Bleak future for Ren Fair
May 12, 2003
The chance of the Renaissance Faire being at Camp Richardson Resort is zilch.
A decision came Friday after the general manager of the resort met with the U.S. Forest Service. They discussed the possibility of hosting the fair the last weekend in May and the first weekend of June.
Steve Bailey, who has produced the event since its inception 10 years ago, said he doubts there will be a fair this year, but he still is holding on to the possibility of the event’s being at the Tahoe Pines Campground in Meyers.
“There’s a glimmer of hope but that’s all I see at this point,” Bailey said. “We’ll still go through the permit process but we won’t know until the 28th if they’ll approve us or not. If they issue a permit, it will be a heck of a last minute scramble to pull it off.”
The general manager at Camp Richardson could not be reached for comment Friday or Sunday. Bailey said Camp Rich was willing to host the event but it was up to the Forest Service, which manages the land in the area, to say yes or no.
On Sunday afternoon, Rex Norman, spokesman at the Forest Service, said he did not attend Friday’s meeting and does not know the reason the agency rejected the proposal.
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“In the past, parking has been an issue and soil compaction and erosion have all been items of concern,” Norman said.
The festival, which has drawn as many as 4,000 visitors a day, has always been at Camp Rich. But Bailey decided to expand the fair to three June weekends, which the resort couldn’t accommodate because the campground is rented out.
So Bailey decided to move the fair, as a three-weekend event, to the Tahoe Pines Campground at Meyers. But the permitting process has been so rigorous that Bailey decided he would be willing to cut the festival back to two weekends if it could be at Camp Rich.
Bailey said he will still seek the permits, one from El Dorado County and one from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, needed to host the fair in Meyers.
The Forest Service has already purchased fencing to protect the national forest land the Upper Truckee River from festivalgoers. If the event is in Meyers, all vehicles would be parked at Lake Tahoe Airport and people would be shuttled to the campground.
— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org