Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge - Lake Tahoe
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Lake Tahoe Activities and News

Archive for the ‘international staff’ Category

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Last month, we took time out to introduce you to the extended Granlibakken family – our picture-062international staff. We continue to celebrate traditions the world over, most recently, ringing in the New Year with a Chinese theme to mark the Year of the Rabbit (the official start of the Chinese calendar being February 3, 2011).

All guests were invited to a formal, festive dinner of two seatings on December 31, 2010. Our menu offered something for everyone and in sticking with our theme, offered Sesame Yakisobe Noodles with Scallions, Asian Broccoli and Portobella Mushroom Salad, Asian Marinated Pork Chops, Panko-fried Tofu, a variety of stir fries, rices and more.

For good luck, guests could rub the stomach of our Laughing Buddha and mix and mingle from table to table, weaving amongst red, black and silver balloons. A DJ played all night and dancing made our cheerful night all the more jovial as guests tore up the dance floor leading up to the countdown.


We’re looking forward to seeing you again this year and hope you consider making Granlibakken your home away from home.

Favorite Holiday Traditions – Ron Parson – Holland, Belgium, Switzerland

Friday, December 24th, 2010

As you all know, Granlibakken is a family-owned and operated resort. Today, we bring you holiday memories and cheer from Ron Parson, Owner and General Manager of Granlibakken.

Ron spent his childhood throughout Europe including Holland, Belgium and Switzerland where Christmas, or rather Sinterklaas, was celebrated on December 5th and 6th. Like Toni from Germany, Ron and his family would put shoes out on the front porch for St. Nicholas, who would fill them with candies, fruits and nuts the next morning. Over the years, Ron, Lauren and their four kids have carried these traditions on in their celebrations stateside placing wooden clogs on the porch, to be filled with Dutch candies, shipped from friends in Holland.

Ron’s mother directed the Christmas Pageant in Antwerp. Year after year, he would play the Little Drummer Boy. When he finally told his mother that he had outgrown the role, he was re-cast as the peddler. Ron’s brought the pageantry of his childhood to Granlibakken with the Torchlight Parade, visit from Santa Claus and most recently, Bjorn t’Party, our Viking in-residence. Just as his mother did, Ron’s cast his family in Granlibakken’s festival. His father plays Santa.

For Ron, the holidays have always been about family. With the holidays, the Parson family grows to include the extended Granlibakken family of Luis, Toni, Isti and the entire staff as well as Granlibakken’s friends in the Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City community.

On behalf of the Parson family, we at Granlibakken wish you a safe and merry holiday.


Favorite Holiday Traditions – Isti from Hungary

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Isti from Hungary (his full name is Istvan) is here to share holiday traditions from his home country ofisti Hungary. Much like Luis and Toni, the family gathers and celebrates on Christmas Eve, the day the angels descend on Hungary. For Isti, his grandparents would visit taking the kids on a walk. They’d all remark on the trees adorned with lights, a symbol that the angels have come and gone with good tidings and gifts. Upon returning home, Isti’s father, greeting them in the dark, would as if the angels have been to their home, and with the clever flick of a switch, the Christmas tree would light up to glow upon all the gifts left by the angels.

To ask Isti more about traditions in his home country, stop by the front desk at Granlibakken.

Favorite Holiday Traditions – Toni from Germany

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Today, we’re pleased to introduce you to Toni from Saxony, Germany. Toni’s career at Granlibakken started in 2004 as an accounting intern. Since then, she’s worn different hats around the resort. Today, you can find Toni managing the maintenance department or out on the ski hill instructing. She’s here to share her holiday traditions from East Germany.


On December 6th, Toni and her family would clean out their shoes and then leave one shoe outside the door to be filled with candy, fruits and nuts the next morning, much like our familiar tradition of hanging stockings on the fireplace.

Then four days before Christmas, Toni and her family would light three candles on the holiday wreath, leaving the last candle unlit until Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve is for decorating the tree and spending time with family. A walk is part of the day’s activities. And upon returning home, gifts are laying beneath the tree. Evening brings church performances and a homemade family dinner, which for Toni included potato salad, sauerkraut and bratwurst. Family visits continue into Christmas Day and the following with a traditional feast that includes either duck or rabbit, dumplings and red cabbage with dark gravy.

Throughout the winter, you’ll be hearing more from Toni – with her winter, ski instructor hat on. And when you visit the resort, you’ll surely see her running by so be sure to say “Guten Tag”!

Our favorite holiday traditions

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Over the next week, we’ll be introducing you to the Granlibakken family and sharing favorite holiday traditions from our international staff.

Today, we’d like you to meet Luis Ortiz, originally from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. For the past 9 years, Luis has worked at Granlibakken. Today, you can find him in the maintenance department.

For Luis, the Christmas holiday means gathering with family (usually 40-50 family members). Holiday celebrations begin 10 days before Christmas for the tree decoration. In addition to the ornaments and luis-ortiz-granlibakkendecorations on the tree, the manger is set up below the tree. On December 24th, family attends mass in the early evening. At midnight, they complete the manger scene with the placement of Baby Jesus. This is followed by the most festive part of the tradition – a family buffet of chicken, steak, pork, different salads and an assortment of sweets including chocolate, Panattone bread and dried fruit. Unlike other traditions in Bolivia like New Year’s and Independence Day, Christmas is about spending time with family.

This Christmas, Luis will spend it with his Granlibakken family with festivities beginning on December 24th with the Torchlight Parade and visit from Santa.

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