All posts by sebfoltz

High Gear review: Surefoot custom ski boots

Part of a weekly series of gear reviews for the Summit Daily News. http://bit.ly/2hHv3A6

From goggles down to socks, just about every ski or snowboard gear company is likely to tell you that their piece of equipment is the key to optimizing your skiing experience. But ask any ski or snowboard instructor, and chances are they’ll tell you it all starts with the right boots.

That’s why this week we checked in with the guys at the Copper Mountain Surefoot custom boot shop to learn a little more about the science behind boot fitting and just what can be done to get the perfect fit. They also set us up with a pair of their full custom fit boots to get a feel for what the right size is supposed to feel like. Continue reading High Gear review: Surefoot custom ski boots

Tahoe’s Coachman Motel raising the bar for renovation

Investors give 60s era motel European inspired face-lift

Story appeared in the Tahoe Daily Tribune. http://bit.ly/2j9ZwqO

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The parking lot outside may still have some semblance of a construction site — a shipping container or two and a few carpenters milling about — but take a step into the lobby of the newly renovated, state-of-the-art Coachman Hotel and it is easy to see a piece of managing partner Justin Watzka, his father Peter and their investment group’s vision.
Inspired in part by the communal nature of the traditional European ski lodge with a uniquely modernized interior design, the place is at once welcoming and stylish.
Part lodge, part Starbucks, part microbrew tasting lounge, with a hint of nostalgia for the 1960s motel experience, the concept has the potential to become a model for redevelopment of the region’s aging motel infrastructure.
“It’s something I’ve been looking toward doing for a number of years,” the tall, thin, long-haired 34-yearold Watzka said sipping a Stumptown coffee in his hotel’s new communal space — which will also be open to non-guests. Watzka looks every bit the part of what you would picture from a young professional Bay Area business type, with a passion for the outdoors. Continue reading Tahoe’s Coachman Motel raising the bar for renovation

Is Olympic slopestyle too dangerous?

Athletes, IOC react to official’s harsh criticism following Sochi Winter Olympics

Summit Daily News story in the aftermath of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. http://bit.ly/2mNehEK

The Winter Olympics returned to the headlines over the weekend with an International Olympic Committee official saying the games’ latest additions — skier and snowboard slopestyle — had an “unacceptably high” risk and should be dropped from future games if the sports don’t address safety concerns.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Lars Engebretsen, the IOC’s head of scientific activities, was quoted as saying slopestyle injuries were “much higher than any other sport in Sochi.”
While ski and snowboard slopestyle have a long history in events like the X Games and Dew Tour, they joined skier halfpipe as new additions to this year’s games in Sochi, Russia.
Engebretsen called for drastic measures regarding slopestyle in future Olympic competitions.
“Right now the injury rate as it was in Sochi was too high to be a sport that we have in the Olympics,” he said. Continue reading Is Olympic slopestyle too dangerous?

Tahoe highway plan seeks to revitalize downtown

City to host public forum on proposed ‘Loop Road’

News story on urban redevelopment plan from the Tahoe Daily Tribune. (Story link here)

Whether it’s for ski season or summertime recreation, a host of successful tourism destinations in the U.S. have one thing in common — a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly downtown. It’s an area where a number of South Shore transportation officials, tourism Loop Road Tahoepromoters and city officials have said that South Lake Tahoe and neighboring Stateline fall woefully short.

That’s the primary focus behind the ongoing Loop Road plan, officially known as the South Shore Community Revitalization Project. The project is being led by Tahoe Transportation District.

Tahoe Transportation District took another step in its effort to promote the project by hosting an open house Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel. The meeting was the second of its kind since December.

Currently in the early planning stages, the project has been narrowed to four potential options, along with a fifth no-build plan. Of those plans, two primary options have been described as more likely. Continue reading Tahoe highway plan seeks to revitalize downtown

Small plane crashes in South Lake Tahoe neighborhood

Pilot and passenger killed, FAA and NTSB investigating

Story from Tahoe Daily Tribune. http://bit.ly/2jJ6xm5

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board officials are continuing their investigation of Saturday’s [Oct. 10] single-engine plane crash near Lake Tahoe Airport. A spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board said the organization is currently in the “very early stages” of its analysis. National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration officials were at the crash site Sunday, Oct. 11, and reportedly completed their initial on-scene assessment of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing to gather facts regarding the incident. NTSB spokesman said investigations typically take up to a year to conclude.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 13, the El Dorado County Coroner’s Office had not released the identities of the two crash victims.
The crash is the fourth fatal incident of its kind involving a single-engine aircraft near Lake Tahoe Airport since 2009. Previous National Transportation Safety Board accident reports of other incidents cited trouble with compensating for altitude, proper air/fuel mixtures and mechanical failure. A fifth non-fatal crash involved high winds. A cause for Saturday’s crash has yet to be determined. Continue reading Small plane crashes in South Lake Tahoe neighborhood

Tahoe’s Cold Water Brewery celebrates one-year anniversary

Brewer and owner do it their own way

Story and photography first ran in November of 2015 in the Tahoe Tribune.

For brewmaster Ryan Parker, joining Cold Water Brewery was a chance to branch out and try something new; and it was a place to expand on his craft.
“Every beer is an art form,” he said, describing his approach. “Experimentally it’s nice to have that room to grow.”
For him, it’s all about the beer and the community that comes along with it. He leaves the business side of things up to longtime food and beverage industry director and brewery owner Debbie Brown.
“I don’t get out front very often,” Parker said of his focus on brewing. “I just like making beers.” Continue reading Tahoe’s Cold Water Brewery celebrates one-year anniversary

Clark, Kim, Gold leading charge in women’s snowboard halfpipe

Pushing boundaries, trio credits friendship over rivalry

Story first run in the Summit Daily News in March of 2015

One is a four-time Olympian and the first woman to land a 1080 in competition, the other recently became the youngest snowboarder to win gold at the X Games. Together 31-year-old Kelly Clark and 14-year-old Chloe Kim have been dominating women’s halfpipe for the last year and a half — with their U.S. teammate Arielle Gold, 18, not far behind.
“I think it’s awesome,” Gold said of their accomplishments in the last season. “I think the three of us have been pushing the sport more than it’s ever been.”
Since the Olympic qualifiers last winter one, two or all three of them have been on a podium for every major women’s snowboarding competition, with Clark generally setting the bar. It’s a streak bound to continue this weekend with Kim, Clark and Gold finishing first, second and third in the qualifying round of the Burton U.S. Open at Vail Thursday. They’ll face off in the finals Saturday in Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak halfpipe.
But don’t call it a rivalry. Continue reading Clark, Kim, Gold leading charge in women’s snowboard halfpipe