It’s a new year and so that means it’s time to try new things. So, why not take up a new sport. While many people think that Southern California is just about sun and surf, it’s also got some fantastic mountain resorts. Head up to Big Bear Lake, Calif., for some of the area’s best snow sport opportunities.
To kick off the New Year, Big Bear Mountain Resorts is inviting beginner skiers and snowboarders to come up and enjoy the snow during the month of January with free rental equipment for anyone who purchases a beginner lesson package. The offer is valid any day during the month of January, excluding holiday periods. Packages must be reserved at least one day in advance online at www.bigbearmountainresorts.com or by phone at 909-866-5841.
For the little tykes there is Little Bear Camp and Little Bear School at Snow Summit, where kids as young as 3 years old can get started on the bunny slopes. At Bear Mountain there is Riglet Park, where kids from 3 to 6 years old are introduced to snowboarding on miniature park features, using Burton’s innovative Learn-to-Ride Technology.
And why not make it a family affair. The ski resorts offer adult classes too. The classes are for persons age 13 and older. Some adults that have skied before but who want to want to learn how to snowboard can do so through the adult lessons. Big Bear’s qualified instructors will show anyone who wants to learn the ropes of having fun on the slopes. One of the great things about learning a new snow sport is it is never too late to learn.
I am so happy to hear that one of my favorite ski destinations is celebrating 60 years and that June Mountain will be reopening this season. With so much going on in Mammoth this year, it makes me wish we had purchased season tickets. Regardless, we will definitely be spending a lot of time in the Eastern Sierra when the snow starts to fall…Let the condo searching begin.
In addition to the reopening of June Mountain, Mammoth’s winter air service now includes L.A., San Diego, San Francisco and Orange County. The mountain will also be a training ground for U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. snowboard teams, which means that youngsters heading to the mountain have a chance to see some amazing athletes in action – it also means that Unbound and Adventure Zones will be in top form.
Guests will have an enhanced experience at the Mammoth Mountain Inn as well as new culinary adventures. Both foodies and winter sports enthusiasts alike are treated to an array of new options including celebrated chef Mark Estee’s CAMPO restaurant in The Village at Mammoth. Estee’s original CAMPO, located in Reno, was recently named one of Esquire’s best new restaurants in America. The Lakefront Restaurant has a new chef as well and has partnered with local, organic farms to offer a new seasonal menu.
Late-night entertainment will also be renewed with the opening of the Underground Lounge. Music is the focal point of the Lounge, which accommodates a live music venue along with a bar, lounge, and VIP area. A contemporary menu features signature cocktails and Provencal comfort food highlighted by “tappatizers,” Chef Frederic Pierrel’s unique blend of tapas and appetizers.
Had a fabulous New Year’s weekend in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. I loved the Krystal Village East condo complex and its fantastic location next to Old Mammoth Road and Main Street. The best part, my favorite brunch place — the Good Life Cafe — is right next door.