What drives skiers and snowboarders to the Lake Tahoe region? For most snow sport enthusiasts, the easy answer is snow and lots of it.
But for casual skiers and snowboarders, the lure can also be the many casinos that are located in the Lake Tahoe region.
South Lake Tahoe is a major ski destination with Heavenly Mountain Resort owning a reputation nationally and worldwide. Vacationing at south shore means one is typically a convenient walking distance to many large casinos like Harrah’s.
In North Lake Tahoe, the gambling isn’t as big a lure since the casinos are much smaller. But north shore ski resorts like Northstar California and Squaw Valley also have great appeal for U.S. skiers and riders, as well as people worldwide. Both resorts have considerable lodging and like Heavenly, are also destination resorts.
While the lack of snow had numbers down for skiing and riding at Lake Tahoe ski resorts in 2012, according to a story in the Nevada Appeal, Nevada casinos had a calendar year’s total “win” of $10.86 billion, 1.5 percent more than 2011’s total win.
It’s the second straight yearly increase, yet it’s still more than 15 percent below the industry's peak of $12.8 billion in 2007.
The “win” is what remains for the casino after bettors wagered on table games, sports betting and slot machines.
The south shore casinos finished the year 1.6 percent higher than its 2011 total. That was aided by a December that was 57 percent higher than December (2011) at $20.9 million.
However, Western Nevada markets didn’t prosper in the 2012 recovery. Reno was down 3 percent from 2011, while Washoe County and Carson City were 2.5 percent down and Sparks dripped 2 percent.
In December, the Carson Valley area was off 4.5 percent, finishing the year at just over $98.1 million. In December, Carson Valley casinos reported $7.86 million in win.