Winter sports and Northern Nevada casinos go hand in hand for many.
This week’s storms mean earlier openings at many ski resorts, and most casinos are offering or have started specials tied into winter activities sooner than usual, hoping snow enthusiasts will ski by day and play by night.
Lake Tahoe area ski resorts reported inches of snow after the storm that rolled into Northern California beginning this week.
At Royal Gorge, the country’s largest cross country ski resort, 3 inches of snow were recorded by midweek, with more expected.
Generally, casino winter packages involve discounted lift tickets, transportation, rentals and credit or coupons for meals, entertainment and discounts on lodging.
Packages vary between casinos and larger clubs offer different packages, some involving more than one ski resort. Check the different casino and ski and snowboard resort Web sites.
Many casinos, like the Lakeside Inn at Stateline, allow guests to completely customize their ski package, Lakeside President Lon Rusk said.
Most Reno clubs offer free shuttle service from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
Many casinos also have winter entertainment lined up: stars like Judy Collins and Neil Sedaka at Harrah’s Tahoe; Carlos Mencia, Debbie Reynolds and Cheech & Chong at the Silver Legacy in Reno.
Holiday events, like “Nutcracker” and special holiday music concerts are scheduled at John Ascuaga’s Nugget.
There are more than a dozen world class ski resorts proximate to Reno and Lake Tahoe.
A light snowfall the first weekend of October and the heavier snow earlier this week bear out predictions for a strong winter season.
“We’re ready for an early and strong season,” said Carol Chaplin, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “A solid start to winter is key to building visitor confidence, and promising early conditions have a snowball effect — pun intended — on the area’s ski resorts, lodging and dining establishments.”
General information for the Lake Tahoe area is available from the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority at (800) 288-2463 or www.BlueLakeTahoe.com; for Reno, the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority is at (800) 367-7366 or www.visitrenotahoe.com.
Major lodging and casino options
Boomtown Hotel & Casino
Circus Circus Casino
Club Cal Neva
Eldorado Hotel Casino
Grand Sierra Resort & Casino
Harrah’s Reno Hotel & Casino
John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino Resort
Peppermill Resort Spa Casino
South Lake Tahoe
Silver Legacy Resort Casino
South Lake Tahoe
Harrah’s Lake Tahoe
Harveys Lake Tahoe
Horizon Casino Resort
Lakeside Inn and Casino
Mont Bleu Resort Casino & Spa