We are planning a week visit to the Tahoe area and looking for any advice/recommendations on specific areas to go to or stay at.
We have 2 families coming out and plan to rent a house somewhere to ski 6 days. Travelling out from MA on Sunday 2/16 and return 2/23. This is the presidents day week. We have 4 adults (2 couples) and 4 teens (boys 12-16). May add an additional teen or two if friends can tag along. Boys are all advanced skiers/riders (2 of each) and like all sorts of terrain, but solid terrain park will be a must at each location. Any black diamonds are fine, and many double black when conditions are good. Adults are a bit slower and enjoy more on trail conditions but can handle most black level trails. I will generally go with the boys when they hit the harder stuff, but starting to have a hard time keeping up.
We did a similar trip to CO 2 years ago. Stayed at Breckenridge as a home base with a house 1 bus stop from the lifts. This worked great as we had three days that we could be leisurely in the morning and go in different groups to and from the mountain. Some want to go bell to bell, but not all. Then we had three days where we hit the road to Copper, Vail and Keystone. All within an hour or so which was fine (other than parking at Vail). Also 5 Day pass at Breck was very flexible since we could go to Keystone, Vail, etc, if we wanted, or not. Planned a day off, but ended up taking the kids to Copper for Woodward camp.
So trying to setup something similar in Tahoe.
My first plan was to get the Tahoe six pack, which at 329 for 6 days is an incredible deal. Although that seems like a lot more travel, I thought if we could do Squaw x2 and Alpine, Mt Rose, Heavenly and Kirkwood while making Squaw our home base, that it might not be too bad. But, the boys tell me that we must go to Northstar for the terrain park as it is the best (true?) Also, Kirkwood and Sierra seem a long way and even Heavenly over an hour. (is the west side road closed in winter?).
Using the 6-pack from say Incline/Kings Beach area would reduce drive times, but we would have to drive every day, but also has the benefit of lower cost housing. If we did this, how are the drives and access to the mountains? Can you get in park and on the lift reasonably quickly at most areas? IE not like Vail. Will there be lots of traffic this week due to vacation? I don't think this is a school vacation week for CA, Nevada, so I would not expect midweek to be too bad. If we did this would probably do NorthstarX2, Squaw/Alpine, Rose, Heavenly, Kirkwood. Are there easy shuttles to North Star or even Squaw from this area?
Another option is to get the Epic Pass Local Tahoe restricted pass. This is almost as cheap as the 6 pack (429/329/219!) for Adult/Teen/12yr. You have to go to Heavenly on Saturday, but other than that can go to Northstar/Heavenly/Kirkwood any day. Less mountains, but much more flexible.
If we go this way, we are leaning to stay in NorthStar. Somewhere on the free shuttle routes, but not ski-in out. No need to pay for that if going elsewhere some days. Would stay 3 or even 4 days here and 1 or 2 at heavenly and 1 to Kirkwood (seems far, but If I am in Tahoe and can't go to Squaw, I have to go to Kirkwood don't I?). My main drawback to this plan is that to me Northstar seems like something that I can get in New England. Nice area with what seems like a good layout and lift system, but not something worth going across the country for. By that I mean open bowls, some steep runs, great views, and at least a chance for deep powder.
One alternative is stay close to Heavenly and travel up to Northstar 2x and Kirkwood 1. More centrally located so less over all travelling. Also more housing at lower prices. But I can't seem to find houses that are actually on a frequent shuttle service. Am I missing something? Found a house I liked 1/2 mile away and when I asked how do you get to the lifts the answer was walk or drive. If we do have to drive, which side has better access (Stagecoach, Gondola, California)? For skiing Heavenly seems great for the adults, with more open terrain and lake views that are missing at Northstar, but I am worried that the terrain parks won't be as good and/or the snowboarders will not like all the traversing that I have read about.
Last option would be to stay at Kirkwood, and mainly stay there with just the one Saturday at Heavenly and 1 day at Northstar. This seems awesome to me, but I would have to sell the kids that the terrain parks are worthy, or be prepared to go to Northstar 2x. And also that there is enough on-piste terrain for the other adults. Housing seems limited, but less pricey than Northstar.
Does anyone know of any other Multi-resort multi-day ticket option in these price ranges?
Also what areas if any provide something like the Breckenridge village area. Somewhere were we can park once and all walk around in separate groups visiting shops and/or pubs and then meet up for dinner. I hear South Lake has the best nightlife but if that means just casinos, nightclubs, etc then that is not what we are looking for.
Thanks in advance for any help and reading this far :-) sorry it was so long.