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No Surprise Here: The Block Hotel Put on The Chopping Block

Where: 4143 Cedar Ave [map], Lake Tahoe, CA, United States, 96150
July 21, 2009 at 6:15 PM | by | ()

Not surprisingly, the snowboarder hotel, The Block at Big Bear Lake, Calif. is now up for sale. Atlas Hospitality Group is selling the hotel for just over $2 million. Actually, it's a court-ordered sale which likely means that The Block forfeited on its loans.

Aimed at snowboarders and other young folk and once a subject of a G4 reality TV show, the hotel brand (there was another location in Tahoe) could never deliver on hospitality. The NY Times once reviewed it saying it was like "camping out at Urban Outfitters." And how could we forget the staff profiles

However, it seems like there's also something a little more sinister beneath the surface as Boardistan.com reports that The Block hotelier Liko Smith was arrested for a few few things including failure to pay transient occupancy taxes. Ugh.

[Photo: Atlas Hospitality]

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The Block: Expectations, Meet Reality

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 4143 Cedar Ave. [map], Lake Tahoe, CA, United States, 96150
February 8, 2007 at 3:02 PM | by | ()

As could be expected, we're heavy into The Block, the reality show/30-minute ad for the Tahoe snowboarder hotel on the G4 cable network. Now that we're a couple episodes deep, we feel like we've got a pretty good handle on how things work at the hotel.

After holding our breath for the first episode, we got pretty much what we expected. It looks like hiring a bunch of snowboarders who smoke pot on camera doesn't lead to the most efficient operation. However, The Block is a serious operation, so management bought these kids army jackets and tried to kick these kids into shape? Is it working? Well, the hotel is sold out almost every winter weekend. Furthermore the property has scored with its nicer, sponsored rooms, like the DVS room, Napster room and Vivid room--yep, that Vivid--these rooms are much nicer than some of the run-of-the-mill barracks-style hotel units. But what's it like to actually stay at this place?

A recent guest may have summed it up best:

There are the people who stayed here expecting the usual comforts of a hotel and were sadly disappointed, and then the people who were looking for a place to drink and party (regardless of age) after a day of snowboarding who loved it.

With guys like Petey working there (hmm, wonder if he even works there any longer...somehow we doubt it), this doesn't really surprise us. Rooms start at $79, but much nicer rooms start at $139.

Related Stories:
· The Block Hotel [TripAdvisor]
· G4's The Block [Official Site]

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G4's The Block Hotel Reality Show Debuts

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 4143 Cedar Ave [map], South Lake Tahoe, CA, United States, 96150
January 16, 2007 at 12:35 PM | by | ()

Remember The Block Hotel? The hotel the snowboarding hotel where the staff was adverse to "ho's who talk to much", well they got their own reality show--shocker right? Thing is, we Tivo'd the series premiere and surprisingly, the Block is not only watchable, but it may well be the greatest show modern day television has ever seen.

Ok, that is over the top Trumpian hyperbole, however, The Block is, at the very least, a promising hotel version of The Restaurant, and we have been waiting for this very show since Brunett's fake-reality show The Casino bombed a couple years back.  Eventually, someone had to nail the made for reality tv drama of day to day hotel management, and it looks like G4 did it with The Block. How? The cast is a perfect mix of combustible personalities who run a snowboarding hotel in South Lake Tahoe.

From hotelier Liko S. Smith, an x-military man of some sort who actually said "what is your major malfunction" in the premiere, to green hotelie Michael, to the cute, barely coherent girl staffers these folks are totally worth watching.

Premiere episode highlights included:

·Maintenance man Jorge looking thoroughly disgusted with his new crop of workers.

·Petey comparing smoking weed to drinking coffee and explaining to a girl who told him to put his seat belt on "I can't cause I am holding a bong".

·Petey, a self proclaimed "born salesman", walks into a store that had just been burglarized the previous night, and right as the store owner is explaining what happened, Petey, always the salesman, says "anyway, we are having a party over at The Block". Michael K. Scott he is not.

Related Stories:
· G4's The Block [Official Site]

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The Block at Big Bear Gets a Visit from the Cranky Grey Lady

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 39471 Big Bear Boulevard [map], Big Bear Lake, CA, United States, 92315
November 20, 2006 at 9:37 AM | by | ()

We checked out The Block Hotel a few weeks back, namely because they had the funniest staff profiles we've ever seen ("don't like ho's that talk too much"). Now the NY Times paid the place an official visit. However, this time they hit up the hotel's sister property The Block at Big Bearin Big Bear Lake, Calif. about two hours outside L.A.

Unfortunately the Times' Marc Weingarten doesn't seem too stoked about the place:

Like the first Block, in Lake Tahoe, the year-old Big Bear hotel is designed with Gen-Yers in mind, sacrificing room service and other creature comforts for adrenaline kicks like Sony PlayStations and free Red Bull. The result is somewhat cold and unsettling, like camping out at an Urban Outfitters.

Weingarten goes onto call the rooms like dorm rooms after a televised makeover complete with beanbag chairs, action photos of riders, iPod docking stations, HDTVs and Playstation consoles. But not all dorm rooms have glove and boots driers, which Weingarten did like. The hotel also scored points for free Red Bull and Pabst Blue Ribbons, WiFi, an outdoor barbeque area, a poker room, and unlimited domestic phone calls from an old school lobby phone-booth.

The hotel loses points for crappy bathrooms, no restaurant (only Domino's delivery), no concierge, mini-bar or ski valet. Also not cool? The Boost Mobile signature suite where Weingarten stayed which had Boost Mobile ads plastered on the walls. OK, now we can understand why he's cranky.

Kids who stay here may still have to borrow from Mom and Dad to cover the $89 room rate or the $189 signature suite rate. And in case you were curious, yes, this hotel has staff profiles too. Clint Beebe is the front desk manager who has this to say about himself:

I'm also addicted to my ink and growing out my gnarly beard. I love old whips and rolling on deuces with the bump bumps in the trunk. My dislikes are hitting my fingers or toes and ice patches.

And then there's Maria, the housekeeper who doesn't have anything to say at all. Or at least that's what it appears to say since Firefox doesn't seem to like this page and Safari doesn't even register Maria's profile.

Related Stories:
· Check In, Check Out: The Block at Big Bear [NYT]
· The Block's Hotel Staff in Tahoe Don't Like Ho's Who Talk Too Much [HotelChatter]

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The Block's Hotel Staff in Tahoe Don't Like Ho's Who Talk Too Much

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 4143 Cedar Ave. [map], Lake Tahoe, CA, United States, 96150
October 18, 2006 at 9:30 AM | by | ()

The Block Hotel in Lake Tahoe bills itself as the first snowboarder hotel which was created by professional snowboarder Marc Frank Montoya and Las Vegas Hotelier Liko S. Smith.

The place is totally geared for the younger generation as witnessed by the amenities like game consoles, board pegs, bike hooks, microwavable popcorn, and free wireless access.

But you also get a feel for the 21 and under vibe with the hottie staff profiles that read like MySpace pages. Take for instance, the Steve-O look-alike/wannabe Gilbert Perez who is the hotel's front desk agent. In listing his likes, he writes:

Money, Beeatches, 40's, hus'lin

Listed as his dislikes are:

When people give me quarters nickels and dimes. SNITCHES! Skantless Ho's, Stuck up bitches, people who don't ride on motherfucker's. Ho's who talk too much.

These staffers ain't fronting but we'd hate to see what they would do if you had any special room requests.

As for staying here, half of the rooms are called Signature rooms, each with different themes. But forget lame ski, snowboard or moutain themes. Try out the  Vivid room which features (as they describe)

"Stripperpole, Padded wall, Big ass TV, PS2 / DVD player, and enough porn to feed a small country! No sniffin' the panties..."

Lovely. You can also book the Napster, Zoo York, Roxy, DVS or Jones Soda room among others. Each one is different from the rest so make sure you really want the Vivid room and not the Napster one.

Rates start at about $229 a night on the weekends.

Related Stories:
· The Block reviews [TripAdvisor]

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Napster Suite In Tahoe

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 4143 Cedar Avenue [map], South Lake Tahoe, CA, United States, 96150
April 8, 2005 at 2:54 PM | by | ()

We have mentioned the TheBlock before in this space, but we wanted to let you know about the room "napsterization" that recently went on there.

The Napster room is spacious, with a fold out couch, an 80s egg chair, a PS2, and a stereo system/computer/DVD player all in one, where you can download and listen to your Napster songs.

Sure, it may be April, but Kirkwood got dumped on the past couple of days.

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TheBlock, worlds first snowboarder hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 4143 Cedar Avenue [map], South Lake Tahoe, CA, United States, 96150
September 24, 2004 at 10:25 AM | by | ()

Going to Tahoe and looking for a party hotel? Check out TheBlock, a hotel for snowboarders by snowboarders. Ahh, how we love the themed hotel.

TheBlock is a 50 room hotel located in South Lake Tahoe, CA founded by Professional Snowboarder, Marc Frank Montoya and veteran hotelier Liko S. Smith.

The hotel has two second story decks, room balconies with exterior music, a rooftop hot tub, free high speed access and wireless terminals as well as. In room amenities include cordless phones, CD players, DVD/game consoles (PS2 and/or Xbox) and coffee makers.

The property is located 1 block from the Heavenly Gondola in S. Lake Tahoe.

The room curators include Zoo York and Vivid Video. Most rooms have snowboarding gear type names. Check out the Spy room pictured to the right.

The Vivid room, which should be open by the end of the year, will include the following (this info comes straight from the hotel owner):

-a stripper pole
-a stage with mirror floors (awwwww yyyeeeaaaahhhh)
-a camera mounted in the corner of the ceiling facing the bed (dont worry, it's fake...or is it?)
-mirrors on the ceiling
-a 56in. high definition TV
-an entire wall of VIVID porn titles

Tommy Lee and Paris Hilton will have to take a number, this is fixin' to be a pop room.

The newest bit of news from this South Lake lodge? Check it out:

We just bought the Monte Carlo next door,.. the rooms have tacky ass furniture from Grandmas attic and we're not gonna remodel until November. BUT the rooms are big, and each room has a CD player, Cable TV w/HBO, big ass beds with a private balcony and covered parking.

So for a limited time only you have a choice, "Grandma" rooms or tricked out signature rooms.