Thursday, January 23, 2014

Las Vegas Bound With Our Snowboards.

Snowboarding in Las Vegas.

Initial reaction: Snowboarding in Vegas?
Secondary reaction: There's snow in Vegas?!

Yes and yes.

We first got wind about this mystical ski resort in Las Vegas on a New Years Eve trip back in 2007. Just like everyone, we've ever told to since then, our reactions were just like above. A ski resort in the desert where we go to gamble, party, drink and be merry was kind of.. unbelievable. But we did find it, rode and left, went about our merry way back to The Strip - where we were staying, during the days when all of us were still just transients in this brightly lit city. The resort was small and incredibly lacking in snow that year. And sadly, filled with obnoxious folks literally trashing the place (they got creative using trash bins to do tricks; imagine how things went when they tripped over them).

Needless to say, the first time we visited the Las Vegas Ski &  Snowboard Resort, was our last. Until this year, 2014.

Last weekend, we were originally headed to Brian Head Ski Resort in southwest Utah. Mapped it, was about a 3 hour drive from the Summerlin neighborhood in Vegas where we were staying. As always, coming from Ls Angeles after work and arriving at Joe's house Friday night, does not mean straight to bed. We all haven't seen each other during the Holidays (the longest time, since Joe & Maggie moved to Sin City, permanently).. so drinks, catching up, lots of laughter and late Christmas gifts needed to happen. Next thing we knew it was 2:00 a.m.!

Post Christmas Coffee brewing gift!
Honestly, I wasn't hopeful any of us would wake up on time to leave by 7:00 a.m. and be at Brian Head by 10:00 a.m. But to my surprise, Chris found me and Maggie having coffee already in the kitchen. Yet, we're still incomplete. In his pajamas, Joe came trudging down the stairs with his morning greetings. With Kari not far behind, though she's not coming to snow play with us.

Coffee over by the breakfast counter, we briefly toyed with a hike in Red Rock Canyon or pick somewhere close to ride. The Las Vegas Ski resort was only 40 minutes away. We all have skipped riding a season or 2 or 3, so picking a snowboard day was easier to pick than a hike. We soon quickly loaded up Smurf with our boards and boots and took off, with a promise to Kari that we'll be back for dinner.

The drive up did not look promising for a good snow to ride. Remembering the cacti in the foothills were dusted with snow on our 2007 trip, I was starting to think if we made the right decision choosing riding over hiking. The resort wasn't crowded, so parking was a breeze. We got our lift tickets, $70 All day; $60 half day. Pricey, but considering the proximity, kind of understandable.

Still a bit apprehensive, we took our first lift ride on Chair 1, with Maggie staying on the bunny hill, not wanting to get convinced to join us. We've all been out of commission for a season or 2 or 3, so the first ride downhill was sort of a discovery ride. Quickly finding out that it's just like riding a bike. You never forget and just pick up where you last left off. And to my happiness, my apprehension was for naught. The snow conditions were actually.. good! It wasn't the feathery fluffiness of a fresh powder but it sure as heck not ice, nor slush! Considering how dry it's been since winter arrived on our calendars, the conditions were a pleasant surprise, so can't say much on the lack of the entire resort's coverage; a few trails were closed (mostly the diamonds).


Although the resort is small, we never felt crowded nor stayed too long on the lift line. They only have 2 chairs, apart from the chair lift and magic carpet from the bunny hill. You have Chair 1 to take you to the West slopes and Chair 2 to the East slopes where you can also find the terrain park area.  (Tip: if you're completely not into doing tricks in the terrain park stay on the zero wait Chair 1).

There is a bar and a restaurant located on the second floor of the main lodge. The food was an ok American fare of burgers, chicken sandwiches, pizza, etc. with good portions. We didn't get to check out the bar if they have any craft beers on draft. Should be a perfectly good reason to come back, IMO.

All in all, Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort is a good place to come get your quick fix on the slopes especially once you're tired of the usual humdrum of the casinos. If you're staying in the Strip, it's only an hour's drive away. So if coming up during the winter season, best to bring along your skis and snowboards, for "just in case". Oh and if you ski bike and have one, bring that, too. They allow Ski Biking with all access on the slopes; they just don't have any for rent, so bring your own.

So in true Vegas fashion, we had to end our slope day with a trip to a buffet. Much to the local's (Joe's mostly) dismay, we were headed out to brave the chaos of the Strip and went for the new place (at least to me) Wicked Spoon in the Cosmopolitan Hotel with the lure of the grilled bone marrow that Maggie (most likely) strategically planted in my always hungry mind.

  • Directions: (from The Strip) Take 15N to 95N/Reno to 156S/Lee Canyon Road
  • More resort info: