At 2 p.m. each day, high on the East Ridge Run at Northstar California, skiers and snowboarders can sail over to a staging area for a free glass of Champagne. Northstar calls it a Champagne toast, like those at high-end resorts in France. It comes free with a standard lift ticket, which sells for an average of $106, bought online in advance, according to reservation services. Those tickets can go for a lot more at the window. This past weekend, the few rooms still left at the five-star Ritz-Carlton Tahoe were going for $1,700 Saturday night, and in advance for Super Bowl eve, they’re $5,000. For non-holiday weekdays, the prices often start at $850 a night, according to the resort and Expedia.com . At the Village at Northstar, lodging prices ranged last week from $750 to $1,700 per night. …..Paying for lodging — even if you go the cheap route and pay $100 to $200 a night — plus meals, lift tickets, rental gear and gas during the ski season at Tahoe can make it a $1,000 weekend for two with a Friday-night arrival and Sunday departure. ….. There are 14 ski areas in the greater Tahoe region. Lift tickets often sell for more than $100 at several of them, including Northstar California, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Sugar Bowl at North Tahoe, Heavenly Mountain Resort at South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood south of Tahoe, and Mount Rose on Tahoe’s Nevada side. Many ski areas don’t post their walk-up prices and implement dynamic pricing to drive advance sales online, Reece said. ….. “If you wait to purchase, the window rate tends to be $125, and can go north of that. ….At Tahoe, it can also be difficult to escape a restaurant for less than $100 for dinner with wine for two. The prices are often higher at high-end locales such as the Lone Eagle Grille at Incline, Manzanita at the Ritz or the Trokay in Truckee. The San Francisco Chronicle’s outdoors writer. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @StienstraTom
Photos by Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle A snowboarder at Northstar California near Truckee sets off through the first good snow in years.
Annette Gellert (left) and Suzan Mason toast each other while taking a break from the slopes at Northstar California at Lake Tahoe.
Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle At the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe at Northstar California, a room was going for $1,700 Saturday night. Skiers are cheery despite the high prices for everything.