Our November featured “giving back” spotlight goes to Tahoe Ski Trips (TST) for their commitment to fundraise $10,000 to $20,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) by the end of the 2019; help them reach their fundraising goal.
“Until the end of 2019, we are going to donate $1 of EVERY seat sold on our buses. Help us reach our fundraising goal to help LLS end blood cancers affecting children and adults globally. We know that not everyone has the means to do so, and we do not expect anyone to go beyond their means, but we hope that some of you will find that this charity is worth while, for a great cause, and something we can all agree needs our attention! Click here to visit the donation page (your donation is tax deductible).” – Kevin at TahoeSkiTrips
== 'Pay It Forward' Giveaway ==
Donate & Get Entered to Win Lift Tickets Pack, Sugar Bowl Unrestricted Lift Ticket, Ski Bus Trip to your Choice of Tahoe Resort for Two & Sports Basement Gift Card!
SnowPals.org will hold giveaway drawings until the end of 2019; the following prizes will be given away to those who donate to this Fundraising Drive..
– Monday November 25, 2019 and get entered into our Tahoe Snowbomb VIP lift ticket pack giveaway drawing which includes: 2-for-1 (BOGO) lift tickets to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Homewood lift ticket, Bear Valley lift ticket, China Peak lift ticket, and a skis/snowboard and rental package. Click here to see lift tickets and rental restrictions. Winner’s name will be listed here on 11/26/19. Bookmark and check back to claim your prize if you see your name posted here.
– Monday December 16, 2019 and get entered into our giveaway drawing of a Sugar Bowl Unrestricted Lift Ticket. Winner’s name will be listed here on 12/17/19. Bookmark and check back to claim your prize if you see your name posted here.
Types of Blood Cancers affecting children and adults world-wide..
(1) leukemia: “Leukemia is cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. Many types of leukemia exist. Some forms of leukemia are more common in children. Other forms of leukemia occur mostly in adults. Leukemia usually involves the white blood cells.” – Mayo Clinic
(2) “Lymphoma is cancer that begins in infection-fighting cells of the immune system, called lymphocytes. These cells are in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and other parts of the body. When you have lymphoma, lymphocytes change and grow out of control.” – WebMD
(3) Hodgkin’s disease: “Hodgkin’s disease (HD) is a type of lymphoma, which is a blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps the immune system get rid of waste and fight infections. HD is also called Hodgkin disease, Hodgkin lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” – Healthline
(4) Myeloma: “Multiple myeloma is a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs. Multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells.” – Mayo Clinic.
About Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), a 501c charitable organization founded in 1949, is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting blood cancer. The LLS’s mission is: cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS is the voice for all blood cancer patients and works to ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients.
Some disconcerting facts..
“Every 3 minutes there will be someone diagnosed with a blood cancer.
Leukemia is the #1 most diagnosed form of childhood Cancer!
Before 2019 is over there will be more than 140,000 people told that they have either Leukemia or Lymphoma.
More than 40,000 people will die in 2019 from these two forms of Cancer..”
Tahoe Ski Trips is a tour & event management company that specializes in coordinating ski & adventure tours, senior graduation trips and guided wildlife tours. TST (Tahoe Ski Trips) opened its doors in 1996 as Bay Area Ski Bus and today runs over 500 trips & tours per year! Management has over 40 years of combined experience producing tours and events ranging from skiing, to golf trips, wine trips and out of state adventures! Operating with integrity and a commitment to quality, TST contracts with the finest transportation companies and recreation outfitters with fantastic reputations and safety records. We focus on the details, while you focus on having fun! Our quality and service is unmatched! – TahoeSkiTrips.net
“Once a month, we select a nonprofit organization to spotlight; we spotlight nonprofit organizations whose work is dedicated to improving lives and whose charitable passion is mission focused and whose ♥ knows no bounds.” – Tim | For Tahoe ski trips, join SnowPals.org – we’re a San Francisco Bay Area based snow-sports club (informal, no monthly meetings/web-based with social meetups) for busy professionals, since 1999.
Property Owner’s Guide & Tips on How for Increase Bookings to your Airbnb or VRBO Listing!
No time wasted here so let’s get to it:
(1) Professional photography highly recommended – this is the most important factor if you’d like to attract renters over other listings in the same geographical area. Invest the money to hire a pro photographer to take photos of your rental property especially to feature the amenities that make your rental stands out from the rest, be it hot tub, lake views, prime location, etc.
Even if you have a tight budget, consider hiring an ‘up and coming’ photographer from Craigslist to take professional looking photos of your vacation home/ski lease property. And yes, it’s true: “a picture is worth a thousand words” and photos are priceless when it comes to instant appeal which will get you more clicks on your rental listing which equates to more booking inquiries.
(2) Take time to write a clear and concise description of your rental/ski lease listing and be sure to include things such as:
* amenities? what makes your rental property unique? prime location at the base of Squaw? hot tub and sauna?
* how many people can your property sleep/accommodate? How many beds and baths total?
* location and proximity of your property in relation to points of interests in the area: resorts, restaurants, grocery markets, etc.
* is this a family type rental or a group type rental?
* duration of rental/lease: daily, monthly or winter seasonal lease?
* rental/lease rates: discount if booked for longer term? Security deposit? Cleaning fee? Snow plow service included? Utilities included?
* how many covered parking spaces? flat driveway?
* pet friendly? other restrictions?
* for group ski lease, guest fees? full time residence ok?
* for ski lease group, it’s good idea to describe age range of people in the group and preferences for social activities, apres ski happy hour, family type shared meals, etc
* best way to contact you: by email, phone, text or?
* what basic information would you like from potential renters or ski lease members to provide as part of initial email contact so you can get an idea of who they are? Ask renters to share something about themselves such as profession, LinkedIn profile, FB, Instagram, etc.
(3) Make use of well written rental agreements:
Your rental agreement is essential for setting expectations between you and your guests/renters/lease members! It provides a sense of security for all parties involved, and defines the rules and policies for the property prior to their stay. Some key items to include in rental/lease agreements:
* Maximum Occupancy
* Cancellation Policies
* House Rules (very important to be specific)
* Check In/Out procedures (be clear & specific)
* Damage Policy
Consider having your renters/lease members read and sign House Rules and rental policies to show that they clearly understood your rental terms prior to their stay. For example, include in your policy things like where guests can smoke, where they can’t smoke (a fine is levied if they are caught smoking where they aren’t allowed to). Consider including rules and policies on pets, occupancy and type of use (no wild parties, etc).
Visit the following sites to view some examples/templates of Lake Tahoe area lease/rental agreements/terms/contracts/policies:
(4) Complete a rental market research ‘due diligence’: ask yourself.. ‘have I priced my rental or ski lease competitively for the current rental market for my geographical area my rental is located in?’
Do some market research and make sure to price ‘apples to apples’ comparison based on rental location, number of bedrooms, baths, amenities, square footage, etc. If you don’t nail your rental pricing competitively, you won’t get as many rental inquiries no matter how pretty your rental photos look.
Next, perform keyword searches on Airbnb, VRBO and Craigslist among other rental sites to get an idea of what is the current market rate for rentals/ski leases.
(5) Lastly, leverage your social connections (before you submit your listing) by asking family and friends to give you feedback on ways to improve your rental/ski lease listing for clarity, conciseness and appeal.
At SnowPals we help foster friendships and encourage personal enrichment by way of sharing snowsports experiences. We present members with opportunities to expand their circle of ski and ride buddies – that’s how we came up with our name: Snow (Snow-Sports) + Pals).
Join us to connect with skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels for trips to Tahoe and to snow destinations beyond especially those who are holders of multi-resort season pass like Epic, Ikon, Powder Alliance and the Mountain Collective Pass.
SnowPals invite you to join us to share skiing and snowboarding experiences, create lasting memories and form lasting friendships.
Avoid the trap of old routines with shrinking circles of friends. Expand your FUN horizon by connecting with SnowPals and experience the snow season in a new exciting way. Network, connect and socialize with our active and friendly members. Come join our pre-snow season ski-and-ride movie screenings, ride-shares, ski leases, snow events, parties, giveaways and wine tastings, pizza & beer socials. Our members often extend group activities into the summer seasons. In the off-season members often engage in various activities from travel to tropical destinations or travel to bucket list destinations, nature hikes, sky-diving, mountain biking, wineries tours, wake boarding among other outdoors activities.
Ski and snowboard friendships often last a lifetime as they are built on a core shared interest.
“Create ski and snowboarding memories today so when in later years, you’ll reminisce about moments that will likely to triggered joyful smiles. Truly priceless 😉 “- SnowPals
What adventure(s) have you checked off your bucket list this year?
How do I join? Is there a membership fee?
Unlike other ski and snowboard clubs with yearly recurring membership fees, join us with a one-time membership fee of $20. This one-time fee helps us pay for web hosting, technical website services, time invested in marketing and growing the group, group management and various operations such as facilitating Bay Area-Tahoe ride shares and organizing social events. Our members range from newbies to experts in snow sports. Members ages vary from 18 to well into the 70s (single people and married couples with and without kids).
✔ Access to our Tahoe ridesharing/carpool members network of 8,229 members as of October 2019. We’re a free alternative to fee-based Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services. Expand your circle of ski/ride buddies for resort skiing/riding or opt for the backcountry and have the safety of a wing man/woman to stay safe.
✔ Participate in fun and engaging social events
✔ We often hold giveaway raffles for swag and lift tickets at our events
✔ In the off-season, we may facilitate connections for outdoors activities such as hiking, road cycling, mountain biking, wakeboarding, surfing, etc. to encourage an active lifestyle.
Founded in 1999 by a small group of friends; we are now 8,229 members and growing. Celebrating our 21st year of connecting folks to expand their circle of snow sports activity partners.
* To get an idea of folks who join SnowPals, the following are some excerpts of members’ intros from December 2018 to October 2019:
“I am an intermediate snowboarder who enjoys park and free riding. 19/20 will be my 2nd full season. I have a season pass for Heavenly and Sierra and looking to ride up with people who enjoy snowsports. I live in San Jose.” – Mike
“Hi Skiers and Snowboarders!
I’ve been snowsporting in Tahoe my whole life and would like to move there someday. My boyfriend Aaron and I are from Los Gatos, and we have both Ikon and Epic passes but love to visit smaller resorts as well. I also love going to ski movie premieres to get pumped up for the season. We can cook pretty well so you definitely want us in your ski lease. Can’t wait to meet you!” – Anna
“Hi, I am from Chicago, moved here in 2018 from DC and spent many excellent weekends at Kirkwood last season. Typically overstoked Midwesterner, have AWD car, Epic local pass. Mostly a weekend warrior to save vacation days, open to ski lease options, and living in Oakland. In warmer weather I’m climbing in Yosemite and elsewhere. Looking for folks excited to hit the slopes all day long!
Looking to connect with others who have Epic Local- Kirkwood is my favorite, but also open to Northstar/Heavenly.” – Josh from Oakland.
Hi my name is Claire and I’m based in SF. I have the Ikon pass, and am interested in finding people to carpool with to Squaw Alpine.
I like to Ski and do Cross-country skiing too.”
“Hi, I grew up in SF, am 24, and recently got into skiing. I am hoping to go up more this season and am looking for a group or ski buddies to go with! 🙂 ” – Harmony
“Hello, I’m frequently driving back and forth from South Lake Tahoe to the Peninsula close to the weekends. I ferry my 6 year old daughter back and forth so we can ski together, but she’s with her dad during the school week. So, sometimes she’ll be in the car and sometimes it’s just me. I have a ski lease now, but hope to relocate to the area. I only travel during low traffic times. Hoping to connect with some weekly carpoolers!” – Ellen
“Hi All! I just moved out to San Francisco after spending some time in Chicago and New York, I currently am on Volunteer Ski Patrol at Squaw Valley So I’m up most weekends and looking to offer rideshare or catch a carpool with others. Myself and some of my family and friends are currently starting a new ski lease in Homewood and we’re hoping to use it to make some new friends! I’m 26 and work as a Programmer.” – Brian
“I am an intermediate skier living in the East Bay. “I’d like to go ski more often than I used to. Willing to team up with others to share rides to Tahoe. I have flexible schedule and can go most days during the week. I am professional in the tech field. Prefer to go Kirkwood, Heavenly & Northstar.” – John
“Hi, I’m from the UK working as a doctor at UCSF and looking to do as many day trips/weekend trips as possible. I’m mainly looking for a ride, but if friends happen, it was meant to be! I am clean and travel without skis.” – V.
“I love skiing (resort and backcountry) and all sorts of climbing — rock and ice, especially alpine routes. Most of my climbing was up in the OR + WA Cascades, so I’d love someone to show me around the Sierra climbing and backcountry skiing. For 2018-19, I have an Ikon Pass and looking to connect for rides to IKON resorts.” – Alex
Hello POWDER LOVERS, I’m Brian, 47, and I love to Snowboard, advance level, Surf, watch the SF Giants, and go to Happy Hour. I’m married with two great kids (in the middle school range). My wife is from Canada, and she’s realized her dream of making me a devout snow monkey. We bought season passes for the first time this year, so I’m aiming to put as many miles on my Epic Pass as I can. The kids play sports so our Tahoe trips are tag team with one schlepping kids while the other ski’s/boards. I drive our Subaru Outback when I go and like not needing chains. I’m interested in carpooling with anyone else who wants to day trip. I typically go to Kirkwood from San Mateo on weekends, and some weekdays.” – Brian
“Hello! I’m AJ, a PhD student at UC Berkeley who loves XC skiing. I also like snowshoeing. I’m hoping to get out to Tahoe on the weekends, and maybe even for longer during the holidays. Here for good company, new friends, ride shares, ski buddies, and also lodging-sharing.”
“Hi everyone! I’ve lived in in SF for about 3 and a half years and am hoping to get up to Tahoe as much as possible on the weekends for some riding (intermediate/advance) this year. I would definitely be interested in ride-sharing with anyone who has space in their vehicle (I don’t have one). I’ve got the Ikon Base Pass so I will likely mostly be going to Squaw/Alpine, but open to other locations on Blackout Dates.” – Mike
“Hey, I live in Menlo Park, moved here from Toronto, Canada 1.5 years ago. Interested in carpooling up to Kirkwood, Heavenly, Northstar. Epic Local Pass holder. Preference is to drive up Friday nights. I have an AWD SUV with chains, can comfortably take 3 plus gear. I don’t have a ski lease so very interested in exchanging driving for a guest stay nights at a lease. I am planning on getting into the backcountry scene as I accumulate the required gear.” – Andrew
– “Hi, I have been in the Bay Area for awhile (since 2000), married with kids, but still like to go snowboarding / skiing when I can. I have used the ski bus a number of times in the past, but this year I have an Ikon pass so have to focus on ride-sharing to Squaw Valley as often as possible. Either me driving up and taking a passenger, or joining in with someone who is already driving up. I’m the “quiet / dependable” engineer type. If I say I’ll be ready to go at 4 am I’ll be there on time and ready to go. Cheers!”- Eric
“I’m super excited since I just relocated to Petaluma which is a bit closer drive to Tahoe and one of my fav most beautiful places to snowboard. I’m mainly interested the Tahoe rideshare because I don’t have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and don’t trust driving in storms. I am flexible on resort we go to and am interested in crashing at a ski lease as a guest for only a couple of nights if available. I usually can take off Fridays so we can leave early in the AM. I’m also able to meet up somewhere in East Bay or Sacramento and then we carpool from there. Super excited to shred some gnar!” – Megan
“Hello there! I moved here from Illinois last year and tried snowboarding for the first time last season. Fell in love with the sport and bought a pass to Sierra at Tahoe as well as an Epic Local for the upcoming season! Along with a ton of awesome gear so I don’t have to stand in long rental lines anymore. I’m interested in finding people who plan on getting out to Tahoe pretty much every weekend this season. I was told I should come here, so here I am!” – Marcus
“New to the Bay Area and pretty clueless about the various Tahoe resorts. I had a great ski group back East and I definitely miss them. Have Epic Pass and opened to Tahoe trips. Originally from South Carolina have been a Bay Area Resident as of August 2018.” – Matt
“Hello, A little bit about myself: single mom with 2 kids. We live in Scotts Valley. I work in Tech in Menlo Park so lots of commuting and computer hours.
I have been a skier since I was about 8. Last season we were at Heavenly quite a lot and spent $$$ on ski school and accommodations. I did find the ski school absolutely fantastic though and one of my friends recommended their ski team.
So here we are, I have signed both kids up for Heavenly’s Comet program and so looking forward to it and connecting with SnowPals who have kids who are in similar resort programs.
Thanks and looking forward to a great season.” – Mercedes
“Hello there! I moved from France to the Bay Area a couple of years ago but finally decided to get a season pass this year (Epic Local for Kirkwood, Heavenly and North Star) I don’t have a FWD car so I’m looking for ski buddies who would be willing to share the ride, ideally super early Sat mornings, but could also make it work some Fridays. I am an intermediate / advanced skier, perfectly comfortable skiing on my own but I would love connecting with people of similar level – powder is always more fun with friends!” – Laura
“Hi, I’m a Montana-native, newly transplanted to the Bay Area. Driving three hours (each way) alone is a bummer, so let’s ride together. I like to Ski, Snowboard and do Back-country skiing or snowboarding” – Adam
“Long time advanced level snowboarder. I prefer weekdays as Friday to Sunday are too crowded. I have the epic Tahoe local pass. I go to Northstar, heavenly and Kirkwood. Interested in finding snow board buddies and interested in a ski lease.” – Patricia
Hello there, I grew up snowboarding in Colorado and have been in the Bay Area for the last year. I am trying the Ikon pass this year so hoping to get a few trips to Squaw. I like to Snowboard (Advance level), Cross-country skiing, Snowmobiling, Snow shoeing and Ice skating” – Ellen
“Always looking for a ride up to the mountain. Kirkwood, Heavenly, Northstar. Epic Local Pass holder. My family owns a cabin about an hour away (depending on conditions). I like to leave the Bay Area Thursday evenings, stay at the cabin, ski Fridays and Saturdays and be home by Sundays. Can definitely host at the cabin. Rustic, but sleeps 3 comfortably. Can meet at any BART station for ride share.” – Josh
“Hi! I live in Sausalito, expert skier ( I lived in Vail for 3 seasons and taught 6-12 yr olds in ski school), and i purchased the Epic Pass this season— will be going to Vail for a week, Mar 9-16, but looking to utilize Epic Pass more this season, Locally~! Looking for other advanced/expert skiers to carve some turns with in Tahoe, at any of the Epic Pass accepted resorts. Also looking for ride shares to Tahoe, and occasional places to stay/share. I work for myself, so driving schedule is VERY flexible—-prefer to NOT be stuck in traffic, and weekdays are fine with me. I have an AWD Cayenne that fits 4 -5 people and equipment, or am happy to pitch in, if someone else can drive. Im also single, successful professional, i own my own company, and am hoping to meet other singles (men) that are active and enjoy the sports I am passionate about—- which include skiing and road biking/cycling:) Lets go skiing!!” – Janna
“Hi, I’m from Sonoma and work as a Chef. Been skiing Tahoe my whole life; have a family cabin on Donner. Currently living in Sonoma and ski primarily midweek, storm chaser looking to connect with same, all business; got a Sugar Bowl pass.” – Brannon
Frequently Asked Question:
Why do you required new members to send in a self-intro?
Internet interactions tend to be very one dimensional, unlike meeting someone new face-to-face where you can immediately relate with and can readily establish rapport with; hence, to offset this, we need a catalyst in the form of a self-introduction whereby new members send in a self-intro as part of their membership application to facilitate social connections. Reading a person’s self-intro helps members to get to know more about a person and to learn more about what his/her snow sports interests are which help to serve as conversation starter and can result in cultivating new friendships, or, at the very least to connect for Tahoe ride-sharing to share carpool trip expenses and to help reduce our carbon footprint impact to our natural environment for our benefit and for our future generations to enjoy.
==> Next step, once you’ve submitted the above membership form, please send payment with the PayPal button below. Alternative payment option: use Venmo to send the one time membership payment of $20 to SnowPals or . Once payment have been received, we’ll send you an invite to join the forum. Check your inbox (with some email services, it may show up in your spam folder so please check it as well). Look for our email subject header ~ ‘re: Welcome to SnowPals ‘. Please note: allow up to 24 hours (Monday – Friday, non-holidays, 9am to 5pm) for your membership application to be processed and an invite to be sent to the email you specified in the form above. Got a question? .
* Please note: the group’s name was changed from Ski Pals to Snow Pals to be inclusive of all snow sports (ski, snowboard, Alpine skiing, kite-skiing, riding, cross-country, telemark, backcountry, ice skating, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing, ice hockey, snowmobiling, etc). For the group’s forum, please note that we are still using the ski_pal name so you’ll be getting an invite from ‘ski_pal’ to join the group’s forum. When you joined, please also check your spam folder since some email services filter our forum invite to your spam folder.
** Join us to plan POWDER Destination Trips for:
4) British Columbia Trips / Whistler Blackcomb
5) International ski trips covered by your multi-resort pass
Trip dates and lodging are opened to discussion and planning by all group members; you can propose a trip and if folks are interested, can join in.
♥ Join SnowPals to expand your circle of ski and ride buddies, connect for Tahoe ride-sharing (share trip expenses) and help reduce your carbon foot print impact, hence helping to preserve our our environment for us and for future generations.
Ski Leases for families and groups. 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 either for your family or for your group of ski and snowboarding buddies.
When 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 quite 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 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 with 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 or group for friends for the season. If that is too costly, then you could ask families/friends 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 is to search for Lake Tahoe area vacation rentals available as a seasonal ski lease listed on SnowPals rentals page.
(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 organized by various groups and has an entire section dedicated to available Tahoe area ski lease membership 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 $700 all the way to $2500. If you’re single and can spend just $700 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 $23.34 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 get the chance to ski/ride fresh tracks/powder when resorts start up their lifts. Also, the value of beating the crowds and traffic to the resort is priceless; how many times have you been stuck in traffic or frustrated with locating free parking spaces? 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 a 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 family 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 in a clear and concise written agreement. 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 to browse available ski lease memberships organized by families or group of skiers/snowboarders to share a ski cabin. 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 to 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.