Presidents Day weekend is typically recognized as one of the hottest times to make a trip up the mountain for three consecutive days of nonstop skiing and riding. But this year, what with the lower-than-average snowpack, things might be a little different. While snow conditions are not necessarily ideal, Tahoe's entertainment scene is certainly picking up the slack.
It doesn't matter if you're looking for live music, stand-up comedy, après fun or something else entirely — the basin's nightlife will come in clutch this holiday weekend. Check out the following activities when planning your Presidents Day fun.
The weekend fun kicks off with a performance from '80s R&B group Color Me Badd, who will headline MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa on Saturday, Feb. 17. Known for the hit "I Wanna Sex You Up," the trio celebrates 25 years in the business with its Stateline gig that comes in honor of Valentine's Day. Tickets range from $25-$45 and purchases are conducted through http://www.montbleuresort.com, where additional information is available.
Live music offerings continue with a show from Grateful Dead cover band Dark Star Orchestra, who takes the stage at Harrah's Lake Tahoe on Sunday, Feb. 18. The group celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, and has brought the iconic catalog of the Bay Area-based rock band to audiences ever since its conception. Tickets begin at $27 and are available online via Ticketmaster.
Fans of stand-up comedy are in for a treat: MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa hosts a Comedy Smackdown billed as Trump vs. Obama, which features impersonators of the two politicians going head-to-head, and Crystal Bay Casino welcomes Steven Michael Quezada (known for appearances on "Breaking Bad" and "Beerfest,"among others). MontBleu's event is set for Sunday, Feb. 18, but if you want to catch Quezada, you might want to stick around a few extra days — he headlines the North Shore venue on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Learn more about the gigs at http://www.montbleuresort.com and http://www.crystalbaycasino.com, respectively.
On the mountain
Heavenly Mountain Resort is increasing its après offerings this season. Tamarack Lodge began TAP, a free beer sampling event held daily, earlier this year and the California Main Lodge joins the fun with the grand opening of its all-new LAT38 ski bar on Saturday, Feb. 17. The party will feature half-priced drinks at the rooftop location, along with a DJ, photo booth and free food samples. Details are available online at http://www.skiheavenly.com.
Squaw Valley is also a popular place to be this holiday weekend. As a former host of the Olympic Winter Games, there are viewing parties galore at the resort — but that's not all. Friday, Feb. 16, marks the debut of Squaw Valley's newest activity: disco tubing, which is a take on standard snow tubing fun that includes LEDs, lasers and live DJs (and it's fun for the whole family!). A complete Olympics viewing schedule and more information on disco tubing are found at http://www.squawalpine.com.
Ski movie icon Warren Miller passed away at the end of January, and mountain resorts across the nation are coming together to celebrate his life on Saturday, Feb. 17. Skiers and riders are encouraged to take laps in honor of Miller, posting photos and videos of their time on the mountain with #ripwarrenmiller — and footage may be selected for use in a documentary about Miller that is currently in production.
Nothing striking your fancy? The Loft, found in Heavenly Village, hosts daily Magic Fusion shows that are fun for the whole family (along with an adults-only show on Friday night) and Extreme Action Sports Movie Night on Sunday, Feb. 18. The movies are free to attend and open to all, but admission is first-come, first-serve. Learn more online at http://www.thelofttahoe.com.
For those on the hunt for something a little more in the spirit of Tahoe, check out the return of Camp Richardson Historic Resort and Marina's Snowshoe Cocktail Races. Held at The Beacon Bar & Grill, competitors are tasked with running through an obstacle course holding a tray of cocktails. The fastest — and cleanest — participant takes home the title. Get more information at http://www.camprichardson.com.