Thursday, February 28, 2013

What Are Your Nevada Bests?

Do you have a favorite hotel, restaurant, show, or event in Nevada? How about a museum, ski resort, state park, or place to take the kids? You can cast your vote in these categories and more in Nevada Magazine's 2013 Best of Nevada survey now through Friday, April 19.

Not only is it a great opportunity to support your favorite attractions and businesses, one lucky voter will win a Reno travel package, including two nights accommodations at Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno, dinner at Roxy, show tickets at Eldorado Showroom, plus a round of golf at Wildcreek Golf Course in Sparks (all prize packages are for two people). Vote now at!

See past Best of Nevada winners here.

In Nevada Magazine's March/April 2013 issue

Photo by Skip Reeves
State Route 722
Nevada Magazine's current issue features two centennial celebrations — the Lincoln Highway in Nevada and the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, about 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway, and you can still drive on original sections of it in the Silver State. Also, towns along U.S. Highway 50 will be celebrating the centennial during select dates in June.

The Pioneer Saloon, the subject of this issue's History story, was built by Clark County commissioner George Fayle in 1913, when the mill town was enjoying its boom years. One hundred years later, the Pioneer Saloon is still standing…and still serving. It contains a Memorial Room in honor of actress Carole Lombard, who died in 1942 as a result of a plane crash on nearby Mount Potosi. Her husband, actor Clark Gable, spent time at the saloon while awaiting news of Lombard's fate

The issue also features Nevada’s array of professional and collegiate sporting events that promise to keep residents and tourists entertained without breaking the bank — whether you’re root-root-rooting for the home team at a Las Vegas 51s or Reno Aces Triple-A baseball game, hitting the hardwood with the Reno Bighorns basketball team, or annoying everyone in earshot with your vuvuzela at a Las Vegas Legends soccer match. The story also covers hockey, bowling, collegiate sports, golf, and motorsports.

Also in the issue are stories about prospecting for gold and other minerals in Nevada, Thunder Mountain Indian Monument in Imlay, Las Vegas Distillery, Boyz II Men's new headliner show at The Mirage, and a Q&A with Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority President and CEO Chris Baum about Reno's new slogan, "All Seasons—1,000 Reasons."

Nevada Magazine is offering a free trial version of the digital edition of its current March/April 2013 issue, available here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Best Chefs America


Executive Chef Richard LaCounte of 1862 David Walley’s Restaurant and Saloon has been honored as one of the country’s top culinary talents in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America. Less than 1 percent off all chefs and professional cooks in America made the publication's list.

This is the first-ever peer review guide of U.S. chefs, who were chosen after extensive interviews between their fellow chefs and Best Chefs America analysts. Chef LaCounte will be showcased in the informative and exquisitely produced 386-page coffee table book that will be released on March 1.

“This is a great honor. To be recognized by my peers and to be included in Best Chefs America, is really a dream come true” LaCounte says. “This is a tough profession. There can be a lot of pressure and changing situations. Handling these situations professionally with my peers has always been a goal of mine. To be recognized for this and my expertise and creativity as a chef gives me great satisfaction.”

Richard LaCounte
LaCounte is the executive chef of 1862 David Walley’s Restaurant and Saloon at 2001 Foothill Rd. in Genoa. A native of Reno, LaCounte trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York City. He joined 1862 David Walley’s Restaurant and Saloon from the Grand Sierra Resort and Charlie Palmer Group.

Having worked in some of Las Vegas’ most exclusive restaurants, LaCounte’s expertise is evident in the presentation and taste of his specialties at 1862. His appreciation for seasonal ingredients and the finest game, fish, and poultry are transformed into innovative menus, resulting in an unforgettable dining experience with practical pricing for every guest.

Winner of the 2012 Wine Spectator Magazine’s “Award of Excellence,” 1862 David Walley’s Restaurant and Saloon serves dinner nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Call 775-782-6602, or book online via Open Table at

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Homewood's Master Plan

A rendering of the planned hotel at the base of Homewood Mountain Resort.
Below is a rendering of the planned mid-mountain lodge.
At a recent media familiarization tour I attended on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, I learned some truths that have given me new insight into the offerings on this side of the famous lake:
  • Big things are being planned for historic Homewood Mountain Resort, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011.
  • The current offerings at Homewood should not be discounted, including incredible views of Lake Tahoe from many of the resort's ski runs and great deals on lift tickets compared to other area resorts.
  • West Shore Cafe and Inn is a cozy, affordable retreat for someone looking for more of a throwback Lake Tahoe experience.
Homewood Looks to the Future

Aiming for a blend of history—Homewood's roots can be traced to 1961—and modern green-building practices, the quaint mountain resort will undergo a bold transformation in the next few years.

The Homewood Mountain Resort Master Plan includes a new amphitheater, 75-room boutique hotel, and mid-mountain lodge, which will compete with other resorts and villages that have renovated in the last decade around the lake. For more information about the master plan, call 530-582-6085, visit, or e-mail 

Homewood Today

I was pleased to learn, given the seemingly annual rising costs of lift tickets at Reno-Tahoe resorts, Homewood offers adult tickets from $44 in addition to new conveniences, technology, and family-focused ski and snowboard programs.

The 'Homewood Guarantee' ensures that every chair lift remains open during the current ski season (weather and conditions permitting). Popular lifts such as Old Homewood Express and Quail and Ellis triple chairs offer access to some of the region’s most popular powder bowls, gladed slopes, and groomed trails—each with views of the lake that rival any area resort. 

Homewood Mountain Resort offers stellar views
of Lake Tahoe.
Also, guests have a new way to interact with the mountain via their smartphones. With Homewood’s mobile app, guests can locate themselves on the trail map, find their friends on the mountain, view current weather forecasts and grooming information, and easily and quickly share content via social media. Additionally, guests can order yummy Homeward Bound Paninis to-go from any smartphone. Visit

I was relieved, after a day of snowboarding myself, to be introduced to the new Big Blue View Bar. Sipping a beverage to the beats of a mid-mountain DJ while meeting some of the Homewood staff was a perfect conclusion to a great day of boarding.

The list of new and improved does not stop there. The resort also offers high-definition streaming web cams—part of’s Pearls of the Planet initiative—season passes that are valid every day including holidays, a Homewood Family Pass for $599, and a Burton Learn to Ride center, among other things.

Stay at West Shore Café and Inn

The media fam also included two nights lodging and two dinners at the homey waterfront West Shore Café and Inn, right across the street from Homewood. I was able to stay one night and partake in one group dinner, and came away with nothing but pleasant memories. The lodge is only two stories, but the first floor contains a popular restaurant and great views of Lake Tahoe. Take it from me, the food is complimentary to the magnificent views.

Skiers and boarders can take advantage of the Peak to Shore Package, which includes lodging at the West Shore Café and Inn as well as access to the lifts at Homewood. The packages start at $299 per night and are available through May 2013. Each night reserved includes two Homewood lift tickets—valid any day including holidays—complimentary breakfast, car valet, and shuttle service to and from nearby destinations.

Prior to this media fam, I hadn't spent a lot of time on the west shore. That's definitely going to change after my recent visit. If you haven't explored the west side of Lake Tahoe recently, or ever, do yourself a favor and plan a trip soon.