Everybody knew last summer that the days of calling Lake Tahoe’s most-historic ski resort ‘Squaw Valley’ were numbered.
We all sat by and waited for the resort to announce a new name, and when it happened, well, the internet got extremely divided. Imagine that.
Palisades Tahoe was a different name to say the least, and even supporters of a name change were a little bit confused.
Sure, Olympic Valley is home to ‘The Palisades’, the dominant rock feature that towers over Headwall and Siberia lifts, but ‘Palisades Tahoe’ had a very corporate feel to it that rubbed people the wrong way.
It’s obvious that the resort was trying to use a key feature that didn’t involve the word ‘Squaw’, and make it clear that they were located in the Lake Tahoe area. That makes sense from a marketing perspective, but it didn’t feel right, ya know?
To be fair, I don’t think the resort could have chosen a name that would make everybody happy.
^Looking down at Olympic Valley from Headwall
I was really pulling for the resort to call itself ‘Olympic Valley’, but a former employee of Palisades Tahoe explained that using the word ‘Olympic’ would be a copyright infringement on The Olympics.
That’s pretty lame if you ask me, but the IOC doesn’t seem like an organization I would want to mess around with.
I visited Palisades Tahoe for the Red Bull Raid event back in March, and I was pleasantly surprised with how the name had stuck with the locals. There were some ‘Squaw’ slip-ups here and there, but it seemed like the majority of people were accepting of the new name.
I was expecting to encounter people who refused to call the resort anything different, but they only seem to live in the comments of Facebook posts, thankfully.
^The Aerial Tram base clad with Palisades Tahoe logos
Passionate skiers and snowboarders develop emotional bonds with their favorite ski resort. The mountains, facilities, chairlifts, and trails become friendly faces that we look to in times when we need comfort.
That’s why I can absolutely understand the rage some individuals felt when the resort announced why they were changing the name, but I’m glad that the diehards are willing to adapt.
Let’s be clear though, changing the name from Squaw Valley to Palisades Tahoe doesn’t erase the rich history of the resort.
The resort was called Squaw Valley back when Shane McConkey and the boys of G.N.A.R. were ripping lines down KT-22, and that will remain written in history forever.
I’ll let the pissed-off Facebook dweebs yell at each other in the comments about whether the name should have been changed or not. What’s done is done, and the name Palisades Tahoe is what we have now.
Hell, the name is even starting to grow on me, even just a little bit. Plus, it’s kind of nice being able to abbreviate it as ‘PT’ in texts.
I believe that a key factor to a happy life is choosing your battles. If Native Americans are offended by the use of the word Squaw and the resort wants to make a name change to rectify that, then so be it.
I’m not going to be one of those idiots losing sleep and raising my stress levels by going on an internet crusade just to make a point.
^The Gold Coast Funicular with new Palisades Tahoe logos
Calling the ski resort Palisades Tahoe instead of Squaw Valley isn’t hard, nor does it negatively impact my life.
So, Palisades Tahoe it is, and Palisades Tahoe it will be.
Cheers to next season. Hope to see you out there.
All photos credit: Matt Lorelli/Unofficial Networks