Palisades Tahoe unveiled as new name for resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics

The name change comes more than a year after it was decided by the resort that Squaw Valley was derogatory and offensive.

Palisades Tahoe skiers heading down the slope (Palisades Tahoe)
Palisades Tahoe skiers heading down the slope (Palisades Tahoe)

The California ski resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics has a new name.

Squaw Valley will now be Palisades Tahoe. The new name, along with a new logo, was unveiled on Monday by the resort, which was formerly officially known as Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.

The process to find a new name has been ongoing for more than a year.

Leaders of the renowned Northern Lake Tahoe ski destination in August 2020 announced plans for the name change after deciding that the term “squaw” is derogatory to Native American groups, including the local Washoe Tribe. The decision followed extensive research into the etymology and history of the name, in addition to outreach to local and extended communities.

“We were compelled to change the name because it’s the right thing to do, especially for the generations yet to come, who will grow up without having to use a slur to identify the place where they chase their dreams down the mountain,” said Ron Cohen, former president and COO of Palisades Tahoe.

Palisades Tahoe skier down steep hill (Palisades Tahoe)
Palisades Tahoe skier down steep hill (Palisades Tahoe)

“We know how much people love this place, and so we spent more than a year making sure that we were doing right by the community in choosing a name that would honor the past and reach out to the future. I am so grateful to the Palisades Tahoe team for their dedication to writing the next chapter of the resort’s storied history.”

According to the resort, Palisades Tahoe “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.

Palisades Tahoe logo (Palisades Tahoe)
Palisades Tahoe logo (Palisades Tahoe)

“Capturing this spirit of freedom, the new logo aligns the two unique mountains that make up Palisades Tahoe with the outline of a majestic eagle—a nod to an important Washoe symbol, the powerful bird that calls Tahoe home, and to the resort’s freeskiing roots.”

Palisades Tahoe is also working with the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California to give the tribe a platform to educate the public about their culture and the valleys’ origins as the ancestral land of the Washoe Tribe. The partnership also will ensure mountain access for present and future Washoe generations.

The resort said that while the new name and branding takes effect immediately, the changeover will “be a multi-year process”.

Plans are in the works to also rename Squaw One and Squaw Creek chairlifts. The Washoe Tribe is leading efforts to rename Squaw Peak and Squaw Creek.

The resort’s Olympic legacy has lived on since 1960. It has produced numerous Olympic Alpine and freestyle skiers including four-time U.S. medalist Julia Mancuso and 1998 Nagano moguls gold medalist Jonny Moseley. Current U.S. World Cup racers Travis Ganong and Bryce Bennett also call the California mountain resort home.

Moseley, on his Instagram account, said “Squaw Valley is now Palisades Tahoe. I know the name change has inspired a lot of emotion. I have gone through the full range today, but I feel excited for the new chapter. It’s the right thing to do!”

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