned about them, they seemed so intriguing and beneficial to my situation that I had to learn more. I finally got into one and would like to tell you about my experience with my first ski lease. By doing so, I hope that you will gain some insight into them and learn about what they are and how you too can get into one. I’ll start with my story and then provide a general description of a ski lease and then some tips from people that have lots of experience with them. Hopefully this will help you into your very own ski lease.

So, I discovered ski leases I saw them as a great ski housing opportunity for me and my family. You see, I’ve come back to skiing full tilt after almost 20 years of hiatus. Back in the day, I skied every opportunity I could get and being young and without responsibilities, never had an issue finding a place to crash when up in Tahoe. Back then, the freedom of being able to drive up to Tahoe, bum around, ski lots and have really no worries about a place to stay was taken for granted.

Flash forward twenty some-odd years and is it still that way? We all know that answer to that. Marriage and kids have become the major parts of the equation. Since the kids are now old enough to ski all day without a meltdown, we can go up a lot. However now when we go its not just me and my buds anymore. Can you imagine going up to Tahoe with my wife and three kids to just show up at someone’s place ready to crash there? It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

What is a family to do? Buying a ski house is out of the question right now. We could book a hotel stay, but that gets very expensive especially for those of us with a ski season pass with the goal of getting in as many ski days as possible. How about day trips? We gave had to go that route towards the end of last season because we were spending an ungodly amount of money on hotel stays. I’m sure I’m in a similar boat to many of you out there. The solution for someone like us was the seasonal ski lease.

What is it? Basically it is a rental of a condo or cabin in Tahoe for the ski season. If you know you’re going to Tahoe often for skiing then renting a condo/cabin for the ski season is a great alternative to paying for hotels/other lodging each time you go up. It can be more cost effective but also more convenient because you can leave your ski gear and clothing at your ski lease cabin and not worry about having a place to stay and the chore of having to pack for every ski trip. Combined with a season pass to your favorite ski resort, the major expenses are covered and you’ll only have the cost of meals and gas to worry about. If you’re a ski nut like me and aren’t yet in a similar situation, I can’t express how priceless it is to have peace of mind, comfort, and the convenience of having a ski season pass and a place to stay anytime during the season taken care of.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into a ski lease, how do you get into one of these great deals? Through my research, I’ve discovered three ways.

1- you can deal directly with the owner of a property and lease the place for you and your family for the season. If that is too costly, then you could ask families that you know if they’d want to go in with you and share the cost of the lease.

2 – you could contact a local professional that brokers these kinds of deals. I haven’t had much luck finding these professionals though. From what I’ve heard and if you can find one, they can put you in touch with owners that are looking to rent out their property. Once in touch with the owner, you could do the lease yourself or put together a group of members to split the cost. A good resource for Lake Tahoe area ski lease membership offerings is listed on Snowpals.

3 – you could go to online resources and search for individuals that already have a deal in place with the owner of the property and are looking for additional “members”. For those of you that are new to this, this route is probably the easiest way to enter the ski lease world. Snowpals is a great resource for Tahoe ski leases and has an entire section dedicated to available Tahoe area ski lease opportunities. For those of you looking for ski leases in areas outside of Tahoe, you could check TGR, Epicski forums or Craigslist for postings.

The cost per membership varies and there are so many options out there. I’ve seen listings on Snowpals for full season(typically December to April) ski lease membership for one person from $600 all the way to $2000. If you’re single and can spend just $600 for lodging for an entire season–that’s an amazing deal; let’s say you stay at the ski lease for a total of 30 nights, your cost per night would be $20 per night. Naturally, the more nights you stay, the more value you get from the ski lease. Signing up for ski lease membership is a great way to maximize your ski season pass since it encourages you to go up to Tahoe the night before and be close to the ski resort and can take advantage of a good night’s rest and skiing/riding fresh tracks/powder when resorts open. Also, the value of beating the crowds and traffic to the resort is priceless. In addition, getting into a ski lease gives you the chance to expand your social circle and make new friends.

So, how did I find my ski lease? I got into mine by letting everyone I knew know that I wanted to learn about ski leases and my desire of joining one. Within a short period of time, a friend contacted me to ask if my wife and I would be willing to go in with them on a ski lease. He knew the owners of a great place in Truckee and they mentioned to him that they wanted to rent the place for the ski season. I told him absolutely and that we should jump on that. We brought our families together along with one other family and now we have a great house to stay in any time we want from Dec 14 to May 15. Each “member” in our group is each family. We each paid an equal lump sum on November 1, have no guest fees and our lump sum cost includes all utilities and snow removal. It is such a great deal. Of course, if another family is up there when we go up, we must share the space with them, but since we all know each other and our kids are all friends, other members being up there makes our stay more fun. Also a great benefit is that we take turns watching the kids so each set of parents get some down time. We also rotate turns cooking so that gives us more quality time to enjoy our time together.

So what are some of the pitfalls? There have to be some, right? From my research, most pitfalls come from a misunderstanding of the rules of use when in a group ski lease. If you leased the place on your own, then the rules are yours and yours alone. However, if you are going into a ski lease as part of a group, then it is important to understand the rules otherwise there could be trouble. Of course it is important to click with the other members and if you do then it is important to nail down whatever rules all the members of the ski lease decide on. Here are some things to consider from my wise and experienced ski lease mates, Eric and Andy:

  • What does your membership cost include? Make sure you know up front what your membership cost includes and what other expenses (if any) you’ll be responsible for at the end of the lease (e.g. utilities, firewood, hot tub maintenance, snow removal, house cleaning services, etc.)
  • Guest fees. Some ski leases charge “guest fees” for non-members to stay overnight to cover any additional expenses for lease. Make sure you are clear about guest fees in your ski lease and the rules for them
  • Parking. What are rules for parking? Last thing you want is to go up late Friday night and not have a parking space or at least be prepared for no parking space. Consider the option to carpool or ride share to your ski cabin if you don’t have alot of people in your family and empty seats in the van/SUV.
  • Storage of your stuff. Can you store stuff at the ski cabin/ski lease and if so what are the rules and where do you store your stuff?
  • Priority for bedrooms. If it is important for you to be in a bedroom, then what are the chances that you might not get one if everyone in the membership happens to be up at the same time. Some ski leases have agreements to allocate a dedicated bedroom where it is solely yours for the entire season which is very beneficial to bringing your own bedding and store your winter clothing and gear in the closet for convenience and easy access.

So, if you go up to Tahoe a lot and need the convenience of your own home without the financial commitment, but want a more cost effective solution than hotels/motels, a ski lease is the way to go. There are so many different options available out there. A great place to start is our very own snowpals.org ski lease section of the website. If you’re in a different area than Tahoe, you can also try craigslist, TGR, epicski, snowheads forum and other places online in your search to join a ski lease.

Many thanks to Eric and Andy, my ski lease mates who share their many years of experience and useful advice on how best to get into a ski lease and reap the benefits of maximizing our ski season pass, lodging cost savings and most of all, deepening our friendship with shared experiences. Also many thanks to those of you who provided me with some great stories and advice.

Read more about ski leases and/or list yours

Take care and enjoy!

Joe Woo is Snowpals’ Resident Ski Gear Tester & Columnist. He lives with his family in the North Bay.

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Saving the Planet One Rider At a Time

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By Vicki Olds, aka Shibumi – “Snowpals Reporter At-Large”

SnowPals is making a difference; saving our planet and particularly the Lake Tahoe Basin, one ride-share at a time.

“Did you know there are 1 billion cars in the world?  Unfortunately, we’re set to double this in the next 10 years.  Each shared car takes 13 cars off the road (average).  You can make a difference by sharing a car.”  — getaround.com

Since 1999, SnowPals members have ride-shared from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe and back at least 5,100* times (this is a conservative estimate*).  An average 400-mile round-trip in a vehicle that gets 28 miles per gallon average highway miles will burn 14.3 gallons of gas.  A gallon of gasoline burned releases 20 pounds of CO2 into the air.  By carpooling, each rider, in addition to the driver, represents 14.3 gallons of gasoline saved from being burned — or 286 pounds of carbon dioxide per round trip!

“A gallon of gasoline weighs about 6 pounds. Roughly 90% of that mass is carbon or about 5.5 pounds.  When that carbon is burned one atom of carbon, C, combines with two molecules of oxygen, O2, to form carbon dioxide, CO2.  One molecule of CO2 weighs about 3.5 times as much as an atom of carbon, so that 5.5 pounds of carbon burned results in about 20 pounds of CO2.”

— U.S. Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=307&t=11

High Five yourself, riders.  Together we have saved the planet from 1,458,600 pounds of carbon dioxide pollutants!

To calculate how much carbon pollution you contribute to the planet, annually, use the energy calculators at Infinite Power (gee, those Texans are really serious about oil): http://www.infinitepower.org/calc_carbon.htm

Plus, think about how much you have saved in gasoline expenses by offering to share your vehicle with a snow rider or two.  At 5,100 SnowPal ride-shares, times 14.3 gallons, times the price of a gallon of gas … that’s no small change.  In fact, that would be $218, 790 in dollars that did not go to Big Oil if you had paid $3/gallon at the pump, alone.

And, how many of us have made friends along the way?  Or shared a meal and a drink, or two, after the slopes … Oh, well let’s not go there!

* Median of 15 ride-shares/wk; with New Snow this shoots up to 30-35 ride-shares/week.  We’re saying that at least 4x/season there’s a surge of snow riders looking for new snow.

Help keep our planet green, save money and expand your circle of friends by joining Snowpals to ride share to Tahoe area ski resorts and beyond(members of Snowpals in past years joined forces and resources to organize ski and snowboard trips via carpooling/ride sharing to Colorado, Utah and even British Columbia ski resorts).

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Warren Miller Ski / Ride Film Showing with pre-event PIZZA

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Join us for Warren Miller’s 67th ski and snowboard film screening at 9 PM on Saturday November 19, 2016 of Here, There & Everywhere with Snowpals’ exclusive pre-show pizza social. Here’s a great opportunity to meet local skiers and boarders to expand your social circle/meet a few new friends for Tahoe ride share and ski trips for the winter season.

Got season pass? Maximize your ski season pass by joining a ski lease and expand your circle of friends and activity partners in the process.

Pre-show Pizza Social Tickets Remaining: 3 tickets left as of 11/17/2016. Ticket sales via Snowpals close at 11:59 PM PST on Friday Nov. 18, 2016.


Pizza Social Tickets: $10 per person ~ buy tickets.

Join us for our exclusive pizza social prior to the movie from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Pizza is included. Buy your own drink(s). Pizza social location is in Campbell; exact address will be given to all participants by email on Saturday Nov 19, 2016 by 11 AM.

Once you have purchased your ticket(s); PayPal will send you a receipt by email. Please print the receipt and bring it to the Pizza Social get together to redeem. If you have any questions, please  Tim or text/sms 408.341.9744.

*Pizza social tickets are non-refundable but transferable to someone else; you are responsible to sell /transfer your ticket if you can not go. If you missed or can not make it to the pizza social, there’s no refund.

Got film tickets? You can still buy tickets on Eventbrite to see the film screening of Here, There & Everywhere film screening 9:00 PM showing on Saturday November 19, 2016 at the Heritage Theatre in Campbell, CA.

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Film Ticket Holders will receive coupons at the film showing for:

     2-FOR-1 LIFT TICKET TO SQUAW VALLEY | ALPINE MEADOWS: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher good for One (1) 2-FOR-1 lift ticket to Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows. Buy One (1) adult lift ticket at the resort rate and receive a second lift ticket for FREE. Offer valid from Opening Day 2016 through Closing Day 2017. OFFER NOT VALID Saturdays AND the following blackout dates: 12.17.16 through 12.31.17, 1.14.17 through 1.15.17, AND 2.18.17 through 2.25.17. Not valid with any other discount offers. No cash value. No refunds.

     FREE LIFT TICKET TO MT. BACHELOR: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher to Mt. Bachelor good for One (1) FREE lift ticket valid Opening Day 2016 through Closing Day 2017, Sunday through Friday (non-holiday). One (1) coupon per person. Not valid with any other discount offer. No refunds. No cash value. Non-transferable.

     FREE EARLY- OR LATE-SEASON LIFT TICKET TO STEAMBOAT: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher good for One (1) FREE lift ticket to Steamboat. OFFER VALID 11.24.16 through 12.16.16 OR 4.1.17 through 4.16.17. Non-transferable. Not valid with any other discount offers. No cash value. No refunds.

     20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE AT SPORTS BASEMENT: Everyone attending this screening of Here, There & Everywhere will receive a voucher good for 20% OFF your entire purchase. One (1) coupon per customer. Cannot be combined with any other coupons or discounts. Some exclusions apply. OFFER EXPIRES 11.30.16.

About the movie:

It’s been 67 years since ski-film pioneer Warren Miller picked up a camera to capture the wonder, the adventure, the humor and the beauty that is skiing. Since that time, Warren Miller film crews have traveled the globe—from storied slopes to hidden, snow-covered corners—to celebrate all things snowsports. Their quest has taken powder-hungry filmgoers, well, Here, There & Everywhere—and this year continues that legacy.

In this 67th annual Warren Miller film, take a freeski adventure with industry veterans Ingrid Backstrom and Wendy Fisher in Crested Butte, tour Eastern Greenland by dog sled with Seth Wescott and Rob Kingwill and follow Jess McMillan and Grete Eliassen on a Swiss holiday aboard the Glacier Express. Explore the backcountry of Western Montana’s Glacier Country with Tyler Ceccanti, Collin Collins and Keith Curtis and catch a powder day with Kaylin Richardson, Matt Elliott, Marcus Caston and the Kicking Horse ski patrol in British Columbia.

Travel along as Warren Miller Entertainment commemorates Stein Eriksen in Deer Valley, captures the big air at Boston’s Fenway Park (yes, that Fenway Park!) and rides the steeps of Squaw Valley to the big lines of Cordova, Alaska, plus much more. This year, don’t miss original ski bum and filmmaker Warren Miller himself in on-screen interviews as he spins tales of the past as only Warren can do, reminding us that through the years, these films have truly taken audiences Here, There & Everywhere.

Sponsors of the 2016 Warren Miller Film Tour include: Western Montana’s Glacier Country, Gosling’s, L.L. Bean, Moosehead, Switzerland Tourism, Helly Hansen, Korbel and SKI Magazine.

Featured Athletes: Aaron Blunck • Chris Anthony • Collin Collins • Grete Elliassen • Ingrid Backstrom • Jeremy Jones • Jess McMillan • Jonny Moseley • JT Holmes • Kailyn Richardson • Keith Curtis • Marcus Caston • Matt Elliott • Morgan Hebert • Rob Kingwill • Ryland Bell • Seth Wescott • Tyler Ceccanti • Wendy Fisher

Narrated by: Jonny Moseley and Featuring Warren Miller

Featured Locations: Squaw Valley, CA • Crested Butte, CO • Deer Valley, UT • Montana • Switzerland • Kicking Horse Mountain Resort • Cordova, AK • Greenland • Boston’s Fenway Park • Steamboat Springs, CO

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Subscribe to our newsletter to receive SnowPals’ Tahoe breaking news, promo discounts, contests and deals. Check your email to confirm your subscription.

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We curate the best deals such as:

  • Top picks for lift ticket deals and season pass deals
  • Specials on Tahoe area dining, entertainment, lodging
  • Inside travel and money saving tips for those with kids and without
  • Retail ski and snowboard shop sales
  • Resorts’ and local Tahoe area nightlife and apres ski and ride
  • Our picks for ‘absolute must go’ ski and snowboard travel destinations
  • Ski & stay vacation package deals and promotions
  • Contests and giveaways
  • Upcoming SF Bay Area events & outings
  • Tahoe news and weather forecast(will there be fresh POWder on the horizon?)

New to Snowpals? Sign up for Tahoe rideshare, meetups and interact with members near you by joining us or sign up to get event invites.

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Scenic Backcountry skiing in Yosemite National Park

glacier-point-road-cross-country-ski_half-dome

Scenic Backcountry skiing in Yosemite National Park interests you?

Yosemite Winter Club Cross Country Ski Section
Jane Raschuke-Goodman, a representative from the the Yosemite Winter Club Cross Country Ski section( is a non-profit organization founded in 1928 to bring winter sporting opportunities to outdoor enthusiasts in Yosemite), will be presenting information about YWC, as well as, sharing tips on all aspects of back country skiing. Attend one of the two information sessions that are scheduled at Sports Basement:

When and Where:
Thursday, January 19, 2017, from 6pm to 7pm
At the Sports Basement, Presidio of San Francisco, 610 Old Mason Street, San Francisco, Ca. 94129.

and

At the Sports Basement, Berkeley location – 2727 Milvia Street, Berkeley, California 94703 on Thursday, February 23, from 6 pm to 7 pm

For further information, email: or call Jane Raschke-Goodman at (559) 392-1194

Learn about the Yosemite Winter Club Cross Country Ski Section ( YWCXC). This Club arranges hut supported ski trips into the backcountry of Yosemite. These trips are made possible by the XC Section members who volunteer their time for trip planning, meal planning, shopping and packing food caches and placing the caches in the cabins in the fall before the roads close. These are not guided trips, but a trip leader is assigned for the purpose of facilitating decision making and everyone pitches in to cook, clean up after meals and tidy up the cabins before the group leaves.

Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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September’s first snow in Tahoe

tahoe-snow-kirkwood-2

September 13, 2016 brings fresh snow to Kirkwood ski resort and the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains above 9,000 feet. Winter is coming; get your skis and boards tuned and waxed. We’re hoping this is the start of more powder to come for the 2016-17 Tahoe snow season.

Get the most out of your ski season pass by joining a Tahoe area ski lease or plan a get away with a vacation rental. Connect for Tahoe trips and ride shares. Get the latest news and deals; sign up for Snowpals’ newsletter.

Boreal is typically the first Tahoe resort to open for the season on October 31, 2016. As of today, we are looking at only 47 more days until you can ski/ride down Tahoe’s powdery slopes.


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Cheapest Tahoe Lift Ticket Deal

 

squaw-alpine - pic from Squaw Alpine resort

pic from Squaw Alpine resort

January 2016 brings back to back storms with over 4 feet of new snow in 7 days and more snow in the forecast; it’s the best snow in five years so get to your favorite Tahoe resort and enjoy skiing/riding or learn a fun new snow sport since it’s the most snowfall record in years; gather some family and friends together for a getaway(browse our list of Tahoe vacation rentals). Here are some great lift ticket discounts and deals..

What’s the cheapest Tahoe resort lift ticket deal?

For college students, if you are free to go skiing/riding on Fridays, Boreal offers the cheapest/best lift ticket deal at only $15. Ski and ride from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, enjoying the area’s closest ski resort right off Highway 80. Available for only College students and active duty military at Boreal. Must have valid I.D.

Not a college student? You can still get $25 lift tickets on Feb 5 and March 18, dubbed as FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS

Only $25 for anyone with $5 of that going back to either High Fives Foundation and Truckee Humane Society. Make sure to head to the Boreal Bar for an awesome after party with music, good times, and food specials.

Discounted ski bus trips: If you’re looking for a discounted ski bus from the SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski resorts, check out the discounted one day and overnight ski bus trips with pick-ups around the Bay Area. Sleep on the bus, have a fun day of skiing and snowboarding and watch movies on the return bus ride. You can add a learn to ski or snowboard package or book a round trip bus ride only if you already have a lift ticket or season pass.

free-bear-valley-lift-tickets-hyundai

Tip: SF Bay Area Hyundai is running a promo where you get two free lift tickets to Bear Valley ($140 value) with any test drive.

For our latest scoop on Tahoe discounts and deals on lift tickets and vacation packages, get our newsletter.

Sierra Avalanche Center (SAC) Discount Lift Tickets in the Tahoe Area:

“Purchase a ticket and enjoy a day of skiing or riding all season long, non holidays. All proceeds benefit backcountry avalanche forecasting in the Lake Tahoe Region.

Sierra Avalanche Center has partnered with Tahoe’s top resorts to offer SAC Ski and Ride Days. Each of the participating resorts have donated lift tickets or trail passes to the Non Profit to support educational programs and the avalanche advisory.  When you purchase a lift ticket through SAC your money goes directly toward Know Before You Go avalanche safety education across the Lake Tahoe region.

SAC SKi & Ride Days are a great way to support our mission and enjoy a day of skiing or riding at your favorite Tahoe resort. Look for the yellow ticket button on the home page to learn about participating resorts and details. Once we sell through our supply the link will be inactive for purchase.” – updated on 1/14/16

Discount Lift Tickets to Homewood Mountain Resort

12/09/2015 to 04/24/2016

Support the Sierra Avalanche Center by…

Discount Lift Tickets to Sugar Bowl Resort – SOLD OUT

12/09/2015 to 04/17/2016
Sugar Bowl Tickets have SOLD OUT. Thanks so much for supporting usSupport the Sierra Avalanche Center by purchasing a discounted lift ticket for a day of skiing or riding…
Lift Tickets for Northstar, Heavenly, Kirkwood – TEMPORARLIY SOLD OUT

01/01/2016 to 04/17/2016
Tickets are temporarily Sold Out – Check back for more detailsSupport the Sierra Avalanche Center by purchasing a lift ticket for a day of skiing or riding at Northstar…

 

2016 Skiing for Schools Tahoe

The participating resorts are offering skiers and snowboarders special discounted lift tickets and the opportunity to support education. One hundred percent of the lift ticket proceeds go to the Excellence in Education Foundation, which provides enhanced educational opportunities for our local students. Please see listings below for ticket details.  Updated: 1/14/16

Homewood

$50 lift tickets valid Sunday – Friday, all season, non-holiday (Dec. 19 – Jan. 3; Jan 16-18; Feb. 13-21; Mar. 25-28). Tickets will email instantly.
Click here for tickets

Tahoe Donner Downhill

$30 lift tickets valid Sunday – Friday, all season, non-holiday (Dec. 18 – Jan. 3; Jan. 15 – 18; Feb. 12 – 20).
Tickets on sale here Please allow up to 24 hours for ticket to be mailed. Tickets also available at Tahoe Dave’s

Tahoe Cross Country

$15 trail passes valid Sunday – Friday, all season, non-holiday (Dec. 26 -Jan. 2; Jan. 16-17; Feb 13-14). Passes at Alpenglow in Tahoe City, or email .

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows

$75 lift ticket valid from April 1 to end of season. Tickets go on sale March 1.

Northstar

$106 lift ticket valid all season, no restrictions. Online tickets are sold out. Thank you for your support!

Sugar Bowl

$50 lift ticket valid all season, non-holiday (Dec. 19 – Jan. 3; Jan 16-18; Feb. 13-21). Tickets are no longer available. Thank you for your support.

Royal Gorge

$15 Trail pass valid all season, non-holiday (Dec. 19 – Jan. 3; Jan 16-18; Feb. 13-21). SOLD OUT! Thank you for your support.

Tahoe Donner Cross Country

$15 trail passes valid Sunday – Friday, all season, non-holiday. SOLD OUT! Thank you for your support.

Purchase downhill ski tickets in advance at Tahoe Dave’s (Truckee, Kings Beach, Tahoe City).  Purchase cross-country passes in advance at Paco’s in Truckee and Alpenglow in Tahoe City.  A limited supply of tickets are sold on a first-come, first served basis and will not be available at the resorts.  Tickets are not refundable. All Skiing for Schools proceeds are donated to Excellence in Education through your lift ticket purchase and the generous support of participating ski resorts. The Foundation would also like to acknowledge both Northstar and Squaw /Alpine for their generous $15,000 cash contributions in addition to the discounted lift tickets provided.  

For more information, please call 530-550-7984

 

Special lift ticket deals and promos for Tahoe visitors:

SQUAW VALLEY | ALPINE MEADOWS

Fly & Ski Free at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
Guests arriving by airplane can ski or ride the afternoon for free (and evenings during night operations). Present your same-day commercial airline boarding pass with a matching photo ID at the Guest Services & Sales Center at Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows and receive a complimentary afternoon lift ticket valid from 12:30 – 4pm.

SIERRA-AT-TAHOE

Fly in and ski or ride free that same day at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort! Must present same day boarding pass and a valid I.D. to receive complimentary lift ticket. Lift tickets are valid Sunday-Friday, non-holiday* are non-transferable, not for resale and cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions.
*Holiday Dates include December 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016; January 16-18, 2016; February 13-20, 2016.

HEAVENLY

Fly & We’ll Buy at Heavenly
Fly into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and ski that afternoon, for FREE! After all, Heavenly is for those who are up for first chair and are still going strong well after last call. You come here to go all in, and worry about sleep later. Present your boarding pass and photo ID at the Guest Service office to receive your free afternoon lift ticket, valid same-day from 12:30 – 4:00 pm.

KIRKWOOD

From the Plane to Powder!
Flying into Reno to enjoy the legendary snow and terrain at Kirkwood? Don’t throw away your boarding pass, bring it to the guest service office located in the Village Plaza the same day as your flight and we’ll set you up with a FREE half-day lift ticket! Please bring a photo ID with your boarding pass to redeem your half-day ticket which is good from 12:30 – 4:00 pm.

NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA

Flying? First Runs Are On Us at Northstar California
Flying to Northstar through the Reno-Tahoe International Airport? Show us your boarding pass from the same day and enjoy a half-day lift ticket on us. There’s no better way to shake out your travel legs than with an afternoon on the slopes. To redeem, simply show your boarding pass and photo ID at the Guest Service office to receive your free afternoon lift ticket, valid same-day from 12:30 – 4:00 pm.

MT. ROSE-SKI TAHOE

Ski the Day you Fly for only $37!
Present your boarding pass the day you arrive in Lake Tahoe (the day your flight arrives) and receive a $37 lift ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the Guest Services Office. Offer is valid non-holiday*.
*void holiday periods: December 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016; January 16-18, February 13-14, 2016.

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