Located on the Mt. Rose Highway, 30 minutes from Reno is the oldest non-profit ski and snowboard training facility in America, Sky Tavern. Since 1948, tens of thousands of kids have been taught skiing and snowboarding with some going on to greatness as members of the US Ski Team. Tamara McKinney and Reno's first Olympic Gold Medalist, David Wise, both got their skiing starts at Sky Tavern as have many more champions!
Sky Tavern is best known for the Junior Ski Program, a volunteer staffed program, operating winter weekends with the parents helping for a few hours. Some parents are instructors, while others work in support roles such as the cafeteria, lift lines or other positions. Sky Tavern may best be described as a co-op. Parent and other adults giving up time, talent and treasure to run a training ski area for the kids.
Sky Tavern has a large number of certified ski and snowboard instructors and coaches that oversee all training. Lessons range from first time on the snow to advance all mountain and alpine racing. Instruction starts at age four for kids with parents joining or nine for kids wanting to come up on the bus program and continues through high school ages. And yes, there are even lessons for Mom and Dad!
A weekend only program starting in January, the objective is to provide a safe and fun environment that fosters learning, family fun, trust and a lifelong love of winter sports at as low a price as possible. Lessons are in the morning and kids have the afternoon to show off what they've learned by free skiing. Mom and Dad can take lessons after lunch or try to keep up with the kids on the snow!
Mountain biking has gone on at Sky Tavern since the beginning of the sport, but now the nonprofit has plans to expand from just winter operations to offer summer programs and recreation too and bikes will play a large part of that. The goal is to make Sky Tavern the center of area biking, with trails up to the Mt. Rose summit and down to Galena Park.
It started by building two advanced level downhill trails from top to bottom, a dual slalom course near our winter terrain park and a cross country single track. Sky Tavern has hosted collegiate races for the University of Nevada for the past 3 years with great success but more groups need to be able to ride here.
Kids and families are always at the forefront of any Sky Tavern plan, so construction has multiple phases starting with building skills areas in the base area at the lodge and climbing trails to the rest of the mountain. Once those are completed, events for kids, families and devoted bikers can begin. Racing, demo days, events and a mirror image of the Jr. Ski Program on wheels are all on the list of things to come. After that more trail construction will happen. Sky Tavern will become where some first experience the sport on easy flowing trails and where adrenaline junkies can jump all day. Some days the chairlift will get you to the top, some days you will be all on your own! This will be fun, fun for everyone!
Building sustainable trails is not cheap and Sky Tavern needs miles of them. Currently in the process of applying for grants to help fund the building of your community bike park, we also plan to sell trail supporter passes, engage in crowd funding, find business partners, do anything to get this built. You can show your support by getting involved or donating today.
With lift-served access on the outskirts of Reno, the Sky Tavern Bike Park already provides a downhill track and a dual slalom course. The proposed new trail will feature a mix of natural features and machine-built sections, including natural rock gardens, steep rolldowns, jumps, and berms, dropping 650 vertical feet.
Sky Tavern is a blank page and can only be made great through the efforts of those that feel the outdoors is important for everyone but especially kids. Let’s build something.
From ceremonies served by the chairlift to the top of the mountain, to formal dinners in the lodge, Sky Tavern can coordinate and plan your entire wedding for you. Our experienced staff will help with everything from décor to photographers, food to music. A wedding at Sky Tavern is something very unique on your special day.