There’s a mellow side of this destination that you don’t want to overlook.
Tahoe’s South Shore is well known for big casino hotels and the high-rolling action and partying that go along with that. But planners also can find venues and activities that strike a different, more low-key note.
Crystal-clear kayaks. The transparent craft of Clearly Tahoe are not only novel, they’re also extremely stable and solid, making them suitable for first-time kayakers. Guests can enjoy a daytime excursion or choose a nighttime Stargazing Experience, complete with LED lights reflecting off the water and their favorite playlist delivered through waterproof speakers. The company provides boxed water, sunscreen, snacks and microfiber lap blankets for chilly days.
Guided paddle outings for private groups leave from lakefront hotels and event spaces where groups are based or, if coming from elsewhere, a nearby state park with hotel shuttle service provided. The new five-hour Uncharted Excursion takes guests to remote beaches and coves, via clear kayaks or paddle boards, that are otherwise difficult to access from shore. Discounted rates are available for groups of 10 or more.
Boutique hotel alternatives. The Landing Resort and Spa, a luxury, 82-room lakefront hotel with a 3,600-square-foot event terrace, 1,225-square-foot ballroom and 475-square-foot boardroom, has been around a few years. Other boutique properties within walking distance of South Shore action have been popping up as well. Planners looking for a hipster venue for small groups—particularly tech-related—should check out the 42-room Coachman Hotel, a reinvented 1960s motel that attracts lots of millennials and has some pretty cool meeting spaces, too, including a 1,000-square-foot roof deck (with fire pits, of course). The Coachman is extremely family- and dog-friendly, in case your attendees can’t bear to leave their human and fur babies at home. Buyouts are available.
Walk to your hike. No, you don’t have to send your attendees off to the far side of the lake to stretch their legs and enjoy awe-inspiring views of Lake Tahoe. The Van Sickle Bi-State Trail starts right under the Heavenly Gondola and is within walking distance from Highway 50 casino hotels, climbing 6.3 miles to connect with the 160-mile Tahoe Ridge Trail. There’s no need to go all the way; a 30-minute trek is all it takes to reach a dramatic rock formation providing great panoramic views of the lake. Hikers come down to a photo opp on a stretch of road with a state line etched across it and California and Nevada emblazoned on respective sides of the mark.
Bottoms up on South Tahoe Beer Trail. In just a few years, craft beer has become such a thing in South Shore that there’s now a South Lake Tahoe Beer Trail with eight establishments on the map. A standout for planners who want to keep their people within walking distance of the big hotels is AleWorx. A high-energy Stateline taphouse with a wood-fired menu, self-serve craft beer on tap, live music and a late-night DJ and silent disco scene make it an alternative to nearby casino parties and nightclubs. Groups are gladly accommodated in reserved sections of the establishment.
Game on. With new team-building options, planners can keep their attendees fully engaged and adrenalized even off the slopes and hiking trails. Flatstick Pub opened across from Heavenly Village in June 2021, offering challenging mini-golf and Duffleboard—a tabletop golf game invented by Flatstick that uses real golf balls and a special handheld putter—in a 9,000-square-foot indoor and 4,000-square-foot outdoor “drinkertainment” establishment. Private and semiprivate rooms can accommodate from six to 450 guests with access to USB-compatible big screens for presentations, logos and branding. Another newcomer, Yosemite Axe Throwing, promises “real axes, real logs, real fun” at their South Lake Tahoe location, which opened last summer. A one-hour axe-throwing experience costs just $25 per person for groups of six or more, or you buy out all 10 throwing lanes of the venue. No experience necessary; coaching is included in each session. The only requirements are an open mind and closed-toe shoes.
A major new venue coming soon. Tahoe South Events Center, the 143,000-square-foot, multipurpose facility located adjacent to MontBleu Resort/Bally’s Lake Tahoe, has completed foundation work and vertical construction. Designed to complement the destination’s gaming and recreational offerings, Tahoe South Events Center will provide a venue for conventions, special events and entertainment, as well as professional and amateur sporting events. Completion is scheduled for January 2023.