1960 was a very good year for Lake Tahoe. In January, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin purchased the Cal-Neva Lodge & Casino on the North Shore. In February, the 1960 Winter Games found their way to the granite-cliffed scar that would become known as Olympic Valley. And in the summer, a swath of lakefront property on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore known as Edgewood began to take shape as a championship golf course and luxury resort.

1960 US Olympic Hockey Team
The 1960 Olympics were hosted in Olympic Valley, Ca in the Lake Tahoe Basin. It was there the heavy underdog US Team performed its first Miracle on Ice vs. the Soviets. (Image: Olympic Museum Tahoe City, Ca)

It took sixty years of dormancy, development woes, and looking on as mountain towns like Aspen, Park City, Vail, and Jackson Hole turned winter sports’ enthusiast’s heads and made headlines—but the Tahoe Basin may be returning to some of those past glories. And all it took was a pandemic.

Lake Tahoe Housing Market Captures Nation’s Attention During Pandemic

Lake Tahoe topped Redfin’s “hottest neighborhoods” in 2020. The Seattle-based online real estate brokerage said home sales in the Tahoe Basin jumped a whopping 87% year-over-year from October 2019 to October 2020, with the median sale price, $945,000, up 28% during that time. Median views per listing soared 280% and the median number of days homes sat on the market was 48, down 25 days.

“The Lake Tahoe housing market is hotter than ever,” Redfin real estate agent Jaime Moore said in a statement. “People are coming from San Francisco in droves, and they’re bringing their Bay Area salaries with them.”

The Tahoe Basin became a prominent thread in the relocation trend as both realtors and journalists started calling the area a “Zoom town.” In 2020, the places that boomed were more destination-driven as buyers who could work jobs remotely made haste from the cities and the suburbs amid a pandemic. Tahoe, a drive-to market that features easy access to a half-dozen airports and five major metros, typified that trend.

Where People Go, Big Events Usually Follow

New Year’s Day news broke on Canada-based Sportsnet that the NHL had tapped the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe to host a set of outdoor games in February.

The Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers, and the Silver State’s home team, Las Vegas Golden Knights, will participate in a two-day event hosted by Edgewood Tahoe Resort.

Though fans won’t be allowed to attend, the NHL hopes hockey on the edge of the second-deepest lake in the US will captivate a TV viewing audience.

NHL games in Tahoe also will be the league’s marquee event this season as it has already canceled its Winter Classic in Minneapolis, the outdoor game in Raleigh, and All-Star Weekend in Florida due to COVID-19.

Hockey Fans Recall Tahoe as Backdrop for ‘Forgotten Miracle’

Hockey Twitter lit up Friday morning, recalling the United States’ improbable 1960 Olympic hockey victory. The Olympiad’s gold-medal game against the Soviet Union is dubbed “The Forgotten Miracle,” a reference to the United States toppling the Soviets during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid during the medal round—you know, the one they make movies about.

Whether it’s for nostalgia, curiosity, or something for newly minted Basin residents to come to take a gander at, NHL officials said they hope the event, staged between the Edgewood’s 16th and 18th holes, garners interest in games played in “natural wilderness” settings.

The puck drops for the Avalanche vs. the Golden Knights on Feb. 20 and the Flyers vs. the Bruins on Feb. 21. Both games will be televised on NBC.

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