Norm Nicholls: An escape to Utah for powder |

Norm Nicholls: An escape to Utah for powder

By Norm NichollsSierra Sun Columnist

We just returned from a wonderful ski trip to Snowbird/Alta Utah. Our annual week at our timeshare in Snowbird proved to be just perfect with nearly 3 feet of fresh powder the first few days three days of clear blue skies and cold temperatures the remainder of the week.Other week 4 timeshare owners in attendance from Truckee included Bill and Pat Gibbons Johnson, Gregg and Cindy Bashford, and their boys Bodyn (Bodie!) and Dillon. At 3.5 years of age, Bodie was tearing up the beginner runs at Alta to the shear pleasure of his parents and all the rest of our entourage.Alan invited several friends including Joe Harris from Truckee, Matt and Rebecca Williams from Denver (Matt was raised in Truckee and is the son of Bernie and Linda Williams of Northstar), Julie Kalkbrenner from Reno, and Andrew Bro, a fraternity brother of Alans at UCLA who now lives in San Diego.We had a wonderful time skiing at both Snowbird and Alta and had more than enough food, drink and partying to last us until next year!If you would like to view some footage of Alan and Matt powder skiing at Snowbird go to Alan is the skier in Ripping of the Bird part one, and Matt is featured in part two. Note: these pictures were taken prior to an additional 14 inches of powder that night!Vacations: We enjoy vacations a lot and recommend them to everyone. It is a form of relaxation, stress relief, and is good for your health (except for the food and alcohol consumption). Thanks to modern technology (i.e. laptops and cell phones) you can get away and yet still stay in touch with your business, family, and friends as needed. This has been key to allowing us to travel more often than we used to.We also try to be very frugal and plan our trips several months ahead of time. We use websites such as Travelocity, and several airline email notification systems to plan our flights and accommodations. Many of these sites allow you to build in your desired destinations and whenever there are exceptional fares/rates available, you are notified of them immediately. Using technology and/or your local travel agent can save you lots of money.We have also been known to take short vacations for cheap which are made available by timeshare promoters. These are available in places such as Las Vegas, Southern California, Arizona, the Bay Area and even Lake Tahoe! We also take advantage of vacationing right here at home. In the winter we have taken advantage of promos which have included overnight accommodations and ski lift tickets for less than the price of a lift ticket, and in the spring and fall we have stayed in South Lake Tahoe and in Crystal Bay for next to nothing. If you are into camping there are fabulous campgrounds available around the area. A few of the closest and most fun campgrounds are Donner Lake Campground, PGandamp;Es group campground at Kidd Lake on Donner Summit, and Tahoe Donners Campground which, by the way, is open to the public if space is available!Despite the current woes in the economy, do yourself a favor and plan a trip or two for 2009 and receive the benefits of getting away and relaxing. Try it, you will like it!Congratulations … to the Downtown Merchants Association on their newly expanded board and the increased sphere of member businesses. It is definitely time to work together for a common interest rather than just to boost or bruise the egos of a few individuals. Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate Group are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee.

Last weeks question: In the summer of 1968 athletes came from around the world to Lake Tahoe to train for the XIX Summer Olympics that were held in Mexico City later that year because of the similar altitude (Mexico City is 7,200 feet in elevation) and for facilities that were constructed especially for them to train on. One of the facilities was a specially made Tartan Track that was constructed on Echo Summit in the vicinity of the Cal Trans building. Winners this week included Steve Ascher, Charlie White, Jim Duffy, Pete Kolp, Dean Litchfield, Pat Northrop, Bill Mullins, Lorene Cole, Jerry Blakeley, Steve Marshman, Greg Hackett, Keith Mickelson, and Larry Ford.This weeks question: Prior to Rob Kautz, who was the President and General Manager of Sugar Bowl? Call us at (530) 550-5035 or e-mail us at with your answer.

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