What might the future of Incline Village be if everyone who lives here — homeowners, business proprietors, IVGID, real estate companies, schools, marketing companies, investors … everyone — worked together with the common goal of recreating our small village into a desirable destination for visitors and families?
Might our village have a theme? And if yes, what might that theme include?
Maybe it might include a sense of old-world charm, with stone sidewalk pathways on both sides of Tahoe Boulevard and soft-amber lanterns and benches and flower boxes.
Maybe the old elementary school has been replaced with a 250-seat playhouse/theater that attracts actors and musicians from all over the world for year-round performances in an intimate setting that also includes an outdoor amphitheater for summer arts-in-the-park festivals.
Maybe these beautiful pathways work their way downhill past the playhouse to the Village Center, where we would discover old-town photography studios and antique shops, music stores that offer lessons, hobby and model shops for kids of all ages, and crafts shops for wood, leather, pottery, stain glass and other hand-crafted specialties.
Maybe these pathways continue down from Village Center to Burnt Cedar Beach. From there people might walk along Lakeshore Boulevard, admiring the gorgeous homes, or step into a small mini-bus that travels the boulevard connecting the Village Center area with the Country Club Mall.
Might that Country Club Mall continue the theme? What else would be discovered there? Live music and Bohemian coffee houses with all-day poetry and book readings, a smaller theater offering acting and performance-art workshops, a magic shop, and local environmental stewardship groups with educational displays?
Maybe the Country Club Mall is the gateway area to the small, beautiful marina located near the Hyatt that provides space for 25 boats and a pier large enough for the MS Dixie that runs along the north and east shores.
Maybe there are small shuttle boats that travel between Incline Village and Tahoe City, with stops in Kings Beach and elsewhere.
From the Country Club Mall, our visitors and residents can take a tour of our community’s college and public and private schools.
Or maybe people will want to visit our outdoor recreation area located near Tunnel Creek Café, where they will discover outdoor miniature golf, horseback riding, mountain-bike trails, annual bicycle races for children and a small animal park.
Maybe there are tours of the ghost-town Ponderosa Ranch? A large state-of-the-art skateboard park? What else might folks discover from there? More old-world pathways on Tahoe Boulevard leading back to the center of our village? And what awaits them when they get there?
Maybe there are tree-lined stairs at both ends of Christmas Tree Village, and more art galleries, restaurants and specialty shops.
Maybe the empty land behind the Christmas Tree Village has been transformed into a free or low-cost parking lot with evening and night lights powered by the sun, which also provides mini-bus shuttles to the other shopping and sightseeing areas of our village.
In the center of our village we discover a large indoor miniature golf course and arcade open in the winter. There are a couple of fast-food stops, like Starbucks, maybe a small casino, and a couple of small-scale nightclubs for those who like to dance.
There are electric bikes and scooters for rent by the hour, extraordinary home tours, late evening coffee houses and pizza shops, tucked-away gardens and book stores, with artists, actors, musicians, photographers and writers present.
And the soft amber glow of the lanterns everywhere.
Our small village is active, very active. There are people everywhere walking around, biking up and down the roads, visiting our stores, and generally enjoying their time here.
Everybody is friendly and outgoing. Everyone has a smile and a kind word to say about everyone else. There is a true spirit of family and community, and a warm-welcoming and thankfulness for living and working here wherever you go. And there’s plenty of live music, all kinds, everywhere to be enjoyed.
What might the future of Incline Village be? Well, in truth, it’s anything we want it to be. And maybe, “Welcome to Incline Village” is a common phrase heard ringing in the air everywhere, like songbirds announcing the morning sun.
Bill Casey is an Incline Village resident.