Staying at the OVI in a pricey locale like Squaw Valley allowed us to save on lodging and food so we could enjoy what the resort has to offer. The new condos built within walking distance to the slopes are pretty pricey -- they kind of remind me of Vail.
For friends who are learning to ski, I suggest Squaw only because the bunny runs are way up on top, with breathtaking views. We often eat in for breakfast (we like our Gevalia coffee) or dinner (too pooped to go anywhere after tubing); since we're out in the snow during the day, so lunch is on the slopes. I like bringing our hanging travel kit from Getaway Gourmet where we can bring our special Dutch cocoa and cinnamon, herbes de provence, and truffle oil. It's a godsend!
When we eat out, we bring our wines from our cellar and happily pay the corkage, knowing we're saving a bundle, rather than purchasing from their selection. Graham's restaurant is our favorite and it’s better than the others.