BEACHFRONT LIVING on beautiful Lake Tahoe…

STUNNING VIEWS and adventure just outside your door…

Located in Kings Beach, CA, Tahoe Beachfront Residences are a fresh alternative to Tahoe’s lake front lifestyle without the cost and upkeep of a vacation home. Walk to shops, concerts on the beach, farmer’s market, July 4th festivities, dining and so much more.

Contact me for an appointment to see these fabulous residences!

The 2017 Chase International LUXURY Estates Booklet

Grays Crossing, Truckee California ~ Tahoe Mountain Club

This 750-acre property, within the Martis Valley, offering beautiful scenery and feeling of being in a remote location but only minutes from downtown Truckee. A neighborhood with wide meandering streets, mature trees and an expansive blue sky. Primary residence or second home living is welcomed here.

HOME_slideshow1 Photo by Tahoe Mountain Club

At Gray’s Crossing, it’s more than a community. It is commitment. Grays Crossing is committed to being an influence on preservation and appreciation of the land. Centuries ago, Native American legendary pioneer Joseph Gray, also the founder of Truckee, came to the area in 1863. Today, legendary people come to Truckee everyday! Creating memories for generations to come.

Photo by Tahoe Mountain Club

A true four season destination area. Grays crossing offers activities for all. A Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy championship golf course, a grand fitness facility with swimming pools, spa and steam room. A plethora of paved hiking and biking trails. Nearby, Prosser Reservoir offers fishing, boating (non-motor) and swimming.

With no property ownership requirements or monthly minimums, the Tahoe Mountain Club gives you access to all of the Club’s private amenities, programs and 500+ Member events. Additionally, Members receive preferred access and rates at both Old Greenwood and Gray’s Crossing Golf Courses.

Schaffers-main-dining Photo by Tahoe Mountain Club

Tahoe Mountain Club is family friendly! They offer an upgrade option that is designed for Members to provide unaccompanied access to Club facilities for their extended family (grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren).


This upgrade option is designed for Members to provide unaccompanied access to Club facilities for their extended family (grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren).

Get unlimited access to Old Greenwood and Gray’s Crossing with this Membership upgrade.


Get unlimited access to Old Greenwood and Gray’s Crossing with this Membership upgrade. The upgrade can be used for single, couple or family access.

Complete with pool and fitness center, this upgrade allows Members unlimited access to the facility located at Gray’s Crossing.


Complete with pool and fitness center, this upgrade allows Members unlimited access to the facility located at Gray’s Crossing.

A Tahoe Mountain Club membership will grant you access to four restaurants in the area. The Bearfoot Bar and Grill, Schaffer’s Camp, PJ’s Bar and Grill, Alpine Club and The Terrace.


You can own here too! For the Contemporary Aficionado. A calm, airy space with a mix of traditional details, reclaimed wood, plush furniture and statement lighting. Thoughtfully designed home, with an open concept kitchen-dining-living room, laundry room, a master suite and second master accompanied by access to a quaint veranda with hot tub on the main level and two additional bedrooms plus a family room upstairs. Outdoor patio with fire pit, wooded views and a peak of the green golf course. A refuge to entertain and relax. 11081 Henness Rd is offered for $1,550,000 and sold Fully Furnished!





Trinkie Watson Attends Harvard Law for Negotiating


Media Contact:  Katie Shaffer

East River Public Relations


[email protected]



For Immediate Release

Trinkie Watson Attends Harvard Law for Negotiating


TAHOE CITY, Calif. (June 11, 2015) – Realtor Trinkie Watson recently earned a certificate from the Program on Negotiation from the Harvard Law School after attending an in-depth, weeklong workshop.


The course was led by Bruce Patton, a Distinguished Fellow of the Harvard Negotiation Project. He is also the co-author of Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, as well as Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most.


“Real estate is all about negotiations,” Watson said. “This course really broke it down and gave us tools to navigate through a variety of complex situations, allowing me to further meet the needs of clients. It was an amazing opportunity.”


The Program on Negotiation was founded in 1983 and is a consortium program between Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Tufts University. Nearly 100 students and professionals representing 18 countries attended the workshop. Only five of those taking part were in real estate.


The certification is just one of Watson’s many accreditations and professional achievements. She is also a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, Certified International Property Specialist, Certified Residential Specialist, and Certified Brokerage Manager. A leading and esteemed agent throughout the Tahoe area, she has been involved in the sale of more than 70 lakefront properties.


Watson is also the president of the Lake Tahoe Music Festival, a member of the Orthopedic Advisory Council, member of Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation Board, and chair of the Cancer Advisory Council.


About Trinkie Watson:  Trinkie Watson is a longtime, high-producing broker with Chase International. With more than three decades of experience, she is a benchmark of luxury real estate. Watson represents clients and properties throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin, Truckee and Northern Nevada. She attributes her success to providing her clients with superior service, a result of her esteemed expertise and immense love and immersion of the Lake Tahoe lifestyle. For more information, go to, or call 530-582-0722.




631 California Ave Exteriors (JPEG Web Res) (1 of 2) copy


A sprawling mansion above the Truckee River in Reno, NV is on the market for $16.4 million after 23 years in disrepair, followed by more than a decade of renovations.

The Nixon Mansion, built in 1907 by a U.S. senator for Nevada who made his fortune in mining, was damaged by a Christmas tree fire in 1979 and sat empty and “degrading to eyesore status” until 2002, when the current owners bought it and began to envision a new life for the nearly 18,000-square-foot home.

“It would’ve been quicker and cheaper to tear it down and rebuild it,” says listing agent Sandi Solomonson of Chase International. “But they took the time to restore as much as possible, including the huge original crystal chandelier in the formal dining room.”

Aerial from river - Best

Situated on more than two acres with views of downtown Reno and the mountains, the 8-bedroom, 11.5-bath home exists on a grand scale.

Its 860-square-foot kitchen boasts multiple refrigerators and dishwashers, a walk-in pantry and a butler’s pantry — a large enough kitchen to serve 80 guests in the dining room with that crystal chandelier and a carved mahogany fireplace.

The 800-square-foot grand ballroom sits adjacent to a bar that opens onto a wide terrace with views across the river. There are also river views from a private office in the master suite, which features a Juliet balcony with garden views and two marble bathrooms, each with a mahogany walk-in closet.

The home includes seven additional bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, plus nine fireplaces, an 1,800-bottle wine cellar and tasting area, a library, a parlor, a game room with a wet bar, and a sunlit room with a fountain.

The property is zoned for professional as well as residential use, and could be used for offices or a corporate retreat.

Photos by

About the Author

Melissa Allison writes about real estate transactions and trends for Zillow Blog.

2015 1stQuarter STATS_TRK 2015 1stQuarter STATS_TD 2015 1stQuarter STATS_TC 2015 1stQuarter STATS_SLT 2015 1stQuarter STATS_IV 2015 1stQuarter STATS_ES 2015 1stQ_STATS LT_TOTALS 2015 1stQ_STATS SQV Resorts_TOTALS 2015 1st Quarter STATS RNO_TOTALS

Who doesn’t love Lake Tahoe in the summer? Growing up, my family spent the last two weeks of every August at Dollar Point outside of Tahoe City. I possess so many happy memories of waterskiing, horseback riding, tennis and lakeside barbecues, and I think everyone should spend some time at this beautiful west coast location.

For those of you planning a summer vacation in Tahoe this year, we’re lucky to have a list of some of the area’s must-attend summer events, expertly curated by Trinkie Watson. Considering Trinkie is a preferred Realtor for the Lake Tahoe Luxury Real Estate market, and the top agent for lakefront properties sold, she knows a thing or two about the best places to see and be seen.

Without further ado, here is Trinkie’s Tahoe list.

This tasty event is a benefit for the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Hospital Cancer Center to raise money for the non-insured programs for cancer patients and caregivers. Held at the Ritz Carlton, this themed event is always a sell out.

Now in its 19th year, the all day showcase of Chase International’s lakefront properties is a very special way to explore the Lake Tahoe area. Don’t forget to try out a Tesla—test drives will be available at one of the estates.

This fashion show and luncheon benefit was first held in 1969, and this year it will be held as a tribute to its late featured designer, Oscar de la Renta. A grand event held at a beautiful estate on the water—don’t miss it.

The 43rd annual show features some of the most beautifully restored wooden boats in the world. In addition to the main event, a host of festivities surround the yacht show, including an Opening Night Dinner and Dance, a barbecue and awards presentation and a Ladies’ Luncheon and Fashion Show.
Held for three consecutive weekends in Incline Village, the concerts feature world renowned musicians in a formal full orchestra playing on the Sierra Nevada College Campus.
A total of five classical music concerts held in different locations, this fun and casual event demands an outdoor picnic, maybe even a bottle of wine.
The Nevada Museum of Art opening night gala and dinner for the TAHOE exhibit, August 21
The TAHOE exhibit will only be at the Nevada Museum of Art through the end of the year before moving to the Oakland museum. You’ll receive a fabulous, art-filled coffee table book when you purchase a ticket to the dinner.

Thank you to Trinkie for keeping us in the loop, and have a happy summer at Lake Tahoe!

DuPont Registry Nixon Mansion Spread April 2015

DuPont Nixon April 2015

B9316382408Z_1_20150224210817_000_GEFA29QNK_1-0Reno Gazette Journal          Jessica Garcia, RGJ    

Eleven Chase International agents including Susan Lowe, Trinkie Watson, Kerry Donovan, Mike Dunn, Cindy Richter, Ruby von Schwerin, Rob and Dana Coons, Megan Lowe, Caren Christen and Eric Crosby were among some of the top real estate professionals in the world who gathered earlier this month for the invitation-only Luxury Portfolio Summit in Las Vegas.

Held at the Wynn Las Vegas, the exclusive Luxury Portfolio International event focused on “living luxury” and offered participants the opportunity to explore how lifestyle passions drive today’s affluent customer and impact their lives and real estate decisions.

Sessions offered in-depth information to help participants better understand and serve real estate clients in an increasingly global and mobile world. Specific market segments examined included Chinese consumers and millennial buyers. Some of the world’s most admired luxury brands were studied as examples for reaching today’s connected consumers through experimental and emotional marketing.

Keynote speakers included Marci Rossell, former chief economist for CNBC, who addressed the global economy, and social scientist Eric Klinenberg, who spoke about the rise of singletons and their effect on real estate. Rudy Giuliani offered insights on “Principle Leadership in the Face of Change.”

Read or Share this story:
Photo by AP

Luxury Home Selling Mastery Featuring Trinkie Watson

Luxury selling mastery front

Luxury Selling Mastery


Authors of Luxury Home Selling Mastery have sold over $4 billion homes in North America. Authors give the reader an INSIDER view to selling and buying luxury homes in the most beautiful places in the world. 

Click Here to purchase this book on Amazon.

Around Tahoe Truckee Channel 104

2014 1stQuarter Stats SQUAW TOTALS2014 4th Quarter Stats LakeTahoe TOTALS2014 4th Quarter Stats RNO_SPKS TOTALS2014 4th Quarter STATS.ES2014 4thQuarter STATS_TRK2014 4thQuarter STATS_IV2014 4thQuarter STATS_TC

LRE® Press Releases

Chase International Agents Attend First Ever Luxury Connect

Posted by Katie Shaffer

ZEPHYR COVE, NV – A handful of Chase International agents recently attended Luxury Connect, a private, one-day gathering last month where elite professionals discussed the future of real estate. This first-ever event, spearheaded by Inman News, was held at the former William Randolph Hearst estate, the Beverly House.

The exclusive group consisted of only 100 real estate professionals and agents. Chase International founder, president and CEO Shari Chase attended with agents Kerry Donovan, Donna Spear, Trinkie Watson, Marian Huish, Mary Kleingartner, and Georgia Chase.

“The luxury real estate industry is hungry for compelling information on innovative ideas and new technologies. That is what we do,” said Brad Inman, publisher of Inman News.

Keynote speaker Ariana Huffington was joined by an impressive lineup of speakers, including executives from Zillow and J.P. Morgan Securities. Topics included the luxury agent of the future and how technology will affect luxury buyers and sellers from around the world.

“It was a great opportunity to network with some of our premier luxury real estate professionals from around the country, as well as get a true pulse from our colleagues and vendors as to what they are experiencing in the luxury arena,” said Kerry Donovan of Chase International’s Incline Village office. “The agenda was fast paced and the professionals on the panels were really phenomenal.”

Huish noted the vital relationships that were created and fostered at this event. “There was a definite emphasis on the importance of building relationships – not only in your local market but on a global level. By utilizing the right tools and networking, the opportunities are boundless. I’m all about connecting people and helping to make the world a smaller place- and as a leader in the luxury real estate market, Chase International supports that goal.”

About Chase International

Headquartered in Lake Tahoe, Nevada since 1986, with nine offices in the region (Zephyr Cove, Glenbrook, Incline Village, Tahoe City, Squaw Valley, Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley and Reno) and one in London, England, Chase International and its exclusive affiliations handle a large share of the country’s property. With 260 professional Realtors® boasting an array of industry certifications and the highest volume per sales agent in the area, Chase International successfully represents homes at all price levels. For more information about Chase International, visit

Contact: Trinkie Watson, Chase International

Trinkie Watson attends invitation-only event for top luxury Realtors®

“Leaders in Luxury” event attracts
real estate professionals
from across North America

DALLAS, Texas. November 2014 –  Trinkie Watson of  Chase International joined 120 top real estate professionals serving the upscale residential market who converged the last week of October at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Denver (CO) for  The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s  10th annual, invitation-only  Leaders in Luxury (LIL) conference.

According to Trinkie, the exclusive event is a once-a-year, invitation-only educational and networking opportunity for North American real estate professionals who handle million and multi-million dollar homes and estates.  “This prestigious conference provides cutting-edge information on what’s happening in the luxury market segment, offers insights on best practices in the business, and creates valuable networking opportunities,” said Trinkie Watson. “I come home with information and ideas to help me deliver superior service to my clientele.”

“Leaders in Luxury attendance is limited to proven professionals in the luxury home niche,” said Laurie Moore-Moore, Founder of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, the host company. “This gives LIL attendees the opportunity to build an exclusive network of contacts focused on the upscale residential industry, while sharing ideas with the best in the business. Since competency is the key to working successfully with the luxury buyer and seller,” added Moore-Moore, “LIL is designed to provide attendees with important knowledge and insights, giving them a competitive edge in meeting the needs of the very affluent.”

Leaders in Luxury’s keynote speakers included London-based George Betz, President of The International Real Estate Federation, United Kingdom and a member of Fine & Country, a real estate organization with 275 brokerage locations outside North America.  Other keynoters included noted film producer Curt Hahn, founder of Nashville-based FilmHouse and Jennifer Yosowitz, COO of Audio One, a Florida-based international home automation company.  Numerous top luxury agents from the U.S. and Canada participated in presentations and panel discussions.

The Luxury Lake Tahoe Market has had a great year for sales. We can only look forward to what’s next!

The Leaders in Luxury conference is an annual event.  For information, visit  or contact The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing at 214-485-3000. [email protected]

About The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM)
ILHM is an international training and membership organization for real estate professionals who work in the luxury home market. The Institute awards the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist designation, which is the official designation for many national and international real estate brands.  Find information on live and online training at 214-485-3000.


On September 9th two Gray’s Crossing lots will be auctioned at a Sheriffs Sale.

grays crossing

(picture: Gray’s Crossing
The minimum bid is less than $15,000 for each parcel and represents delinquent Mello Roos assessments, penalties and fees. Truckee Donner PUD is the administrator for collecting assessments and making the Mello Roos bond payments on behalf of the property owners in Gray’s Crossing.

Interested parties can get the calculation of Mello Roos assessments and fees subsequent to the judgment (minimum bid.)  A title report should be obtained to identify any delinquent amounts due to other agencies such as Nevada County, the HOA, etc.

Sneek Peak…….Carnelian Bay, Lake Tahoe……

2014-08-26 12.29.33

2nd Quarter Real Estate Stats for the Lake Tahoe Basin

2014 2ndQuarter Stats LakeTahoe TOTALS

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2014 2ndQuarter Stats TRK

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2014 2ndQuarter_BANDING GRAPHS

2014 2ndQuarter Stats SQUAW NORTH TOTALS

2014 2ndQuarter Stats TC

2014 2ndQuarter Stats Incline Village 2014 2ndQuarter Stats East Shore

InviteEstates Tour Map

Tahoe City Wine Walk

June 21, 2014 • noon-4pm • Rain or Shine

200345957-005 Wine

Enjoy Wines with a View and All the Charms of Downtown Tahoe City!


Sip, shop and explore Tahoe City along its scenic, lakeside sidewalks while tasting wines and sampling delicious morsels from acclaimed Tahoe restaurants and caterers. Learn more about the event.


Buy Tickets Early and Save


Save $10 When You Buy Your Tickets Early


$40 – Adult ticket, early-bird discount


Purchase online:


Purchase at a local ticket outlet (starting 5/15):



Tickets On the Day of the Event – Cash Only

$50 – Adult ticket, purchased day of the event
$25 – Designated driver ticket (food only), purchased day of the event
$10 – Kids, age 7+, purchased day of the event
FREE – Kids under 7

Premiere Homes Magazine Lake Tahoe California

Premiere Homes May:June

An absolute expert in Lake Tahoe Real Estate!

An absolute expert in Lake Tahoe Real Estate! Trinkie Watson is! Absolutely!  Selling Lake Tahoe Real Estate for over 25 years-I know the Lake Tahoe region! I have seen it all, been through the cycles of bubble and burst, the crashing of the economy and the rebirth. We all want to be the expert in our field or career of choice but how do we do it? By staying involved, informed, connected and engaged.

President of the Lake Tahoe Music Festival and currently on the Board of the Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation; I stay involved. By attending area meetings such as the Homewood Master Plan, TRPA governing board and advisory planning, Squaw Valley Incorporation Plan, etc. I stay informed. A monthly e-newsletter, print ad campaigns, social media, blogging and local/community events keep me connected to my current clientele as well as any prospects. Responding, follow up and good communication… I have 2 assistants that aide in the ever challenging task of keeping in contact, being available and answering the phone-this keeps me engaged.

Previewing new inventory and keeping up with the old, participating in Broker Tour and Mixer events, Realtor conferences, office gatherings and continuing education all keep me involved, informed, connected and engaged in our local market.

Market statistics are easy to compile with all the online avenues for searching real estate…so we take a different approach. We create the statistics! Marketing and selling Lake Tahoe area Real Estate-An expert in the field! Stay informed, involved, connected and engaged. #laketahoeluxuryrealestate #trinkiewatson #laketahoerealestate #luxuryrealestate

Biggest little high five gala 2014!

Biggest little high five gala 2014!

The High Fives Foundation hosted the Biggest Little High Five Gala on Wednesday, April 23 at the Nevada Museum of Art. Thank you to the 180 guests that joined in celebration of the Foundation’s mission.

Great event last Wed. Grant Corrigan’s talk total inspiration. Can’t wait to read his book. Whole evening great. Mark Estee’s dinner Fab too — with Roy Tuscany

Roy Tuscany

Ownermatch #21

Ownermatch #5

Ownermatch Trinkie Watson

$11.9 Million North Shore Lake Tahoe Billionaire’s Row


If you’re looking for a vacation home, or at least a home that feels like a vacation, it’s worth looking in to this Lake Tahoe lakefront estate.

Located on the north shore of Tahoe’s “Billionaire’s Row,” the house includes some serious amenities like your own private pier and beach.

Listed by Chase International for $US11.9 million, it was originally built in 1949 large windows in almost every room to soak in the view.

And aside from the three bedrooms, the home includes a library, office, family room, and separate guesthouse.

The $US11.9-million home sits on a secluded one-acre lot.


Fueled by limited inventory, Lake Tahoe-region home listing prices swelled in the first quarter, a report this week shows.

For the January-March period, the median listing price rose 17 percent from the last quarter of 2013 to $635,000 for the region encompassing Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Donner Lake, Northstar, Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows, according to the report by a local brokerage.

Compared with January-March 2013, the median listing price of a single-family home increased 35 percent, the report shows.

At the same time, the number of properties sold fell 44 percent quarter over quarter and by 25 percent year over year, according to the report which cited fewer available homes for sale as well as the past winter’s meager snowfall impacting visitation to the area.

The rising asking prices were particularly notable in the lakefront submarket, which in the report covers California’s North and West Shores and Nevada’s Incline Village and Crystal Bay.

“Keep an eye on the lakefront market, where limited inventory is driving the median home price up drastically with a 97 percent increase quarter over quarter,” president of the brokerage said in a statement accompanying the report.

“As ski communities bounce back from a weather-affected quarter, we will expect market growth in summer months,” he said.


Single-family home median listing price by submarket for the first quarter 2014 ( compared with fourth-quarter 2013):

Truckee region: $575,000, up 12 percent

Northstar (excluding condominiums): $890,000, up 9 percent

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows: $1.25 million, up 9 percent

Incline Village/Crystal Bay: $1.09 million, up 27 percent

Tahoe lakefront: $6.47 million, up 97 percent

Trinkie Watson Talks Summertime in Lake Tahoe


Tell us about any new developments or business establishments in your market that you think might help attract potential buyers.

The Truckee area has a great development by Tom Grossman called Winter Creek, featuring147 unique and beautifully appointed homes. These are brand-new homes with multiple custom floor plans to choose from, for the sophisticated buyer who wants a good value and central location.

Schaffer’s Mill features 218 single-family homes and 188 Mountain Lodges. Homesites range from .25 to .75 acre, and Mountain Lodges range from 1,972 to 2,684 square feet (for three and four bedrooms). Amenities at Schaffer’s Mill currently include an 18-hole championship golf course, community walking trails, cross country ski trails, snow shoeing, stocked fishing ponds and Tahoe National Forest Access for hiking, biking, horseback riding and/or snowmobiling. Schaffer’s Mill was the site of 2013 HGTV Dream Home Giveaway. Schaffer’s also has a new clubhouse with a restaurant, gym and pool.

On the horizon is a project from Bay Area development company Holiday Development. It’s a bold vision to create a complete community at the gateway to the Tahoe region by purchasing the 35-acre railyard site, and doubling down on the town’s state-funded Sustainable Communities planning grant. More information here.

Name the top two online or social media outlets you use most frequently when a new property becomes active. How do you use these sites to your advantage when advertising your listing? 

One is the Tahoe Sierra MLS, which feeds to several online property sites (too many to name). We also advertise new listings through direct email campaigns. The Tahoe Sierra MLS brings the properties to the public’s attention, and the email campaigns alert our network of referral agents and brokers. We use direct mailing as well, which is a great outlet for surrounding homeowners.

With springtime now approaching, are there certain properties you expect to get more attention than others?

How can sellers make their properties more marketable in the spring? Here in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee area we are gearing up for the summer! These are our best months for curb appeal, as the snow melts and the flowers bloom. On the lake, the towns become alive again with tourists flocking to this natural wonder.

The Nixon Mansion, Reno Nevada Luxury Real Estate

UH_FP_NixonEstate 0414 PROOF 3

The Scout Guide: San Francisco Bay Area April Loves





1. Reinvent your home by creating an enchanting outdoor space with the help of STRATA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS.


2. Dazzle in April’s birthstone with this Indian Diamond Cigar Band available at ROCKS WITH SOUL.



3. Take some time out by hiring the right professional to help you manage your business. INNOVATIONS is a leading West Coast recruiting firm that has served the California market for over 25 years, providing staffing services to companies in the financial services, technology, consumer and other professional services industries.



4. Splurge on Lake Tahoe Real Estate…  KATRINE ‘TRINKIE’ WATSON is a preferred Realtor for the Luxury Lake Tahoe Real Estate market, with over 25 years of experience.



5. SPRUCE up your lazy Sundays with beignets, preserves, and Crème Anglaise.



6. Hop down the bunny trail like Peter Cottontail with CHAIRISH’s Vintage Brass Rabbit figurine.



7. Revamp your style this Spring via genius JENNIFER MARGOLIN who now offers her distinctive Style In A Box™ services online.  Through modern technology and a carefully crafted online experience, she is pleased to introduce an innovative approach to personal styling.



Tell them SCOUT sent you!




Court Upholds Lake Tahoe Regional Plan

Court Upholds Lake Tahoe Regional Plan



Lake Tahoe, CA/NV— A federal court today ruled in favor of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), affirming an update to the Lake Tahoe Regional Plan that took years to craft, according to the Agency.


The lawsuit was filed by the Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore in February 2013 following nearly a decade of public input to update the plan originally adopted in 1987.


lake_rocks“This encouraging decision could not have come at a more critical time for Lake Tahoe,” TRPA Executive Director Joanne Marchetta said. “The pace of environmental restoration will accelerate under the new plan with more opportunities for healthy, sustainable communities.”


The decision by U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez was based on the facts in the record used by the TRPA Governing Board to make its decision on the plan in December 2012. The court upheld the Agency’s discretion to make policy decisions based on sound science and a complete record.


Following the Regional Plan’s adoption, state and local leaders hailed the milestone as the next environmental leap forward for Tahoe. The Plan also won three separate awards for environmental innovation from professional planning and architecture organizations in 2013.


Innovative aspects of the plan include:


  • Using cutting-edge transfer of development rights policies to shrink the development footprint around Lake Tahoe thus reducing automobile reliance and increasing the feasibility of walking, biking and transit use.
  • Providing incentives for the protection or restoration of additional environmentally sensitive lands and continuing landmark growth management policies.
  • Including greenhouse gas reduction and other air quality programs designed to eliminate 10,000 vehicle miles traveled in the Region annually.


The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, call Jeff Cowen at (775) 589-5278 or email him at [email protected].


2014 1stQuarter Stats LakeTahoe TOTALS

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For Immediate Release

Tahoe Real Estate Market Continuing to Show Appreciation Tahoe Market Home Sale Prices are Up

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. (April 14, 2014) –The Lake Tahoe real estate market experienced notable increases in both average and median home prices during the first quarter of 2014, which is good news for sellers.  For Tahoe as a whole, which combines the East Shore, South Shore, Tahoe City and Incline Village/Crystal Bay markets, the volume of sales was down nine percent.  Yet the median home price in Tahoe increased 12 percent and the average price climbed 11 percent to $876,611.  The entire region has had record lows in inventory contributing to the decrease in units sold and volume sold.  The one sector at Tahoe where the volume of sales increased, was at the ski resort communities of Northstar, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, by 39 percent.

The most impressive numbers to come out of the region recently were in Tahoe City where sales volume jumped 48 percent over last year at this time, with $53,884,250 in volume sales recorded in 2014’s first quarter.  Tahoe City’s average price increased a whopping 113 percent to $1,314,250, and the median price climbed 51%, from $417,000 last year to $630,000 during this year’s first quarter.

Incline Village showed an increase in average price of 23 percent, to $1,703,476.  The number of units sold in South Shore over $1 million jumped by 100 percent.  And the average price in South Shore increased by 20 percent, to $436,884. The East Shore market was down, due to several large sales that transpired in 2013 and a continued lack of inventory.

These figures are part of a quarterly report released by Lake Tahoe-based real estate company Chase International.

“There continues to be an uptick of interest and sales in the market’s upper end offerings,” said Sue Lowe, corporate vice president for Chase International. “And in the under $1 million market, prices are continuing to climb.”

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors notes that NAR’s forecast for home sales is to be lower by five percent in the first half of this year versus the same period a year ago.  However, Yun predicts that sales are projected to be two to three percent higher in the second half of the year, and home prices, because of a nationwide inventory shortage, will keep marching higher.

The Truckee market posted some impressive gains with a sharp jump in median price of homes sold—up 29 percent to $635,000 and an average home price increase of 24 percent, to $858,304.  However, Truckee sales volume over this time last year was down six percent.

Headquartered in Lake Tahoe, Nevada since 1986, with ten offices in the region (Zephyr Cove, Glenbrook, Incline Village, Tahoe City, Squaw Valley, Graeagle, Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley and Reno) and one in London, England, Chase International and its exclusive affiliations handle a large share of the country’s property. With 260 professional Realtors® boasting an array of industry certifications and the highest volume per sales agent in the area, Chase International successfully represents homes at all price levels.  For more information about Chase International, visit

Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund May 8, 2014 Squaw Valley


“For the Love of Food!  Humble Solutions for a Changing World”

Join us for an evening of intelligent food and
delicious conversation!

May 8, 2014.

5:00 pm  Welcome Reception
6:00 pm  Dinner Begins

Keynote Speaker: Mary Risley

Special Guests:  Susie Sutphin, Tahoe Food Hub
Billy McCullough, Chef
local farmers

Please RSVP by April 28th


 Keynote Speaker – Mary Risley

            Mary Risley started the highly regarded Tante Marie’s Cooking School is SF over 30 years ago, and was honored as the “Cooking Teacher of the Year” by Bon Appetit magazine in 1997.  She founded Food Runners, a SF based grass roots organization that picks up excess food from businesses and delivers it to agencies feeding the hungry.  She was awarded the “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation in 1998.  


Farm to Table Dinner

Menu created by Billy McCullough and Jason Friendy
Food sourced by Tahoe Food Hub from local farmers.

The Queen of Heart’s Women’s Fund strengthens and inspires women to engage in significant philanthropy, resulting in an improved quality of life in the North Tahoe Region.

As One, We Are Strong.
Together, We Are Powerful.

For More Information Visit

Lake Tahoe Region Ski Resorts Closing Dates 2014

Tahoe Ski Resorts Closing Dates 2014


Alpine Meadows: April 20
Boreal Mountain Resort: April 20
Diamond Peak Ski Resort: April 13
Heavenly Lake Tahoe: April 20
Kirkwood Ski Resort: April 27
Northstar California™ Resort: April 20
Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort: April 20
Sugar Bowl: April 20
Squaw Valley: April 27


Lake Tahoe Music Festival Summer 2014 July 22nd – 26th


The photo features Ellen Magnani, co-president, Trinkie Watson from the Lake Tahoe Music Festival and Georgine Casella, Program chair.
The Tahoe League for Charity met for the monthly luncheon/speaker meeting on Monday, March 10th.  The featured speaker was Trinkie Watson reporting on behalf of The Lake Tahoe Music Festival.  Trinkie stated that the festival will be in full swing for the summer of 2014 and performed by the Orchestra Academy under the direction of Maestro Timm Rolek.
Tuesday, July 22 – Tahoe Tree
Wednesday, July 23 – Sugar Pine Point State Park
Thursday, July 25 – Schaffer’s Mill
Saturday, July 26 – Skylandia
All tickets will be $20 each with the exception of Schaffer’s Mill that will be $50 including dinner.  As of the first week in April, you may purchase tickets at  Mail-in donations send to:
Lake Tahoe Music Festival
PO Box 7
Truckee, CA 96160
The festival is a Tahoe cultural treasure blending nature and music for lasting memories.  This year we will experience music in the classic tradition from “Bach to Blues and Beyond.”  Donations help finance the festival and support the youth music program.
The Tahoe League for Charity April meeting will be held on April 14th at Jakes on the Lake in Tahoe City. Our April speaker will feature “ The Truckee River Weed Warriors” a volunteer program led by the Truckee River Watershed Council.  Excursions such as “weed walks” educate the public on how to find, report and dispose of invasive weeds that are not indigenous to Lake Tahoe.  These weeds damage water quality, out-compete native plants, degrade plant and animal habitat and increase the risk of wild-land fire.
To make reservations for this month’s meeting, email Ellen Magnani at [email protected].  Potential members and guests are welcome.  The luncheon meeting is from 11:30 to 1:30 at the cost of $17.00. Visit


Lake Tahoe 2013 Single Family Lakefront Sales

2013 Year End Stats Top Companies_Lakefronts

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You’re Cordially Invited to a Broker Open during tour at

Fleur du Lac Estates

Unit #5
Unit #21 

Wednesday, March 19th
9:00 – 12:00

Unit #21

An opportunity that rarely comes along! Fleur Du Lac, a prestigious gated community located on 15 beautiful acres alongside crystal blue Lake Tahoe, enjoys superb amenities; yacht club, marina w/slips, gorgeous clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, fitness center and onsite manager and security. Only 22 homes have the distinctive privilege to enjoy all Fleur Du Lac has to offer. This unique townhome is an elegant blend of reclaimed barnwood, stonework & custom touches. Truly the finest of living on water’s edge
Fleur du Lac Estates
Fleur du Lac Estates #21
Offered at $2,995,000


Unit #5

Situated on grass over looking Lake Tahoe, steps from great amenities. Large living/dining room w/wet bar, impressive fireplace, floor to ceiling windows, main floor den & full bath, and cooks kitchen with breakfast nook. High beamed ceilings in three en-suites (lakeview master), large loft w/fireplace. Park your boat in your private slip; enjoy updated clubhouse, venue of Godfather II. Gated, onsite caretaker, pool, hot tub, tennis, bocce, gym, concierge services. Beautiful wood finishes, stone flooring.
Fleur Du Lac #5, 4000 W Lake Blvd, Homewood, CA 96141
Fleur Du Lac #5
Offered at $3,500,000
Come to preview this fabulous property during broker tour! Leave your business card and be entered to win a lovely bottle of wine!

See you there,


Trinkie Watson_email

     Trinkie’s bio

Trinkie Watson, CIPS CLHMS

Regional Lake Tahoe Broker

530 582 0722  800 783 0722

CA 00326518  NV  001022  

[email protected]



Tahoe Sierra Stories





Indulge in a Lake Tahoe Property!

Gentry Wealth Magazine

Luxury Home Buying on the Rise in Asia and Washington DC

Luxury Home Buying on the Rise

[ A+ ] /[ A- ]


Despite the recession recovery, luxury home buying is enjoying an increase in attention. Aside from international Asians who have been snapping up real estate across world (Asian Fortune reported on this April 2013), many Asian Americans also have acquired a taste for luxury goods. At the 2014 Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) summit, AREAA President and CEO Philip White said, ““The Asian American market represents a significant growth opportunity in our industry. According to the AREAA, the market has the highest growth rate of any multicultural group in the United States. The Asian American consumer base is growing, affluent, technologically savvy and has increasing buying-power: $718 billion currently, and expected to reach $1 trillion in just five years.”

As one of the more affluent pockets of the United States, the DC area is following the trend.

“The housing market here in the Washington DC Metro Region has improved relative to last year.  For the 2013 calendar year, the total number of sales in the region increased 9.3 percent from those in 2012 and the median sale price increased by 9.6 percent,” said Dana Landry a Founding Partner of Washington Fine Properties.

1In addition, says Landry, there is a growing demand for luxury condos ($1M and above) with building services such as doormen, athletic facilities, and retail stores.  “The ease of condo lifestyle living is appealing to all age groups;  Time is one thing you can’t get more of, so many of our clients are opting to spend their money to live in some of the wonderful condos within the city and enjoy their time on other things rather than managing a home,” Landry said.
There seems to be a complicated relationship between Asians and the condo market. One the one hand – international Asians like Psy are fueling the condo market by buying a Westwood luxury condo ahead of its release in Los Angeles and a company named Delancey Bridge Tower, Inc. invested in an Chinese American condo development in Flushing, NY. At the same time, the Asian American Legal Defense Fund released a report titled “Chinatown: Then and Now” which found that luxury condominium developments have dramatically changed the skyline of Chinatowns across the country, gentrifying the areas, and pushing Chinese Americans out.

Asian Fortune is an English language newspaper for Asian American professionals in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Visit to stay up to date with our news and what’s going on in the Asian American community.

Schaffer’s Mill donates to Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation

By: Tahoe Tribune, Sierra Sun, Tahoe Bonanza News

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Schaffer’s Mill, home of the HGTV Dream Home 2014, donated $51,047 to the Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation from proceeds raised through HGTV Dream Home tour ticket sales.

“We’re excited and proud to donate more than $51,000 to the Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation,” said John Marlin, managing partner for Schaffer’s Mill. “We had more than 5,000 HGTV fans tour the Dream Home and can’t thank the Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation enough for their volunteer efforts in helping us manage Dream Home tours.”

The Schaffer’s Mill community east of Truckee was chosen by HGTV as the HGTV Dream Home 2014 location last spring. HGTV decorated the 3,200-plus square foot modern mountain retreat.

The HGTV Dream Home 2014 was revealed on HGTV on Wednesday, Jan. 1, with fans entering to win at (entry has closed).

The winner will be announced during the HGTV Dream Home Giveaway 2014 special on April 15, 2014, at 6 p.m., EST.

The HGTV Dream Home was designed by Truckee-based Ward-Young Architects and was built by Tanamera Builders. Blending traditional and contemporary forms, the home is designed with two wings: a living wing and a bedroom wing with large expanses of glass and sliding door systems to create transparent and direct connection between indoors and outdoors.

Past locations for the HGTV Dream Home include Kiawah Island, South Carolina in 2013; Park City, Utah in 2012, Stowe, Vt. in 2011; and Sandia Park, New Mexico in 2010.

The Schaffer’s Mill community features home sites from the $200’s, mountain lodges from the $900’s and estate homes and luxury cabins from $1.2 million. Open since 2008 and named after the “Father of Truckee,” George Schaffer, Schaffer’s Mill pays homage to Schaffer, his ideals and vision.

Schaffer’s Mill is a private golf and lake club. Memberships are available to those living inside or outside of the community.

New Martis Partners acquired the former Timilick property in January 2011 and immediately set about to rebrand and reposition the community. New Martis Partners is a Dallas-based real estate development firm specializing in the creation of family-oriented communities. The firm’s multi-disciplined leaders have more than 75 years of experience behind their vision to create communities with lasting value.

For more information on Schaffer’s Mill visit

Are All Lake Tahoe Beaches Private?

These are some of the signs at Lake Tahoe restricting public access.

The claim

No one can own Lake Tahoe beaches and shoreline so “private beach” and “no trespassing” signs are untrue.

The background

Jerry Pluto of South Lake Tahoe emailed the Reno Gazette-Journal — and law enforcement agencies and other media outlets — with a subject line: “Who owns the Beaches and Shoreline of Lake Tahoe?”

He wrote about being “harassed” by security officers, homeowners and property managers around Lake Tahoe and complained about signs saying “Private Beach,” “No Trespassing” and “Violators Will Be Prosecuted.”

His main argument is:

“Lake Tahoe is a United States Navigable Waterway and as such no one can own any of the beaches of Lake Tahoe up to 2 feet past the ‘HIGH TIDE LINE’ as per the Federal Navigation Act of 1892. There is in fact a Lake Tahoe Coast Guard station here based out of Tahoe City, Calif. So, simply put, the beaches and shoreline of Lake Tahoe are no different from the beaches all along the Pacific coastline from Southern California to Washington State, and the general public has a right to full access of it. In layman’s terms, what this means is that all along the entire 72-mile beach-front shoreline rim of Lake Tahoe, no one owns ANY of the beaches or shoreline. Period.”

Fact Checker got Jeff Cowen of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to explain some of the terms and geography that will come into play when evaluating Pluto’s claim.

Tahoe is a mountain lake that has a lone outlet at Tahoe City. This feeds into the Truckee River. There’s a 17-foot dam at the outlet.

When the term “low water” is used, as in low-water line, this is when the water is at the lake’s natural rim, as well as at the bottom of the dam.

“High water” is when the water is at the top of the dam. If there’s ever more water in the lake, then it just flows over the top without any controls.

“In drought years like in the 1990s and very likely what will happen this year, water will drop below the natural rim and will be below the low-water line,” Cowen said.

In the places where private property owners have land around Lake Tahoe, they own the land down to the low-water line. Beneath the low-water line, the states — Nevada and California — own the land, meaning this area is public.

Pluto notes that because the water level is currently low, some shallow beaches now have exposed public areas that stretch out toward the lake 60 feet or more, even as signs warn “trespassers” away.

One more important point: California and Nevada treat the area between the high-water mark and the low-water mark differently.

On the California side, a 1986 California state court decision — Fogerty v. State of California — created a public trust or easement between the low-water mark and the average high-water mark, which it set at 6,228.75 feet.

Sheri Pemberton, chief of external affairs for the California State Lands Commission, said: “A person can own the property where that public easement exists but the public has a right to access that land where the easement is. My understanding is it includes a broad spectrum of uses.”

These might include simply crossing it to get to a property on the other side but also swimming, having a picnic or watching fireworks, she said.

Although people’s property generally extends to the low-water mark on both states’ sides, Nevada has no such public easement.

Cowen said, “Private property is fully intact in Nevada, and (private property owners) have the ability to stop people from coming across the property or coming from the water and beaching and getting out of their kayak.”

The land above the high-water mark is private property with no public access in California and Nevada, he added.

But then there is Pluto’s claim about Lake Tahoe being designated a U.S. Navigable Waterway. It is.

TRPA has a document on its website that addresses this very fact: “(B)ased on the Federal Navigation Act of 1892, the entire lake, including the nearshore and foreshore, are navigable waters, where the public has the right to navigate.”

The act seems clear: The public has the right to navigate navigable waters. It’s talking about using a watercraft to navigate, not drinking beer and enjoying the lapping waves while sitting on the beach.

Cowen concurred with this interpretation — the lake area that’s open to the public is anywhere accessible while in a watercraft, and the act does not deal with people on foot or in a land vehicle.

He said the signs help people know there are boundaries.

“If you’re on a sandy beach with no demarcation, you don’t know when you’re on a public beach,” Cowen said. “It makes sense to put up a sign so people know that they can’t go up on sandy dunes and use people’s fire pits.”

The verdict

Because Lake Tahoe is a U.S. Navigable Waterway, the public is allowed to navigate in a watercraft all the way around the lake, anywhere the water is navigable.

If you’re on foot, any land below the low-water mark is state-owned and you are allowed access. Between the high and low-water marks where the land is privately owned, the public can legally access it on the California side but not the Nevada side — and above the high-water line, the public is not allowed.

Signs limiting access can appear misleading if you don’t know which area they refer to. But it is incorrect to say no one can own part of a Tahoe beach.

Truth Meter: 2

Written by
Mark Robison


Where Prices are Headed over the Next 5 Years?

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 04:00 AM PDT by KCM Blog

Home-Price-Expectation-275Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey

The latest survey was released last week. Here are the results:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4.5% in 2014.
  • The average annual appreciation will be 3.94% over the next 5 years
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.7% by 2018.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of almost 11% by 2018.

Individual opinions make headlines. We believe the survey is a fairer depiction of future values.


Tim and Hannah’s Affordable DIY Self-Sustainable Micro Cabin
House Tour


Name: Tim Eddy and Hannah Fuller

Tahoe, California

Size: 196 square feet

Years lived in: 1.5 years; Owned

Hannah grew up in a home her parents built (her father is a boat builder), so it was only natural for her to follow in their footsteps. Tim, on the other hand, has never built anything but fires. With that in mind, Tim and Hannah started out with 20 acres of land and no blueprints, and built one of the most impressive houses I’ve ever seen in my life — not to mention it’s fully off-the-grid.

Tucked away amidst a dense forest and surrounded by wildlife, Tim and Hannah’s tiny cabin boasts a storybook view of treetops and purple-bluish mountains. You’d never guess it’s only 15 minutes to town. The cabin is connected to a private road by a 100 yard trail, which their friends helped clear. It was only after a few steps down the trail that I spotted the vibrant colors of the cabin: warm wood shingles against mint green siding and a bright orange roof. Upon closer inspection you’ll notice the craftsmanship, as if human hands carefully put each piece into its place – and in fact, that’s exactly how it was done.. And the interior is just as impressive, covered in cedar wood from ceiling to floor. It felt very new, very clean, very honest.


The cabin’s modest footprint meant the couple had to create smart storage solutions and keep only what was needed. Tim and Hannah have learned to live with less, while also becoming super organized. Everything in their home has its place. They made use of hooks and vertical space by hanging most of their belongings and stacking.

Less maintenance and fewer repairs, along with the couple’s sustainable living style, makes it less costly to own a home. This meant Tim and Hannah can spend less time working and more time enjoying the outdoors together. The two integrated as many recycled, salvaged, low-impact materials into their design as possible. A good amount of building material was acquired for free from Craigslist. Seconds, mis-sized, and salvaged materials were sourced from their local lumbar yard and the Restore. Their pier-like deck is supported by large pine trees they cut themselves. The logs provide adequate leveling for the home, which sits on a hill. Furthermore, they lift the home off the ground to prevent snow drift during cold winter months and heat retention during summer months.


Tim and Hannah’s refrigerator consists of a cooler and ice packs, which, in the winter, they easily refreeze by keeping the water packs outside. At night, their main source of light is oil burning lanterns, a few LED lights, and headlamps. Small solar panels collect more than enough energy to generate electricity to charge their phones and batteries, which in turns power the cabin’s LED lights. In the future, the two plan to built a 400 square foot home as their primary residence on the property, but their next project will be an outhouse with a solar water heater.


Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: DIY.
Inspiration: Living simply.
Favorite Element: We built it.
Biggest Challenge: Carrying all of the material for the entire cabin down a trail through the woods to the building site.
What Friends Say: Can we build one on your property?
Biggest Embarrassment: Poopin in a bucket.
Proudest DIY: The Beer-bottle cap popper funnel.
Biggest Indulgence: The gas grill.
Best advice: Big deck, little house.
Dream Sources: Cabin Porn

Resources of Note:

We used all reclaimed materials which dictated the look and color scheme of the house. We played with reclaimed redwood decking that had old teal paint as our color contrast.

We scored a mis-sized alder door from the local lumber yard and stained it to match the roof trim.

We designed the cabin around our super comfy love seat, which is the living room. Oil lanterns enhance the cozy ambiance.

Our Ikea table can fold up on one side for two, slide out and fold up on both sides for four people, or collapse completely for activities. It also has drawers for extra storage.

We love to cook, so we had to make sure all the necessities were there, but nothing extra. We do most of our cooking on the wood burning stove. We made a custom kitchen counter/sink out of a commercial stainless steel table and an RV sink, which drains into a 5 gallon bucket that gets emptied over our compost pile along with our kitchen scraps. Our Yeti cooler keeps our food fresh with ice packs. We bring in potable water, and melt snow on our woodstove for winter utility water. Everything else has to be very organized in such a small space, so it all has a home hanging on hooks or in mason jars.

The loft is just big enough for our California king bed (some things can’t be downsized) and has a beautiful birds eye view of the mountains. It is accessed by a custom ladder we built after Tim plummeted after trying to climb down the old A frame ladder.

Summertime—we use a solar shower outside. Wintertime—we heat snow with our woodstove and brave the outdoors for showers. We have a composting toilet as well.

The deck is about the same square footage of the entire house, which makes it very easy for outdoor living and entertaining. Grillin’ and chillin’!

Open House Tour

Thanks, Hannah and Tim!

Haute Living Residences Member~Luxury Real Estate

How Truckee California became a top ski town

How Truckee became a top ski town


If you’re a fan of Truckee’s funky vibe, don’t worry: There’s plenty of that left on the main drag.

If you’re a fan of Truckee’s funky vibe, don’t worry: There’s plenty of that left on the main drag. (Janet Fullwood)
The historic railroad stop-turned-ski town of Truckee hasn’t just made a comeback from the recession. It has catapulted back with enough energy to prompt Sunset, National Geographic and Travel & Leisure magazines, among others, to recently rank it among the best ski towns in the West.

And you don’t get one of those rankings without having plenty of “amenities and culture” beyond the ski slopes, as one article put it.

But who needs their endorsement when you can experience it for yourself?

The “March miracle” that Truckee residents and merchants had been hoping for after a spate of dry days indeed made an appearance, sparking a stampede of powder hounds back up the hill.

Crabcakes and lobster rolls are among specialties at Morgan’s Lobster Shack & Fish Market, which reopened in January after a five-month closure

Crabcakes and lobster rolls are among specialties at Morgan’s Lobster Shack & Fish Market, which reopened in January after a five-month closure due to fire. (Janet Fullwood)

As the first flakes drifted down at the highest altitudes, snowmobile tour operator Larry Hahn, whose Coldstream Adventures takes clients to beauty spots in the High Sierra, was among many who breathed a sigh of relief. “Tomorrow, we’ll be back to business as usual,” he said.

Indeed, the next morning, residents of Truckee woke up to a winter wonderland.

Snow or no snow, visitors to Truckee will find a smorgasboard of activities to keep them engaged in the mountain lifestyle.

“The mountains, the clean air, all the fun stuff to do outdoors … it keeps you young,” says Daron Rahlves, the former alpine racer who is now the name behind Rahlves Banzai Tour, a high-profile ski- and boarder-cross competition that concludes March 15-16 at Sugar Bowl.

Outdoor activities aside, infrequent visitors to Truckee will notice that many new shops and restaurants have blossomed downtown, filling storefronts that went dark during the downturn. Raised planters, sidewalk pavers and small trees wrapped in twinkling white lights line streets that date to the 1870s. And, alas, with the changes came paid parking.

It didn’t take long for Denver-based Marg’s Taco Bistro, a new restaurant in Truckee, to espouse an end-the-drought sentiment.

It didn’t take long for Denver-based Marg’s Taco Bistro, a new restaurant in Truckee, to espouse an end-the-drought sentiment. (Janet Fullwood)

Among new dining spots earning buzz this season is Marg’s Taco Bistro, the fourth location for owner Kevin Sloane, who found a successful formula in three Denver outlets serving internationally inspired cuisine — Mexican, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Greek, Italian — presented in fresh, homemade tortillas. It’s not all tacos, however: the shrimp-stuffed poblano pepper is a standout among appetizer selections, while the habanero margarita delivers a potent, eye-opening punch. Marg’s, located downtown on the north side of Donner Pass Road, sports roll-up doors that will open in summer onto a covered patio with outdoor seating.

More modest in scale, with indoor seating for only a dozen customers, is Morgan’s Lobster Shack & Fish Market, which opened last summer for just a few weeks before the interior was gutted by fire. Repairs took five months, but owners Shawn and Heather Whitney, a young couple from the East Coast, got an enthusiastic reception when they hung up their welcoming lobster buoys and reopened in January. Walls in the tiny restaurant are decorated with photos of Maine lobster shacks (Heather has family in the business), and fresh seafood is flown in six days a week. “Everything else we try to buy locally,” Shawn says.

Small it may be, but Morgan’s fills a gaping hole in the Truckee restaurant scene. Its menu includes generously stuffed lobster rolls (the California version is dressed up with avocado and Sriracha); succulent crab cakes; several chowders and stews; and a lobster/bacon mac ‘n’ cheese dish that takes comfort food to decadent new levels. On a more nutritious scale, the menu board invites customers to pick their fish (halibut, scallops, salmon, lobster, etc.), choose a cooking method (grilled, fried, sautéed or steamed), select a seasoning (eight choices, from blackened to Greek) and have it served as a sandwich, a wrap or atop salad greens.

In summer, Morgan’s will sprout outdoor umbrella tables with Truckee River views and seating for about 40.

Gail Ozanich opened Tahoe Oil & Spice in December. The shop offers tastings of more than 50 olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world,

Gail Ozanich opened Tahoe Oil & Spice in December. The shop offers tastings of more than 50 olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world, along with gourmet condiments. (Janet Fullwood)

Elsewhere downtown, Moody’s Bistro & Lounge, a cornerstone of the Truckee dining scene for more than a decade, has new investors who have made a few changes and also have pumped money into renovating the upstairs Truckee Hotel.

The restaurant, re-branded Moody’s Bistro Bar & Beats, now sports an inviting sidewalk seating area with bright-red Adirondack chairs and blazing fire pits. A revised menu retains old favorites and adds new dishes such as a starter, billed simply as “avocado, farm egg, pork belly,” that adds up to far more than its understated description.

Moody’s continues to showcase a diverse group of musical talent on weekends, with an emphasis on jazz. Across the street, the lively Bar of America and Pacific Crest Grill have merged into a single entity serving a casual, unified menu. Just next door is the newish Restaurant Trokay, which has expanded from a tiny bakery to a noteworthy restaurant taking reservations weeks in advance for its French-inspired New American cuisine.

Visitors in search of inspiring libations in Truckee will find haven at two seductive new wine bars and shops, Uncorked Truckee on the main drag and Pour House Wine Shop & Tasting Bar a block over on Jiboom Street.

New since December is Truckee Oil & Spice, an olive-oil and vinegar tasting room in the iconic Flying A gas-station building on the south side of Donner Pass Road. Owner/manager Gail Ozanich, inspired by travel to Tuscany, has more than 50 varieties of oils and vinegars from around the world on display in shiny stainless-steel containers called fustis.

Visitors can tap them for tastes served in tiny paper cups — or, better yet, ask Ozanich to suggest a pairing such as baklouti pepper-infused olive oil from Tunisia blended with ginger balsamic vinegar from Italy, which makes a great basting sauce for chicken or fish.

New boutiques also have made an appearance in downtown Truckee — Kitsch for hipster clothing, Bespoke for artisan jewelry and accessories, California 89, Nox and Tahoe Blu among them. Riverside Studios, an artists’ collaborative that has been around a few years, has a new partner in Pat Blide, who produces sculptures in iron and has watched business stay surprisingly strong all winter despite the snow drought.

Blide and other merchants credit mild weather, clear roads and pent-up demand for a record Christmas season, packed Presidents Day weekend and fairly steady business in between. “Over Christmas,” he says, “I counted 55 people in here at once. You could barely walk down the sidewalk; it was like a New York City street.”

Given the new snow, there are bound to be more days like that.

Contact Janet Fullwood at

Lodging: Lots of choices, from the five-star Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe ( at Northstar California to funky cottage places. In Truckee’s downtown dining and entertainment district, the recently renovated Truckee Hotel ( and nearby River Street Inn ( are within walking distance of all the action. On Highway 267, Cedar House Sport Hotel (, with its sleek, Euro furnishings, avant-garde restaurant and recreational programming, is a refreshing change from the norm. More economical but plenty comfy is Hampton Inn & Suites (, where free Wi-Fi and a hot breakfast are included in the rates.

Dining: New kids on the block include Marg’s Taco Bistro ( and Morgan’s Lobster Shack ( For pizza and salad, Best Pies ( can’t be beat. Fine-dining venues on downtown’s main drag include Restaurant Trokay (, Dragonfly ( and Pianeta (pianetarestauranttruckee). A short drive away are the stellar Stella (, the historic Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar ( on a hill above town, and the elegant Lodge at Tahoe Donner (
Nightlife: Catch live music at Moody’s Bistro Bar & Beats (, Bar of America (, Cottonwood ( and other downtown venues.
Shopping: Park in the lot beside the train station, feed the meter and let serendipity be your guide.
Just for kids: The Truckee Ice Rink ( in Truckee River Regional Park, a half-mile from downtown, offers public skating daily.
Woodward Tahoe ( at Boreal, about 20 minutes west of Truckee on Interstate 80, is an action-sports training center with trampolines, BMX/skate park, skate/ski ramps and programs for all ages.
Alpine skiing/boarding closest to Truckee: Northstar California (; purchase tickets online three or more days in advance for best deals. Sugar Bowl ( now sells one-day advance-purchase tickets at a discount. Squaw-Alpine (; offers skiing at two resorts on one ticket; check websites for discount deals. For more short-notice discount deals, check in with and
Nordic skiing: Tahoe Donner Cross-Country (, with 100 kilometers of groomed trails, is about 15 minutes from downtown Truckee.
Good for a stroll: The Truckee River Legacy Trail ( includes a paved, multiuse trail and a dirt path running 2.5 miles from Truckee River Regional Park northeast along the river.
Events: Rahlves Banzai Tour ( is a skier- and boarder-cross event with an $80,000 purse; final sessions are March 8-9 at Alpine Meadows and March 15-16 at Sugar Bowl. Spectator access requires a lift ticket. North Lake Tahoe SnowFest ( features wacky events at various locations; through March 9.

Truckee California gets a boost from Olympics

Truckee gets a boost from Olympics

A crisp mid-February day in Truckee. The Truckee River may be running low, but business in town is booming.

A crisp mid-February day in Truckee. The Truckee River may be running low, but business in town is booming. (Janet Fullwood)

The athletes are home now, some bearing medals from Sochi and some not, but all contributing to global recognition of Lake Tahoe — and the town of Truckee, in particular — as a world-class center of winter sports.

Former alpine racer Daron Rahlves, a 12-time World Cup champion and four-time Olympian who lives in Truckee, was among those cheering on the 16 ski and snowboard athletes with Tahoe ties.

“Watching the Olympics on TV, you heard ‘Tahoe’ and ‘Truckee’ every time a ski event came on,” he said. ” It makes me proud to see so many others out there representing our town and putting it on the map.”

The Olympics no doubt will give traction to Rahlves’ Banzai Tour, a four-stop, open-to-the-public version of the daredevil ski- and boarder-cross competitions that produced the most spectacular crash of the Sochi games when competitors in the men’s ski quarterfinal wind-milled to a chaotic photo finish. (Remaining Banzai Tour dates are March 8-9 at Alpine Meadows and March 15-16 at Sugar Bowl).

The action in Russia also served to energize Truckee businesses that otherwise would have suffered more than they have from the severe drought engulfing Northern California. Hotels sold out, ski shops ran out of rentals and parking places in the downtown shopping/dining/entertainment district were as scarce as USA medals in the Nordic combined.

And it wasn’t just the resorts and restaurants that stayed busy. Young skaters with stars in their eyes whirled until after dark on Truckee’s municipal ice rink, while down the road at Woodward Tahoe, the action-sports training facility at Boreal Mountain Resort, future Olympians inspired by TV coverage lined up to slide down indoor ramps and throw aerial tricks into foam pits.

“Thank goodness for the Olympics; it helped bring out a lot of pent-up energy to drive business not just to the resorts but to the town,” said Tom Just, part owner of Mountain Home Center, whose headquarter location on Brockway Road houses a swoon-worthy collection of high-end fireplaces, spas and furniture targeted to affluent Tahoe homeowners.

“The people not skiing are shopping,” he added. “We fell off a cliff during the recession, but this year, business is back up above pre-recession levels.”

Even midweek, downtown Truckee is bustling with shoppers and diners who in late February were peeling down to T-shirts as afternoon temperatures topped 50 degrees. One of the weirdest winters on record has produced nights cold enough for resorts to make snow and crystal-clear, bluebird days perfect for other pursuits. With no chain controls to put the damper on travel from lower elevations, visitors who might otherwise not risk driving in snow are making the trip up the hill and finding some surprises in store.

“We normally draw a huge cross-country clientele, but not this year — not yet, anyway,” said Patty Baird, who with her husband, Jeff, owns the recreationally focused Cedar House Sport Hotel. “What we’ve been recommending instead is snow shoeing — or hiking where there’s not enough snow. The weather has been perfect for hiking.”

Not that snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing are totally out of the question. Tahoe Donner Cross-Country, with a base area at 6,700 feet, has remained open even on days when there’s not enough coverage to set tracks at the lower elevations.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to be right at the borderline for snow, and at the top we’ve gotten six-foot drifts,” says Peter Werbel, the resort’s assistant manager. “A lot of people were checking in with us during the holidays because the alpine resorts were so crowded. At Christmas, we had entire families trying Nordic skiing for the first time.”

Tahoe Donner’s biathlon clinics, an introduction to the winter sport showcased in the Olympics, have been sellouts, Werbel added. Sessions combine Nordic skiing with marksmanship using laser rifles closely modeled on those used in sanctioned events.

Contact Janet Fullwood at


Grab your cowbells and start clanging: Tahoe Olympians just home from Sochi will be welcomed home later this month with two Tahoe events that promise to bring out the crowds.
South Lake Tahoe plans a city-wide party on March 15, while Squaw Valley USA will incorporate a March 21 welcome-home ceremony into a five-day alpine racing event in which several returning Olympians are expected to compete.
South Shore festivities begin at 1 p.m. March 15 with autograph signings and live music at South Tahoe High School, followed by a fire-truck procession down Highway 50 to Myers and on to the Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort. There, on their home slopes, Olympians Jamie Anderson (gold in snowboard slopestyle), Maddie Bowman (gold in freestyle skiing halfpipe) and Hannah Teter (fourth in snowboard halfpipe) will be greeted by marching band and choral performances. All three Olympians hail from the tiny town of Myers, population 3,000.
In all, some 16 athletes with Tahoe ties competed in the Sochi Winter Games.
Squaw will welcome all comers in celebrations folded into the March 19-23 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships, a major race event bringing together the U.S. Ski Team and more than 250 club athletes from around the country. Returning Olympians will be feted the evening of March 21 with a parade, fireworks, autograph sessions and live music.
Squaw Valley athlete and 2010 Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso, who took third in Sochi, will be competing on home turf, as will Olympics competitors Marco Sullivan and Travis Ganong.
“It’s great to get to race at my home mountain and it’s awesome to have Squaw’s support for ski racing,” Mancuso said in a press release. “They did an exceptional job last season, so I definitely look forward to some more great races on home snow during Nationals.”
Also expected on the hill are Sochi medalists Bode Miller, Ted Ligety, Andrew Weibrcht and Mikaela Shiffron.
— Janet Fullwood

Properties sold over $5 Million Lake Tahoe Region