Snow Longing: Book Early Deal at Northstar

Daydreaming of the schuss? Plot your Tahoe vacation now.

THE FLAKES CAN'T FALL FAST ENOUGH... for mountain mavens. This isn't to say that people who pine for pine trees and clear air and clear alpine lakes don't enjoy higher elevations in the summertime. They absolutely do, and they get out and hike and swim and picnic to show their allegiance. But if you're a frost fan, and you routinely open your closet door every few days, just to gaze upon your skis and poles, then you are truly keeping an eye on the calendar while awaiting the arrival of November. For it is in November, near the later part of the month, that the slopes in several California destinations start to open to the public, including those around Lake Tahoe. Northstar is looking at an open date of Friday, Nov. 20 -- the Saturday before Thanksgiving -- and to get snow lovers stoked, there's a "book early" deal afoot, should you absolutely and totally know you'll be there and you can barely wait one more minute for a fine dusting of the cold stuff.

BOOK BY OPENING DAY... and save! says the deal, which provides a nice 25% off your lodging at the Welk Resorts property. That means you'll need to jump on the savings by Nov. 19, which makes sense, for once Opening Day arrives at any set of slopes, the rooms have a rather predictable way of going, going, going fast. There are some blockout dates -- hello, Christmas week into New Year's -- but you're likely a proponent of the mid-week getaway, right? If only we all were, then we wouldn't wait on the weekends to deliver fun.

BEYOND THE SLOPES... there's The Village at Northstar to explore, with eateries like Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Petra, and Tacos Jalisco. Stuff for the kids to do, from gold panning to geocaching, is part of the Minors' Camp, and there is a spa on site, to help with shoulders that have spent an lively afternoon wielding the poles and plowing through drifts. If only the snow would fall sooner. Well, Opening Day isn't long away, and the gondolas'll soon be perking up the mountain at a steady clip, carrying skiers, some of whom have scored sweet lodging deals, to their next sweet schuss. 

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