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Resort doubles as summer recreation hot spot

Northstar-At-Tahoe provides year-round activities
By: Jeffrey Weidel, Press Tribune Correspondent
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Are you looking for a high-octane vacation spot where activities abound and the day can be filled from start to finish? Or are you the type of person who seeks serenity on their vacation getaway, treasuring a leisurely day of sleeping late, reading an intriguing book on a secluded deck, heading nearby for a lavish dinner, and concluding the evening with a soothing spa by a nearby fire pit? If both these opposite ends of the vacation spectrum sound appealing, consider a visit to Northstar-at-Tahoe, where you can enjoy either one. Besides being a staycation that only requires a two-hour drive or less for Placer County residents, a visit to Northstar comes with an abundance of activities and lodging packages that can start as low as $75 a night for a room or climb to the opulent $1,000 per night range. Northstar, which is located off Highway 267 near downtown Truckee, has put the finishing touches on its $55 million European-inspired ski village, turning this winter ski resort in to a summer destination spot as well. But the summer months proceed at a much slower pace at this North Tahoe location, where venerable Lake Tahoe’s waters are not far away, a mere seven-mile drive is all it takes. Yet part of the charm at the Northstar village is simply parking the car and never using it again until departure day. It’s the perfect setting for an active family or can serve as a romantic retreat. The village is virtually an on-site mini-mall that includes 35 unique shops and restaurants, a conference center, and the center-piece skating rink, which is used as a roller rink in summer months. A scenic lift ride and hike is something a family can enjoy cheaply for $5 apiece. For golfers, Old Greenwood is a must play, resting amidst towering pines and surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas. A 15-minute drive from Northstar, the Jack Nicklaus-designed course is pricy at $185, but after 1 p.m. the cost dips to $100. The nearby Northstar course is more reasonable at $60 for a similar twilight rate. One never has to leave the village to enjoy a day of mountain biking on the many challenging Northstar trails. Other activities include a rope challenge course, bungee area, tennis courts, gondola ride, and opportunities to go boating, fly-fishing, kayaking, or cycling. Many of the lodging options include access for onsite locations that feature a heated pool, spa and fitness area, plus a game room and various children’s activities. “Northstar is a real family-friendly place,” said Aaron Burchfield of San Francisco, who was enjoying vacation time with his wife and two children. “We hike, hit the pool, and have found plenty of other things to do. I’ve come up here in the winter many times before to snowboard, but now I realize it’s also a great place in the summer.” The Burchfields were staying in a condominium within walking distance of the village, one of many lodging options at Northstar. The most affordable is $75 per person studio condo that can also come with free golf or biking packages. Luxury accommodations are also available, including a stay at the Hyatt Residence Club. Costs start at $169 for a studio and go much higher for a decadent 3-bedroom place on the fourth floor that includes vaulted ceilings. The amenities and service will spoil anyone staying at the Hyatt Residence Club. A typical two-bedroom has a deck with a fireplace that can be accessed from the master bedroom or the living room, which also has a fireplace. There is a full kitchen, flat-screen TV and laundry room. A continental breakfast is offered daily, and a 19-seat private movie theater with a big screen and free movie rental are available simply by asking. Parking and internet access is also free and if you forget your laptop, the Residence Club provides a loaner at no charge. The facility also includes a large outdoor lounge with a giant fire pit and two spas. Access to an outdoor pool and first-rate fitness center are included with the room. “The Residence Club is a fantastic facility that really spoils its guests,” said Craig Leeper of Las Vegas, who was attending his son’s wedding, where the reception was held at Northstar. “Everything and everyone is so accommodating here.” For more information, visit www.northstarattahoe.com or call 800 466-6784. At A Glance Northstar-At-Tahoe Location: Off Highway 267 near downtown Truckee Activities: golf, tennis, swimming, roller skating, hiking, mountain biking, rope challenge course, bungee area, gondola ride Lodging: variety of options starting at $75 Information: visit www.northstarattahoe.com or call 800 466-6784