Earlier this year I wrote a blog analyzing how one should go about purchasing a winter season pass at one of the many Lake Tahoe ski resorts, but I overlooked what that winter pass gets you during the summer months at the various ski resorts. In my previous post I declared that I buy my season pass at Sierra-at-Tahoe for $279 which is the best price in Tahoe, however that $279 gets you nothing during the summer months and so I reconsidered my decision for the 2015-2016 winter season. The same can be said about the epic pass and the ability to use the summer biking activities at Northstar ski resort, as you cannot use your winter pass to ride the gondola or take laps on your mountain bike. Northstar offers a summer bike pass that will run $349 if you have a winter pass which only pays for itself if you are going to ride 7 or more days at Northstar, and if you do not have a winter pass you will need to ride 8 or more days for the pass to pay for itself. The bike park is not all Northstar has to offer; Northstar also offers golf, mini golf, a bungee trampoline, a rock wall, fly fishing on a stocked reservoir, and also features live music during the summer. These other activities have their own pricing and do not require you to buy a lift ticket to enjoy.
The epic pass does not include just Northstar, but Heavenly ski resort and Kirkwood ski resort as well. At both of these resorts your winter epic pass gets you free access to the lifts during the summer with tons of hiking trails to be explored. Heavenly has one activity that no other resort has in Lake Tahoe and that is zip lining. Heavenly currently boasts two zip lines, one of which is 3,300 feet long and over looks gorgeous Lake Tahoe on your way down. Kirkwood also offers mountain biking during the summer in addition to hiking and is included in the price of the Northstar bike pass, or you may purchase a Kirkwood only biking pass for significantly cheaper. Other activities that these two resorts host are disc golf, summer tubing, a ropes course, and outdoor climbing all accessible with your winter season pass. This year I personally purchased the epic pass for the winter as I will be visiting the largest ski resort in the United States, Park City / Canyons, and I am stoked on the addition of Jackson Hole Wyoming to the Vail Resorts family.
Squaw Valley has some of the best hiking trails that I have been on in the North Lake Tahoe area. The tram costs $39 for adults to ride up and is free if you have a valid winter season pass; however if you hike from the base to the top of the tram you are allowed to ride the tram down to the bottom for free. Along the hiking trails there are many waterfalls and swimming pools early in the summer, and also a disc golf course that runs all summer long beginning June 20th of this year. Disc golf is free however you will need to ride the tram up to the course or take the free hiking trails up to the course. Squaw also offers tennis, golf, a ropes course, roller skating, a pool and spa, and plays host to many summer festivals such as Wanderlust. Purchasing a winter pass does get you free tram rides at Squaw Valley during the summer and so this pass is useful all year long, however this pass does cost the most out of all the passes in the Lake Tahoe area. Now get your pass and get out there and explore Lake Tahoe.
As I get ready to head off on vacation, I ran across a couple of articles on CFOs taking more working vacations. Robert Half Management Resources performed a study as to how often CFOs check in with the office during summer vacation. The percentage of time is increasing from their responses in 2012. It’s so easy now with everyone being so plugged in. Only 32% don’t anticipate checking in at all.
Robert Half Management Resources offers suggestions for allowing yourself to get away:
I’m a bit of an “all in or all out” person. When I’m in town I’m tied to my work. Some call me a workaholic. However, when I’m gone, I’m usually “gone.” Why? Because I do trust my team to take care of things. Our firm involves other staff in client relationships so that they can handle matters when the key contact person is out. I don’t worry when I’m gone.
We promote work-life balance because it’s meaningful to the Millennials, but we all need an opportunity to take some time to recharge. Sure, we may pay for it by putting in extra time before we leave and then on our return. But I do believe it is important to recharge. Your perspective is much better when you’ve had a chance to clear your mind and enjoy some personal relationship time.
I’m heading off to spend some quality travel time with my future daughter-in-law. One to one time. How often will that opportunity happen?
So, even as I feel guilty about taking off, it won’t last long. Until I return.
On May 26th the Internal Revenue Service announced that more than 100,000 accounts from the “Get Transcript” application had been accessed by unauthorized individuals (i.e. criminals). The data stolen consisted of Social Security information, dates of birth and street addresses along with prior year tax transcripts. Access to the Get Transcript application has been disabled, but the damage has been done for the more than 100,000 taxpayers that had information stolen.
The IRS has said their systems were not actually hacked, but rather the criminals gained access to individuals’ tax data through personal information already in their possession. One of the many previous breaches of our personal data has left plenty of information in the hands of these less than savory characters. Even though the Get Transcript application requires users to answer several personal questions, the information already floating around out there in the dark corners of the internet allowed these criminals to successfully answer the “challenge” questions that allow people to access prior year tax transcripts.
The bummer about all of this is the inconvenience and headache this will cause those taxpayers who are affected. Additionally, the head of the IRS, John Koskinen, told Congress that up to $39 million has been stolen due to the criminals filing fraudulent tax returns with information obtained from the data breach. The Commissioner also went on to say that these cyber-criminals made about 200,000 attempts to get taxpayer data, so this wasn’t a one time smash and grab attack. To add insult to injury, the Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George told Congress that the IRS had not acted on recommended security improvements that would have made the cyber-criminals attempts more difficult. And oh yeah – the IRS is also running 19-year old security software and still runs Windows XP. Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP a year ago and it has been wide open to hacking attacks ever since.
The IRS will be sending letters to the approximately 200,000 taxpayers whose accounts had attempted unauthorized accesses. For the more than 100,000 taxpayers whose accounts were accessed, the IRS will be offering free credit monitoring. Affected taxpayers will also have will have additional flags on their IRS accounts to hopefully detect any potential fraud.
The Reno Tahoe Odyssey, or “RTO” as it has become to be known around the area, is a relay race that begins in the heart of downtown Reno, traverses the hills up through Verdi and Truckee, to the West Shore of Tahoe, back down through Genoa and Carson City, continues up to Virginia City and culminates back in Reno at Idlewild Park. It consists mainly of 12 person teams, but can be as small as 1 (in 2014, “Army of Juan” completed the course for the first time solo!) in an attempt to travel the 178 miles in less than 33 hours. Most teams consist of 12 individuals who each run 3 legs of the relay race. Each team member runs approximately 15 miles during the day and half of sheer agony, beginning Friday morning at 7 am and concluding no later than 4pm on Saturday afternoon.
This year will be my first attempt at this adventure. I am writing this portion of my blog prior to running as I begin my legs in about 3 ½ hours. I am excited and nervous at the same time. I have been training for about 3 weeks as I was a late addition to my team. I feel completely under-prepared as I am the unfortunate one to draw the hardest ranked set of legs – 7, 19, and 31. I’m still not really sure what to expect. I am having a hard time grasping the team aspect of the race, and am mainly worried about how fast my individual splits will be. I wonder how my Outlook will change over the next two days…
What an amazing, terrible, agonizing, wonderful event. Sleep deprivation, burning legs, and the inability to breathe makes you question your sanity…until you see your team standing at the next exchange point. As soon as you make the handoff you beam with confidence and accomplishment at the task that you have completed. Even though I could barely stand, it was one of the greatest events of my life.
My personal goals are immediately set aside as I found myself running purely for the rest of my team. While running, or even those walking, constant applause and encouragement came from every angle as other runners, support vans, and patrons alike cheer you on as you make your way through this daunting event. I can surely say that it has changed my life. The camaraderie of the race restored my faith in humanity as 3,000 runners came together to accomplish a common goal. I can’t imagine not being a part of this event for the rest of my life.
A huge thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who help put this event on. Only 51 weeks left until next year…time to start training!