UPDATE: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows changes name to Palisades Tahoe
UPDATE at 8:53 a.m.
Today, Palisades Tahoe introduced its new name and logo that honor the resort’s history as a land of legends — home to freeskiing pioneers, Winter Olympians and cultural icons across more than seven decades of ski history. Inspired by the sheer granite faces and chutes that compose this otherworldly terrain, the Palisades Tahoe name is a result of the collective experience of a fiercely loyal community, united around a shared place that has fascinated and exhilarated for generations. This change will bring both mountains of the former Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows together under one unified name.
“It is inspiring that after seven decades in operation, a company as storied and established as this resort can still reflect and adjust when it is the necessary and right thing to do,” said recently appointed Palisades Tahoe President and COO Dee Byrne in a news release. “This name change reflects who we are as a ski resort and community — we have a reputation for being progressive and boundary-breaking when it comes to feats of skiing and snowboarding. We have proven that those values go beyond the snow for us. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be part of Palisades Tahoe and after more than 10 years at the resort, I’m honored to be leading our team into this new era.”
The 2020 commitment by the resort to rename the destination was made after extensive research into the historical and current usage and regional history of the word “squaw,” and discussions with the local Washoe Tribe, which affirmed the position that it is widely considered a racist and sexist slur against Indigenous women.
The renaming process began last year with an in-depth research and discovery process that would be the first step in informing the new name. At the outset, the resort team dissected what elements of these neighboring valleys, from the mountains to the people, truly set them apart. They looked at the history of the Washoe Tribe, whose ancestral lands were in Olympic Valley, to extreme ski movies that featured the resort, to the spectrum of feedback on the name change decision. Next, the team carefully conducted numerous surveys — collecting more than 3,000 responses — and held focus groups in order to consult with a wide range of individuals in the community, including local residents, longtime pass holders, athletes who grew up on these slopes, employees of the resort, and members of the local Washoe tribe.
The central themes that emerged from the discovery process included the unique geography and one-of-a-kind terrain of these mountains, the deep Olympic and ski culture histories across both valleys, the resort’s ability to challenge all levels of skiers and riders, and the incredible strength and loyalty of the community. With the name Palisades Tahoe, the resort honors the past — the arena that put Olympic Valley on the map, inspired countless skiers to push the limits, and created a culture unlike any other — and looks toward a new chapter.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows intends to announce its new name this morning.
The change in name, a process started last year, will remove what the resort called derogatory language.
The resort last year said the decision to change the name came after research into the etymology and history of the term “squaw” — both generally and specifically with respect to Squaw Valley — as well as outreach to Native American groups, including the local Washoe Tribe, and outreach to the local and extended community. Company leadership then decided to drop the derogatory and offensive term “squaw” from the destination’s name.
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