Tips for Drafting Ski Lease Property Rental Agreements

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Lake Tahoe property owners, are you looking into turning your home or vacation rental property into a seasonal winter ski lease? Consider the following tips when drafting your lease agreement ..

Tips for Drafting Ski Lease Property Rental Agreements
The following article was written by David B. Cronheim, an attorney at Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, PA

It’s that time of year again. Winter is just around the corner and skiers and snowboarders are beginning to book their winter getaways. Most homeowners and real estate agents are focused on getting their properties ready for the busy ski season ahead. Understandably, the rental agreement they use to rent those properties is often one of the last things they consider. After all, many have a form agreement – often the same one they have used for years – and use it for every rental. The importance of a good lease is often overlooked.

Why should a homeowner or real estate agent care about having a well-drafted lease, particularly when the chances of litigation are remote? Simple. A good lease affords powerful protections. Basic issues like nightly rates, cleaning fees, and damage deposits are only a small part of any good rental agreement.  A lease sets expectations in advance, can prevent problems before they arise and puts the law more clearly on the owner’s side in the event of a dispute. Even if you don’t plan on suing any of your guests, by setting expectations before arrival you may be able to deter destructive conduct. Unruly groups inclined to break the rules may look elsewhere if they understand the potential financial consequences.

It’s also good general practice to communicate clearly with potential guests. Commit conversations to writing via e-mail, but choose your words carefully. You’re not trying to sneak something past a potential guest, but rather trying to set expectations.

DRAFTING TIPS

A carefully drafted lease is key to successfully renting out a ski house.
Before discussing how to draft a better lease, it is important to note that a lease is not technically a contract. It is similar to a contract and generally interpreted under contract law principles, but because it is also a conveyance of real property (albeit a temporary one), a lease has some important areas of distinction from a normal contract. The most important distinction is that a rental guest is not merely a party to a contract, but a tenant afforded certain rights under state landlord-tenant laws.

It is worth noting that an effective agreement doesn’t need to be long. In fact some of the best agreements are simple, but on-point. However, there are certain elements which all rental agreements should include. These components may seem obvious, but their nuances are often overlooked. Below are some tips for drafting a better lease for your vacation rental.

Term

Every lease agreement should specify a rental period. Be specific. Instead of using just a date, use a date and time. State check-in and check-out times clearly. This is particularly important because houses are often rented by two groups back to back. List a morning time for check-out and an afternoon time for check-in. Well-drafted leases often also include an hourly fee for late check-outs. You don’t have to assess the fee, but when guests know it’s hanging over their heads, they’re more likely to leave on time.

Rate

Clearly state the rental rate. Even if the rate is calculated nightly, include a sum total. Be sure to note whether the rate includes things like taxes, cleaning fees, or surcharges. Have the guest initial next a grand total. Being clear upfront isn’t only important from a legal standpoint, it’s good business. Guests will feel blindsided by hidden fees, often leaving a bad taste and lessening the chances the guest becomes a repeat customer.

Security Deposit vs. Insurance

Many sophisticated property owners or real estate agents will give guests a choice between a security deposit and rental insurance. Providing this option can make your property more attractive because many guests are wary of putting down a large damage deposit. Some guests may have experienced unscrupulous owners who wrongfully retained all or some of their deposit. Still others may view the deposit as part of the overall cost of the rental, even though it will be returned. Either way, be sure to protect yourself by requiring one or the other.

If you decide to go with a security deposit, be explicit that the guest is liable for any damage to the property regardless of whether it exceeds the security deposit. Withholding a security deposit is merely your first recourse. Should a guest do serious damage to the property, you want to reserve the right to sue (or threaten to sue) them to recover for your loss.

Tailor the Agreement to Your Property

A one-size fits all, “fill in the blanks” lease from the internet is not the best way to maximize your protections. Make sure that your agreement is tailored to your property. Every property is unique and has unique challenges. Consider issues you may have had in the past and try to anticipate future problems. For example, are guests damaging your wooden floors by clomping around in ski boots? Include a clause prohibiting ski boots in the house.

Do you have a specific list of “House Rules” that you post somewhere on the property or give to guests before or upon arrival? Incorporate these rules by reference into your lease and attach them as an exhibit. Require guests to agree to abide by the rules. Incorporating your house rules transforms polite suggestions into legal duties.

Keep it Simple – No Overly Long or Complex Agreements!

An agreement that is too long, complicated or written in “legal-ese” can scare off potential guests. Mean what you say and say what you mean, but say it as simply and clearly as possible. If you find yourself using phrases like “party of the second part” and “inter alia,” start over.

It’s important to keep in mind that a good lease does not have to be long. Each of the specific issues discussed in this article can be accomplished in a well-written sentence or two apiece. Keep it simple so guests understand what they are signing. They are less likely to object to you enforcing your rights under the lease if they understood your rights and their duties when they entered into the agreement.

Specific Provisions to Consider Including

Liquidated Damages Clause

Liquidated damages clauses can be a powerful tool. State with specificity that if guests do something they shouldn’t, a certain fee will apply. The fee should be reasonable and roughly approximate damage. For example, include a provision that failure to replace the cover on a hot tub or to take out the trash will result in certain deductions from the security deposit.

It is important to remember that these provisions cannot be penalties. The law disfavors penalty clauses. Courts generally will not enforce them, so be sure to tie the liquidated damages provision to a reasonable estimate of the damage. A fee of $2,000 for failing to take out the trash won’t be enforceable, but $50 probably would be.

No Refund for Bad Weather

You’ll likely want to include a provision disclaiming responsibility for unfavorable weather. If it rains or there’s no snow, you want to make sure the lease is still in effect. No one can control the weather, but you can control who takes the risk of bad weather (hint: not you!).

Right of Entry of Homeowner at Reasonable Time

If you’re concerned about unruly guests and want to be able to check on your house during the guests’ stay, consider a clause permitting you to enter for a reasonable purpose. Include what those reasonable purposes may be.

Rental Only to Family Groups

If you don’t want to rent to groups of college kids throwing a keg party, don’t. Insert a provision which states you only rent to family groups. Then make the lease signer represent that the group is a family group. You can always remove this clause if the circumstances warrant.

Occupancy Caps

In conjunction with restricting your rental to family groups, a maximum occupancy can deter the type of destructive guests you don’t want. Include a per guest fee for overcapacity, should you discover it. Deduct that fee from the deposit if you discover guests exceeding the maximum occupancy.

Representations and Warranties

Be careful not to promise something you don’t have. If that hot tub hasn’t worked in years, don’t list it as an amenity on your promotional materials.

Immediate Termination of Lease and Repossession by Homeowner in Event of Breach

A recurring problem facing homeowners is what to do when they discover unruly conduct at their property while the guests are still there. Consider a provision that allows you to immediately regain possession of the property for a material breach of the lease. It’s important to note, however, that you’d technically still need to go to court to evict the guests because they’re tenants, but you can always tell the unruly guests to vacate before you’re forced to get the sheriff to serve an eviction notice.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The most important thing a strong lease can do for a property owner is save them money. Having a professionally drafted lease is a small upfront cost that pays off over the long term. A good lease can put arguments to rest before they turn nasty by setting expectations in advance. A clear, concise agreement which protects your interests is a valuable tool for any homeowner. After all, if a dispute does occur, you have your answer. It’s all right there in black and white.

Author David B. Cronheim, Esq. is the Chief Legal Correspondent for First Tracks! Online and is an attorney at Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, PA in Bridgewater, N.J. For more information or for assistance in drafting or updating a vacation rental agreement, please feel free to contact the author at . Source: http://www.firsttracksonline.com

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Looking to join a Tahoe area ski lease to max out your ski season pass, expand your circle of ski buddies, get a place to store your ski gear and people to ride-share to your fave resorts? Browse ski leases @

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* Got a ski lease or Tahoe area vacation rental you’d like us to feature? Reach your snow sports SF Bay Area professionals audience: get it listed:

http://www.snowpals.org/2019/good-value-alternative-to-vrbo-and-airbnb/

* Browse Tahoe Rentals:

http://www.snowpals.org/rentals/

* Read recently joined members’ intros & join SnowPals’ 8k+ members to ride-share to Tahoe and for buddies to ski/ride with at

http://www.snowpals.org/how-to-join-snowpals/

Advertise on SnowPals to get your listing in front of thousands of SF Bay Area professionals who enjoys the great outdoors and snow-sports!

♥ Share this page with friends and family via twitterfacebook. List your ski lease or vacation rental. Browse more ski leases or vacation rentals.

 

 
 

 

You’re invited: Ski & Ride Winter Season Kick-off Party

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*** Annual Ski & Ride Winter Kick-off Party ***

What: Join to increase your ‘fun factor” by expanding your circle of ski, ride buddies for Tahoe ski trips & powder trips to other snow destinations especially covered by a multi-resort pass such as the
EPIC PASS, IKON PASS, MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS + POWDER ALLIANCE PASS.

Our Host is Emily ..

“I was born & raised Vermonter, and a current Epic Pass holder. Most weekends you can find me at Kirkwood, or Heavenly shredding the pow. Interested in carpooling on weekends, or weekdays to any Epic Resorts. Looking forward to meeting everyone!”

– Swag giveaway: $25 Sports Basement gift card Sports Basement + other swag in the works

– Watch ski/ride video from last season to get stoked for winter season powder ski/ride trips to Tahoe, Colorado, Utah, British Columbia, South America Europe and Japan.

– Share POWDER Stories from last season and enjoy complimentary drinks and light snacks 😉

– Expand your circle of friends/buddies for snow sports & backcountry ski/ride partners as well

Find yourself driving to/from Lake Tahoe with mostly empty seats?

Carpool/RideShare with skiers, boarders who love snow sports as much as you, share expenses and help preserve our environment by ride-sharing to/from Tahoe.

Got your skis/snowboard tuned & waxed?

Get 20% off at this event to shop at Sports Basement for ski/ride gear & winter attire and get your skis, snowboard waxed, tuned/serviced while waiting for resorts to open.

When: Tuesday November 5, 2019 from 7 pm to 9 pm.

At 8 pm, we will have a swag drawing giveaway so get there early to partake – print your event ticket and it will be used as your drawing entry to win event swag.

7:30 PM – New ski & board gear demo
8:00 PM – Event Swag Giveaway Drawing
8:10 PM – Learn how to wax your skis / snowboard based on the type of snow slopeside

Where: Sports Basement Bryant, SF

1590 Bryant St

San Francisco, California 94103

event-rsvp-eventbrite

RSVP for this event on Eventbrite.

Important: PLEASE be courteous and let us know if you can’t make it after you have RSVPed; sign into EventBrite to change your RSVP so that we can get an accurate count of how many folks to expect. Behind the scene, we work tremendously hard to put together events so in return please be mindful to give us a heads up if your plans have changed and you can no longer attend. Much appreciated!

View events in other parts of the Bay Area.

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Fun Poll Questions

Which Tahoe resort do you ski / ride at most often?

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* New to SnowPals? Join us to expand your circle of ski and ride buddies and Tahoe ride-share contacts for powder trips to Tahoe and beyond.

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 (on 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*).  For an average 400-mile round-trip to/from Tahoe 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!

“Let’s break down how CO2 is produced: 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/

High Five yourself, SnowPals’ rideshare participants.  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 total per snow season that did not go to Big Oil if you had paid $3/gallon at the pump.

And, how many of us have made friends along the way?  Or shared a meal and a drink, or two, after the slopes … That’s the non-tangible perks of ridesharing so we at SnowPals encourage you to rideshare / carpool to and from Lake Tahoe resorts as much as possible and to forward this piece to folks you know who goes to Tahoe often but mostly drive solo – advance thanks in helping us preserve our natural environment for ourselves and for generations to come.

* 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 when 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 snow destinations beyond (SnowPals members’ 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).

Are you a local business? Please consider partnering with us to help increase awareness of SnowPals’ rideshare / carpool to help people pool resources to drive together to and from Lake Tahoe.

SnowPals’ mission is to enable SF Bay Area residents to pool resources to ride share/carpool to Tahoe resorts to reduce impact to our environment. We kick off the ski season with annual Kickoff Parties around the SF Bay Area.

We invite businesses to partner with us to help bring awareness to our ride-sharing offerings, and to encourage people who might otherwise drive solo to use our services to make new friends and to reduce their carbon footprint.

Individually we each can make slight carbon footprint reductions, and together we can make significant reductions that will help preserve our natural environment. Please consider partnering with SnowPals and we can also help local businesses with its marketing exposure.

For more about our ride-share program, please see: http://www.snowpals.org/info/tahoe-rideshare/

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Tahoe Learn to Ski and Snowboard Package Deals

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2017 – 2018 Ski Season Tahoe learn to ski and snowboard package deals and discounts for beginners to advanced

Lake Tahoe ski resorts offer learn to ski and snowboard deals and discounts for skiers and snowboarders through out the ski season with a few Tahoe resorts offering deals good on weekends and holidays.

Gather family and friends together to take advantage of these deals and introduce them to learn an enjoyable snow sports that will last a lifetime; plan a getaway; browse and book a Tahoe vacation rental.

Skiing and snowboarding can be an expensive sport especially for beginners without any gear but that doesn’t have to be true if you take advantage of Tahoe ski resorts introductory and promo deals. Discount learn to ski and snowboard package deals include ski / snowboard lessons, beginner’s lift ticket, and equipment rentals.

The Learn to Ski and Snowboard promos offer great value deals for children and adults who are first-time skiers to get started skiing and riding down powdery Tahoe scenic slopes without breaking the bank.

For last minute lift ticket deals, browse discounts at:

Best Tahoe learn to ski and snowboard deals:

(1) Boreal’s TAKE 3, RIDE FREE
Recognized as one of the country’s best beginner programs , this pre-paid package automatically enrolls you into the Take 3, Ride FREE program and includes (3) Single Day Half Day Lesson Packages and a FREE 2017-18 Season Pass on your fourth visit! What we like about Boreal Mountain resort is the fact that it is easy to get to with quick access off of Highway 80 on Donner Summit plus an added bonus of night skiing.

(2) Homewood’s $69 adult ski and snowboard first-timer packages
Homewood Mountain Resort offers the best learn to ski/snowboard deal in the Lake Tahoe region – for just $69. Sunday through Friday, non-holiday, first-timers will receive a half-day lesson package which includes an all-day equipment rental (helmet not included in package but available at an additional cost) and beginner lift ticket – It’s everything you need to make your first turns on snow!

Simply purchase your Learn to Ski or Learn to Ride package online, at least 2 days in advance of your desired lesson date to receive the special $69 price all season long.

What we also like at Homewood is their incredible lake views; skiing and riding down Homewood slopes gives you a breathe-taking view of the lake. Very beautifully scenic for a first timer. Romantic setting no less. 😉

(3) Learn how to ski or snowboard for just $99 when you book in advance at Alpine Meadows any day for ages 13+ thru March 30, 2018.

First time lesson package includes everything you need

+ Beginner lift ticket
+ Equipment rental (skis, boots, poles -or- snowboard, boots)
+ 2.25 hr beginner lesson

The advantage of learning to ski or snowboard on non-holiday weekdays is you’ll get more personal attention and with less folks at the resort, you basically have the whole mountain to yourself – less people on the slopes.

(4) Donner Ski Ranch offers perhaps the best deal all-around; even on weekends and holidays, the price is the same: adults, youths, and seniors can sign up for the learn to ski or snowboard deal package for $99 while child (ages 7-12) package is $79. Why pay the high price of big mountain resorts when you only need a bunny hill to learn on?

Designed for first-time skiers and beginners, our Learn to Turn package includes a restricted lift ticket, granting access to beginner terrain on the front of the mountain via the skiing moving carpet and chairlifts #4 and #6, ski or snowboard equipment rental package, and a 1.5 hour group lesson.

LESSON TIMES

9 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2 pm

Lift tickets and rentals valid for full-day skiing and riding.
Anyone who purchases a Learn to Turn package may use the moving carpet to practice on one’s own prior to his/her lesson. Visit the ticket window to secure your space. Lessons will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

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.

Discounted ski bus trips: check out the one day and overnight ski bus trip deals. Sleep on the bus, have a fun day of skiing and snowboarding and watch movies on the return bus ride.

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Tahoe New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Heavenly, Live Music, Parties

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Where you’d like to be for 2017 New Year’s Eve (NYE) celebrations?

Here’s an idea: partake in a fun-filled day of skiing and riding then follow that up as the sun sets with Live Music, Parties and count-down to 2018 enjoying Heavenly Resort’s spectacular New Year’s Eve Fireworks.

Mark your calendar and invite family and friends to join:

New Year’s Eve Celebration happens at Heavenly Village on Sunday, December 31, 2017, from 6:00 p.m.to 9:00 p.m.

Address
1001 Heavenly Village Way
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 | Directions

“Heavenly Holidays reach their zenith on New Year’s Eve when fire, lights, and music fill the air. 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, Live concert, Ice Carving Performance, fire dancers, a photo booth, face painting and at 9:00 p.m., in time for the midnight Ball Drop in New York City’s Time Square, Heavenly’s Gondola Ball Drop will cross above the crowd, and a fabulous fireworks show will light up the night. The party continues into the night at one of the many casino nightclubs.

Live Concert 7:00 pm
Ice Sculpting Show
LED Dance Show
Gondola Ball Drop and Fireworks Show 9:00 pm

Kick off 2018 in one of the many casino clubs in South Lake Tahoe, and go all in celebrating the New Year!” – tahoesouth.com

Driving to Tahoe often and interested in ride sharing? Meet new ski and ride friends. Preserve the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Join Snow Pals to car pool/ride share to and from Tahoe; share expenses and meet folks to ski and ride with.

Want to sleep and let a professional driver take you to your favorite Tahoe resort? Book a discount SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski bus trip: one day and overnight bus trips. Enjoy a full day of skiing or riding; sleep on the way to Tahoe and watch movies on the return while enjoying complimentary snacks and drinks.

For last minute lift ticket deals, browse discounts at:

More info: https://www.skiheavenly.com

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One day and multi-day discount Tahoe ski bus trips

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Bay Area Ski Bus to Tahoe Promo Discount Code ‘ 17snowpals ‘ is valid only for NEW Registrants.

 

Get the following discounts:

  • $6 off per person on one day trips
  • $10 off per person on two day Bay Area Ski Bus Trips
  • $30 off per person on travel ski destinations trip packages

Bay Area Ski Bus trips goes to Kirkwood, Heavenly, Sierra at Tahoe, Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Squaw Valley USA, Homewood and Alpine Meadows. 1 day and 2 day hotel, house weekend trips and overnight ski bus trip packages. The Bay Area Ski Bus offers the most ski bus trips to Tahoe resorts; operating four days weekly with 11 SF Bay Area pick-up locations.

Bay Area Ski Bus offers:

  • Adults Only Ski Bus Trips
  • Family Ski Bus Trips
  • Teens Exclusive Ski Bus Trips
  • Singles Ski Bus Trips(“Singles” Ski Trips give solo skiers & snowboarders a chance to meet other singles in a fun and engaging setting: meet that special person who shares your love for snow sports)

These trips include:

  • round- trip transportation
  • a full day’s lift ticket
  • breakfast
  • free energy drink for the slopes
  • after- ski hot cocoa(wine/beer tastings on selected dates), snacks, and on-bus featured movie entertainment
  • optional: add ski/snowboard rental and/or lesson package

Treat family, friends and/or yourself to a fun day at your favorite Tahoe ski resort. Gift certificates available for the holidays or that special occasion.

  If you already have a ski season pass or lift ticket, you can choose to purchase a ‘ ala carte ‘ round-trip bus ride only service/transportation for $93 with the ‘ 17snowpals ‘ promo code(regular price is $99).

SAVE $30 ON SKI TRIP VACATIONS 

Use discount code  ‘ 17snowpals ‘ at payment checkout* to get $30 off.

Treat yourself, family and friends to a Ski & Snowboarding Destination Vacation

 Get $30 off ski / ride and stay vacation to ..

       Jan 2 – 8, 2017         Powder Hunt Ski Trip
       Jan 14 – 21, 2017      Banff and Kicking Horse, British Columbia Ski Trip
       Feb 9 – 20, 2017       Japan
                

Reserve your spot(s) with a deposit. Space is limited; register early as trips will fill up. A DEPOSIT secures your spot!

Browse the Tahoe ski bus schedule, register and use our discount code ‘ 17snowpals ‘ to get your discount. Please note discounts only valid for NEW registrants.

Here’s what a typical ski bus day trip with the Bay Area Ski Bus is like:

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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South Lake Tahoe Top Picks: Off the Hook Sushi Bar

Photo credit: Crystal Ricotta 

 

OFF THE HOOK – CALIFORNIA SUSHI BAR

By Desiree Holroyde, Snowpals Newsletter Contributor 

Address: 2660 Lake Tahoe Blvd, Building E South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 (530) 544-5599

 


View Larger Map

If you like quality food in a laid-back environment, you’ll love Off the Hook – California Sushi Bar located in South Lake Tahoe. They offer a weekday happy hour with discounted rolls, appetizers, and drink specials Monday through Friday from 4:30-6:00 pm.

Off the Hook is conveniently located in the middle of town and is a great meeting place after catching some runs on the mountain at Heavenly or Sierra-at-Tahoe. They have an extensive and recently revised menu, and feature over forty unique rolls comprised of more than thirty different ingredients.

Off the Hook also boasts an extensive sake list. Locally owned and operated, Off the Hook owners Chi and Elizabeth “Tizzy” Chen opened their doors in 2004. They’ve been popular from the beginning with fresh fish, a casual and warm atmosphere, and excellent friendly service. They are a local’s favorite and attract out of town visitors alike. Open nightly for dinner (only) seven days a week. There is no need to call ahead for reservations unless there are eight or more in your party. Go find out what all the fuss is about and why they are Off the Hook.

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Kirkwood Under New Management: Oh, By The Way — Part 2 of 2

24 December 2012 

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

Last week we asked some “locals” how they felt about the new management at Kirkwood. This week we’re highlighting a few dining destinations, and one historic B&B, along the way, and in Kirkwood Valley.

Let’s face it: Kirkwood is Big Mountain Fun—so close to the San Francisco Bay Area, you can practically smell it in the tule fog that makes your passage through the Central Valley, at times, harrowingly poetic. Yet getting from here to THERE can be a long haul, chomping 6-8 hours of your waking life in the to-and-fro, and that’s not accounting for a traffic accident (drive safely, always!) on two-lane Hwy 88. Boo. Goodness gracious, aren’t we lucky to have SnowPals to ride with to make the time fly?

Certainly, hitting the road in the pre-dawn to make the slopes and back by 9pm in a whirlwind, mission-from-God-type, herculean effort, is something many of us have done because, like, there’s no good reason to dally in the valley? Are you one of those people who feels lost if your smart phone can’t find a Starbucks near? Do you race along the byways of the Sacramento River delta, determined to put as many miles behind you as your gas tank and bladder will allow with no favorite pit stop?

LOCKEFORD, CA

On Hwy 88, and about fifteen miles northeast of Stockton, you will find the hamlet of Lockeford, home of the COUNTRY CAFÉ that opens every day at 5:30am. This is the place you bring your big appetite, to leave it behind. Breakfast burritos ($7), chicken fried steak and eggs ($9), and the Combo Special of waffles plus 3 eggs plus 3 sausages ($8.50) are eye openers. Fish & chips, homemade salsas and generous Mexican dinners, such as Chili Verde Steak with rice & beans ($10.29), are served until 8pm—except on Tuesday when the cafe closes at 2pm. Have a beer and try the Gnarley Head house wines, locally-produced by Oak Ridge Winery in nearby Lodi CA.

THE INN AT LOCKE HOUSE is a beautifully restored bed and breakfast operation on property listed on the National Register of Historic Places, about 1,000 feet north from town center on Elliot Road. Proprietors, Lani and Richard Eklund bought the original estate of Dr. Dean J. Locke, founder of Lockeford, twenty years ago; fixed it up with love of finer things for six years, and now offer guest rooms with private baths—some with their own fireplace—all with views of English gardens. They’ll make you an Early Bird breakfast to-go if you want to hit the road before breakfasts are served between 7-9:30am. (209) 727-5715 http://www.theinnatlockehouse.com

JACKSON and PLYMOUTH, CA

Hwy 88 takes a dogleg in Jackson, to merge, briefly, with Hwy 49 in Gold Country. You’ll pass lots of eateries and hotels here. If you want sushi, OKO SUSHI is a gem for tempura lovers. It’s by the Safeway and other fast food joints at the north end of town on Hwy 49. If you keep going north just 12 miles, the town of Plymouth is the unlikely home of Zagat’s “#1” rated restaurant in the whole Sacramento Region, TASTE. Dinner entrees range from $31 to $50; yet we have filled-up on an array of appetizers … and wines! Plymouth calls itself the gateway to famous Amador Wine Country, and Taste is a five-time winner of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. But it’s not fussy. And you can’t miss it as it seems the only bustle on Main Street. (Gee, I just can’t say enough about this place, so I won’t.) Try it, someday.

KIRKWOOD, CA

You’re here! Before you buckled your boots, there are several hot BREAKFAST options to hold out for. MONTE WOLFE’S MOUNTAIN KITCHEN is to the left of the Kirkwood tickets office, off the main Mountain Village plaza. Daily, from 8a-4:30p, Starbucks coffee is served alongside pastries, eggs, salads, sandwiches and soups. Say hello to Chef “Daddy Wolfe” (he’s a burner) who makes a mean Wolfe Burger with chipotle aioli, cheese, bacon, and sautéed onions—totally non-fattening! There’s a “baked potato” bar and the full-service THUNDER SADDLE BAR here to hoot in, too. Or, slide into the Red Cliffs lodge where the KIRKWOOD GENERAL STORE offers “the best breakfast sandwich on the hill,” with a full service espresso bar, at their deli, as well as other sundry comforts, 7:30a-6p. SNOWSHOE THOMPSONS at Timber Creek, Chair 7, has hot pastries, burgers and pizza—no wonder the kids love it! Open 10a-4:30p, 7 days a week.

Did you know the KIRKWOOD INN & SALOON offers a Saturday Night Prime Rib Dinner ($26.95), and $2 tacos during Happy Hour, Monday through Friday 3-5p? BUB’S PUB (nee Cornice Grill) with nine beers on tap, and veggie and casual menu options served in the glow of big-screen TVs, is everyone’s favorite sports bar. It’s been getting a facelift lately, yet when Bub’s reopens they’ll be serving Pizza & A Pint ($7.25) and Dirty Blonde Ale pints for $4 from 11a-9p. Dinner reservations are required at OFF THE WALL BAR & GRILL but you can enjoy their primo location, and upscale wine and bar choices Sunday through Thursday, with a lunch menu on Friday and Saturday only, from 11a-5p. 209-258-7365

For a full list of Kirkwood noshes, please visit http://winter.kirkwood.com/site/resort-services/resort-dining.

Why not enjoy the ride, on and off the hill?

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