Sky Tavern History

History of Sky Tavern

Sky Tavern boasts a rich and colorful history, one that includes appearances by many Hollywood movie stars, prominent sports celebrities, and some of the most noted contributors to U.S. ski history. In the years after World War II and during the early 1950s, Sky Tavern basked in the spotlight as a chic, intimate resort patronized by some of the most famous personalities of the day. Contemporary celebrities like Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, and actors Rita Hayworth, Ingrid Bergman, Robert Stack, Gary Cooper, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and others all found the Tavern experience exhilarating.

Marce Herz

The Sky Tavern's on-going Junior Ski Program was first established in 1948 when local skier and schoolteacher, Marce Herz, approached the original owners Keston and Carlisle Ramsey with the idea of reducing lift prices for schoolchildren and teaching them how to ski.


Herz, who went on to win the Nevada state ski championship in combined slalom and downhill in 1950, fervently believed that sports were good for everyone, but especially for children. Herz wanted to offer school kids the thrill and excitement of sliding down a mountain. Starting with six students, the innovative ski program Herz initiated has taught tens of thousands of children.

Sky Tavern's elite clientele

Over time newer, larger, and more modern ski resorts opened around Lake Tahoe, places like Squaw Valley in 1949 and Heavenly Valley in 1955. Only a mile up the road, but with much steeper and challenging terrain, the Reno Ski Bowl began running chairs in 1953 at the Slide Mountain, site of today's Mount Rose Ski Area.

They all siphoned off Sky Tavern's elite clientele, as well as their bread-and-butter local adult skiers. In 1959 the Ramseys sold the resort and eventually the City of Reno purchased the 143-acre property in 1968 for the exclusive use of teaching school children how to ski, and now snowboard too.

In 1991 the City of Reno decided that it could no longer run the Sky Tavern Ski Program. A group of dedicated parents came together and formed the current non-profit orginazation that not only manages the program but maintains the Sky Tavern Area all year round.

More about USSA competitions and what it can do for your child

U.S. Ski & Snowboard

Did you know?

Marce Herz started all this for the kids.

In 2020 Washoe County School District's long awaited southwest middle school opened named for Marce Herz!

Sky Tavern Since 1948!

"Teaching is how I give back to Sky Tavern. I was a SkyKid and I had no idea the teachers were just everyday people volunteering to make skiing accessible to everyone."

The Winter

Sky Tavern The Winter

The ultimate goal of Sky Tavern is to get kids and families outside together, learning, sharing and enjoying a sport for life.

The Summer

Sky Tavern The Summer

In addition to the development of Sky Tavern cycling infrastructure, we are focused on our connector trail to the Tamarack Lake Connector (TLT) from the Sky Tavern base area.

The Lodge

Sky Tavern The Lodge

Located on the Mt. Rose Highway, 30 minutes from Reno is the oldest non-profit ski and snowboard training facility in America. Rich with history and charm, since 1948, the lodge is fully functional and able to provide the most memerable experiences.

The Mission

Sky Tavern is a nonprofit regional center providing exceptional summer & winter outdoor sports training, competitions, recreation & events accessible to all.

The Vision

Sky Tavern is a community asset that promotes a child's growth & success through exposure to outdoor sports and recreation, no matter the personal challenges.