Tahoe Dream Vacations Really do Come True

March 27, 2012

Cost is always a big factor when deciding where and when to go for the family’s summer vacation. Since most popular destinations lure travelers near and far, the price tags associated with each can get rather hefty.

A Lake Tahoe Rental

Yet, wise vacation-planning parents have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to saving money. For example, those who head to Lake Tahoe each summer know that staying in a condominium or a single-family home instead of a hotel is a huge cost-saver.

It’s not the equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, but the accommodations and the nightly rates one pulls up on vacation rental websites, such as goldfishproperties.com, may be just as amazing.

It’s no magic show or illusion either. The basic fact is the inventory in and around the beautiful alpine setting of Lake Tahoe allows travelers to find great low rates – even in the peak tourism time of summer.

Adding to the benefit is the amount of extra space and bedrooms that come with each non-hotel rental, which means more friends and family members can join in the fun and help lower the rates.

Taking one of the most expensive – and luxurious – homes on the Goldfish Properties website is a great example of just how someone can turn a fantasy vacation into a reality.

Just steps from the lake is a stunning, opulent home that looks like it may be owned by Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. The amenities include: 9,000 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 2 master suites, 4 sofa beds, steam shower, movie theater with eight leather recliners, game room with pool table and built-in surround sound speaker system, several large-screen HD televisions, hot tub, large deck with view, and a huge backyard with BBQ.

A Luxury Vacation Rental Home in Lake Tahoe

It is a home fit for a king. And, coincidentally, a few middle-class families.

With a $1400 per night rate, it may seem really expensive on the surface. Upon further review, however, the astute planner realizes this actually may be an ideal choice for a summer family reunion or get-together with old friends.

Not only is it directly across the street from the shores of one of the most stunning natural wonders in the world, but it also comfortably sleeps a whopping 22 people.

That means if five different families opted to reserve this amazing home, it would only cost each of them $280 per night. On the flip side, the Hyatt Lake Tahoe resort down the street charges $400 per night during the summer – and that’s for a basic 1-bedroom option with no lake view.

All high-end accommodations aside, it is finally becoming a well-known fact that renting a condominium, townhouse, or home is a superb way to save money while enjoying a fabulous Lake Tahoe vacation.

Considering there are condos for just $137 per night and spacious homes starting at $200, all within walking distance of the lake, the whole Tahoe vacation-planning process might be magical after all.

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Gambling in North Tahoe? You Betcha!

August 5, 2011

It may be illegal at Bushwood Country Club, but gambling is definitely permitted in the state of Nevada. In fact, since it’s the number one revenue generator for the Silver State, all visitors are actually encouraged to spend at least a little time in a casino searching for Lady Luck.

While the north shore of Lake Tahoe makes up just a tiny fraction of the 36th state to join the Union, it does have its fair share of gambling parlors. Most of which tourists can’t miss – no matter how hard they try – as signs and blinking lights bombard them as they drive into Nevada from Kings Beach, Ca.

It’s not the Las Vegas strip, but the small community of Crystal Bay is home to four of the area’s five casinos: Cal-Neva, Crystal Bay, Jim Kelley’s Tahoe Nugget, and the Tahoe Biltmore. There are many restaurants and bars that contain video poker machines, but the only other casino on the north shore is the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village.

Most come to this little alpine section of the Sierra Nevada for a little rest and relaxation amid the breathtaking natural beauty. To them, enrichment to their lives comes from enjoying the outdoors and spending time with family and friends – not from any potential winnings at a blackjack or craps table.

For those that do decide to take their full house and go straight to the casinos, each one offers a great chance to try to double-down on the vacation fun. There are a few common sense things everyone should keep in mind, though, that may help keep a few more cents in the pockets.

One of which is: Do not gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. Gambling should be viewed as entertainment and any extra cash that might be won considered added bonus to an otherwise fun outing.

All those twinkling lights one sees in and out of each casino amounts to one extremely hefty utility bill. Yet, it’s a tab the casino does not have any trouble picking up. The reason: the odds on all gambling games is stacked in its favor and most gamblers walk out of a casino with less money than they had walking in. Since the “house” has every advantage, sometimes its wise to stay and have a good time at home.

Still, it can be fun and some people do in fact win. Thus, gambling might be something worth doing while vacationing in the area. After all, as the saying goes: “When in Rome.” Or, in this case, Nevada.

There are many different games to choose from, but the ones with the best odds – or the ones with the least “house” edge – are as follows: craps, blackjack, baccarat, pai gow, and then roulette.

While that is a nice list to follow, it is a bit more complicated as the edge is really dictated by how one bets in each game. For example, bettors have the most chances to win at craps, but that’s if they stick to the Pass/Come and Don’t Pass/Don’t Come lines. Roulette is also one of the best choices if gamblers only bet on red or black.

Then there’s Sports Betting. While not quite the same as betting on whether Judge Smails will slice his tee shot or not, it is just as simple. Gamblers simply pick a team (or individual athlete) they believe will win a sporting contest.  To make things more fair, a line or odds are placed on each game or match.

In the end, the important thing to remember is have fun. While the house does have the edge, just about everyone finds Lady Luck at one point. If not, though, best to just say “Gunga galunga” and continue having a great Tahoe vacation.