Ski resort renamed to Palisades Tahoe due to racist history of original name


FILE – In this February 1960 file photo, a parking pad of compacted snow is jammed with thousands of automobiles at Squaw Valley during the Winter Olympics in Olympic Valley, Calig. California’s Squaw Valley Ski Resort is considering changing its name to remove “squaw,” a derogatory term for Native American women. Squaw Valley President & CEO Ron Cohen says resort officials are meeting with shareholders and the local Washoe tribal leadership to get their input. He says he can’t give a timeline on when the decision will be made. The renaming of Squaw Valley Ski Resort is one of many efforts across the nation to address colonialism and indigenous oppression. (AP Photo, File)

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. (KRON) — A Lake Tahoe ski resort has changed its name to Palisades Tahoe to remove a racist and sexist slur from its name.

The resort said it committed to finding a new name in 2020; after “extensive research into the historical and current usage and regional history of the word “squaw,” and discussions with the local Washoe Tribe, which affirmed the position that it is widely considered a racist and sexist slur against Indigenous women.”

After those discussions, they landed on ‘Palisades Tahoe.’ Multiple surveys and focus groups made up of locals, pass holders, athletes and resort employees also contributed to the final decision, the resort says.

The name “captures and honors two of the resort’s most legendary arenas, one on the Olympic Valley side and one on the Alpine Meadows side, where granite walls rise all around and where generations of freeskiers made their mark,” according to the resort.

The resort’s new logo even honors a sacred Washoe symbol with the inclusion of an eagle outline.

But Palisades Tahoe’s work to forget the slur its used for over 70 years doesn’t end at the renaming. According to the resort, they have built a partnership with the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California — giving tribe members a way to speak to and educate resort visitors on their culture and the ancestral land.

It will take multiple years to completely rebrand, the resort says, as aspects like the chairlifts still need to be renamed.

Palisades Tahoe is the largest Tahoe area ski resort and has hosted the Winter Olympics.

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