Staying at one of the timeshares is basically no-cost for me and the Zephyr Cove location is a newer, nicer and roomier property than the Reno location and is harder to reserve, but I have a 2 bedroom unit reserved and can change my mind until Jan 27 2012.
That said, being closer to where others are staying and having easier access to the north side ski resorts makes a lot of sense. But a drive of 45 minutes from Reno to Squaw vs hour and a half from SLT to Squaw, for example, ain't gonna wreck my day. Hwy 28 can't be any worse than US 2 across Stevens Pass. So I'm weighing convenience (a degree of convenience) vs quality of accommodations.
As far as drive goes, you're not that much worse off when compare to anyone who stay in one place for the whole week. Because you're so much closer to Kirkwood and Heavenly! (I will NOT nail myself to the north lake for the whole week, plan to do north 1st half and move south the second)
And, if we got unlucky with no big dump, Emerald Bay would be open and you're actually just as close to Alpine and Squaw as anyone coming from Reno. Even Mt Rose isn't that much further from Zephyr. Only Northstar is a clear loser for you. (and if Emerald Cove is close, you do have a long drive to Alpine and Squaw)
The location is a lot more seren than Reno. And you're very close to South Lake Tahoe for relatively inexpensive food and drink. Not as cheap as Reno but better quality.
The only (though pretty significant) drawback is you'll be away from the gang for at least half of the gathering. Still, some of us will be basing out of south Tahoe for the second half of the week. So you should have company by then.