Vacations are incredibly expensive. Let’s save you some money on your trip to Tahoe! Of course having your own condo allows you to not only share the lodging costs with your friends but save a substantial amount on restaurants by eating some of your meals in. Weather permitting who doesn’t love barbecuing like you can do right in front of the Ripke Condo!
If you are coming from more than 500 miles away you will most likely be flying into Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Our airline of choice to save you money on air fare would be Southwest. And your check-in bags fly free. We recently flew to Hawaii on another airline and they charge $25 per bag for each check-in item! The only way to avoid other airline’s excessive bag fees is to pack as much as you can into your carry-on!
Savings on transportation.
Once you arrive in Reno you may either rent a car at the airport, or take the Reno-Tahoe Express bus into SLT. Car rental agencies are located next to Harrah’s casino once you arrive in SLT. We recommend a car, even though our condo is located in the center of all SLT venues. Almost all of the sights to see are spead out in a 5-30 mile radius. A scenic drive around the lake is close to 90 miles. A rental car is highly recommended. For all transportation information, including the Tahoe “Blu Go” shuttle and the “Reno-Tahoe Express” bus go to the links page on our Ripke Condo web site at:
Savings on gas………..
If you are driving to Lake Tahoe be sure to fill up before you reach the Lake. Gas is 20-25 cents cheaper per gallon before you head up the hill from the Carson Valley or Sacramento. While at the Lake the cheapest gas we could find is the USA station just west of the intersection of Hwys. 50 and 89 (known at the “Y”). The USA station is located right next to “Bert’s” coffee shop on the right as you head west on Hwy. 50 towards the Lake Tahoe Airport.
Coming in from Reno from the north fill up at the ARCO station just before you reach the base of Hwy. 50 heading up the grade to the Lake. Coming in from the south on 395 fill up at the first stop light you see as you come into the Carson Valley. The 7-Eleven at this light has gas prices 20-25 cents per gallon LOWER than those at Lake level.
From the west (Bay Area) be sure to look for any ARCO station east of Sacramento and fill up before you reach the Lake. Check gas prices at any independent station as well as they are always cheaper that the “big three” oil companies.
Rent bikes to get around the Lake to free you from high gas prices.
We love bike riding when the weather warms. We will devote a future blog on the many places you can rent bikes. SLT is constantly upgrading and adding more bike paths. We love taking our bikes out to breakfast. For the cool mornings be sure to bring gloves and a warm jacket. Riding a bike “home” also burns off those calories you added during your meal!
Huge savings on supplies………
We recommend stopping at Walmart or Costco in Carson City before heading up to Lake Tahoe! If you are coming in from the south (Los Angeles) it will be worth driving the extra 15 miles north to Carson City to where Hwys. 50 and 395 meet. Both the Costco and Walmart are located at this intersection. You can see both stores from 395. At this Walmart Super Center save up to 35% over grocery prices at Lake level. For one-week stays in our condo this grocery stop is a must! You can stock up and save on items from sun tan lotion to barbecue supplies to breakfast items. We don’t believe the Costco in Carson City has gas pumps so keep that in mind but I could be wrong.
For cheaper grocery prices while at the Lake try using your Safeway club card at this market three blocks west of our condo on Hwy. 50. This is a full-service Safeway that has a fully stocked deli. You can also find cheaper food prices at the “Grocery Barn” about 3 miles west of our condo on the left side of Hwy. 50 as you head west.
You’ll love waking up to the aroma of eggs and bacon in our Ripke Condo dining area! You can save big by eating at least one meal in and preparing snacks for day trips. If you like hiking or biking you can save by packing sandwiches and fruit in your backpacks. A future article will “que you in” on our favorite hiking and bike rental spots.
Another amenity our condo features is balcony dining during warm summer months. You can’t do this at the casinos. And the food tastes better with the smell of “pine” in the air!
Save on restaurant meals.
When first arriving at the lake we like “Applebees” where Hwy. 50 and Pioneer Trail meet about 1/2 mile west of the casinos. Very affordable family fare and specials on many menu items. Another way to save on food is to use your “casino credits” on meals. We love eating at the “American River Cafe” inside Harrah’s. Get a casino club card there and use your gambling credits for meals. Of course, you are likely to pay for that meal once you get near the machines or table games!
One breakfast place we love is the “Lakeside Inn”. You will love their daily breakfast specials. A daily special bacon and egg breakfast for $5.99! And, with a Lakeside player’s card you get a free meal each month! Check our “Favorite Places To Eat” blog for more great restaurants.
Love those buffets! But, you tend to overeat and the buffets are not that cheap if you do not use your casino credits. The best, and most scenic buffet is at the top of Harrah’s where you get a 360 degree view of the Lake.
Save on souveniers.
In Tahoe, just like any other top tourist destination, you will find a “plethora” of souvenir outlets. You will also find the highest prices in the Marriott Village near stateline. There may be some hidden bargains here in the “by one, get one free” category. But you will find lower souvenir prices at the local drug stores and merchants located farther away from stateline. Dare I say this? Try the local “K-Mart at the “Y” where Hwy’s. 50 and 89 meet 5 miles west of stateline. You may also try looking in any of the local drug stores, like CVS. There are alot of retired seniors in Tahoe as evidenced by the presence of a drug store nearly every three blocks. You will have no problem filling a prescription at Lake Tahoe.
Casinos stays vs. your own condo? I get this argument all the time. If you have a Harrah’s card you get free nights in Tahoe. I know. I have a “Total Rewards” card. But don’t you come to Tahoe to get away from the slot machines and tables? If you want casinos we love Las Vegas. Don’t get me wrong, we love going to the casinos in the evening. But we love Tahoe because of the scenery and the smell of pine in the air along with the peace, serenity, and the beauty of the Lake. Add the beaches and hiking plus winter skiing. So much to do in the daytime! Shouldn’t staying in your own condo be your first choice when visiting Lake Tahoe? With your own condo you can share the rent when you stay with friends. Having your “own home” with your own kitchen, living, and dining room beats staying in a stuffy hotel room anytime! And don’t forget the spacious heated pool, hot tub, and free WIFI, which most hotels charge you extra for!
Stay this spring and SAVE by taking advantage of our lower spring rates!
Only $99 per night plus tax, cleaning and Pinnacle (our rental agency) fees. Good for stays April 14 through June 13. Stay one week for only $590 plus t/c and fees! Make your summer plans now as our dates in June, July and August are filling up fast! We hope to welcome you in soon as our guests in the Ripke Condo!