Palisades Tahoe is the largest ski resort in the Lake Tahoe region, boasting 6,000 skiable acres across two mountains. Formerly Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, the more than 70-year-old resort celebrates a rich history as the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, the Spring Skiing Capital, and home mountain to dozens of Olympic and World Cup athletes across multiple snow sports. With an average annual snowfall of 400 inches, Palisades Tahoe frequently operates the longest ski and snowboard season in Lake Tahoe. The Village at Palisades Tahoe offers year-round events and over 50 bars, restaurants and boutiques, many of which are locally owned and operated. Palisades Tahoe is on the Ikon Pass, which offers access to 47 international ski destinations. In 2021 the resort changed its name, trading in a harmful slur for a name that better reflects its values and legacy. Visit the Palisades Tahoe website or call 1.800.403.0206 to learn more. You can also visit us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Vimeo.
Our Mission Statement
Create extraordinary experiences and protect these legendary mountains. rich-text
In 1946, Alex Cushing traveled from the East Coast to the Sierra Nevada Mountains on a ski vacation that changed his life forever. During his 1946 trip west, Alex broke his ankle while skiing at Sugar Bowl. As the fourth in the group game of Bridge, his friends demanded that he stay. Always optimistic, Cushing contented himself relaxing on the sundeck and watching other skiers. While there, he heard a young man named Wayne Poulsen speak of a nearby place with the best skiing in the country. Intrigued by the claim, Cushing asked to see this place. The group, with Alex on crutches, made their way to the Valley where Alex watched his friends hike and ski the Olympic Valley’s unparalleled peaks. With a powerful dream and relentless determination, Cushing raised $400,000 from friends and family and set about the task that would change California’s history and the world’s ski industry. rich-text
Ultimately, Cushing’s campaign succeeded through the power of an idea—a return to the Olympic ideas of simplicity with a focus on athleticism, sportsmanship, and diversity. The 1960 Olympic Winter Games brought commerce and infrastructure to the Lake Tahoe Area, turning a former summer vacation town into a renowned winter destination and transforming S* Valley, a small ski mountain with one chairlift and lodging for fifty, into a world-class ski resort. Since 1960, the mountain has continued to thrive and is consistently ranked among the world’s top resorts. In 2021 the resort changed its name to Palisades Tahoe, trading in a harmful slur for a name that better reflects its values and legacy. Palisades Tahoe continues to inspire all of those who happen upon her majestic peaks—just as she once inspired one man to do the impossible.
History of Alpine Meadows®
John Reily, a southern California-based businessman and president of the Southern Ski Club of Los Angeles, first came to the Lake Tahoe area in the spring of 1955 to ski the slopes of S* Valley, which was then vying to host the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. Reily stood at the top of KT-22 and peered south. He saw an untouched valley, surrounded by snow-covered peaks, and thought: That looks like the perfect place for a ski area. In fact, the area he spotted surrounding Ward Peak had four diverse bowls stretched along a high-alpine ridgeline, with a sustained vertical drop of over 1,800 feet.
Two years later, during the summertime, Reily and his son rode horses from the S* Valley Stables to the top of KT-22. He showed the terrain to the south to his son and again envisioned what was possible there, especially with the momentum surrounding the Olympics now coming to the region. But unlike S* Valley, with its newfound notoriety and grandeur, Reily had a different vision for the neighboring valley: He wanted to see a quiet, low-key place focused on skiing, not development, that was built by skiers, for skiers.
Reily applied for a permit with the U.S. Forest Service, which granted him approval to develop an access road into the valley and install a chairlift, T-bar, and rope tow. Sally Hudson, who’d competed at the 1952 Olympics in ski racing for the U.S., and who’d moved to S* Valley with her husband, John, to open a ski shop, allegedly saw a field of purple lupine flowers at the base of the mountain, which was still covered by snow, and she suggested the name to Reily: Alpine Meadows.
A number of families and San Francisco-based investors pooled resources to develop the resort and Reily hired Peter Klaussen, a former Polaroid executive, to help build and operate the ski area. Alpine Meadows opened on December 28, 1961.
By 1970, amidst financial struggles, Nick Badami, a former board chairman of BVD Corporation (a historic underwear brand), purchased Alpine Meadows, and five years later, he bought Park City ski area, in Utah. In 1994, Badami sold his company—which included Alpine Meadows and Park City—to Powdr Corporation and remained chairman of the board for another decade. Alpine Meadows was one of the later-remaining holdouts to allow the new sport of snowboarding. It wasn’t until 1997 when Alpine opened its slopes to snowboarders.
JMA Ventures, a publicly traded investment company that also owns Tahoe’s Homewood ski area, purchased Alpine Meadows from Powdr Corporation in July 2007. JMA operated the resort until S* Valley and Alpine Meadows joined forces under the ownership of KSL, a private equity firm, in November 2011, giving the two resorts a collective 6,000 skiable acres on a single lift ticket. In 2021 the resort, including both mountains, changed its name from S* Valley Alpine Meadows to Palisades Tahoe, trading in a harmful slur for a name that better reflects its values and legacy