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California Ski Resort Formerly Known as Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is now “Palisades Tahoe”


Formerly known as Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, the popular California ski resort and the home to the 1960 Winter Olympics has changed its name. It will now be known as “Palisades Tahoe.”


The resort had been called “Squaw Valley” since its founding in 1949. The iconic California ski resort and 1960 Olympic host officially changed its name to “Palisades Tahoe” this week. 


The word “Squaw” is widely seen as a racist and sexist slur against indigenous women, according to the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. The Washoe were the original inhabitants of the greater Lake Tahoe area. 


The resort committed to the name change in the summer of 2020, amid a nationwide reckoning on race relations and racism following the murder of a black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


In a statement from the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, the tribe commended the decision, calling it a “milestone” accomplishment decades in the making. Tribal Chairman Serrell Smokey called the move a “positive step forward.”


The resort's new name and logo reflect both the ski culture of the resort and Washoe history in the region. The Palisades are an iconic flat-topped rock formation on one of the resort’s many ridge lines, and the new eagle logo represents a sacred symbol of the Washoe.


Resort President and COO Dee Byrne says the name change reflects the resort’s and the local community’s values, adding “it is inspiring that after seven decades in operation, a company as storied and established as this resort can still reflect and adjust when it is the necessary and right thing to do.”


Palisades Tahoe was acquired by KSL Capital Partners in 2010. In 2017, the resort was also a founding resort in KSL’s formation of Alterra Mountain Company, alongside Deer Valley Resort in Park City and several other destinations in North America.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.