It was about 1 1/2 years at the TahoeChamber’s first economic meetings that the results of a South Shore economic study was presented. The results were, at best, sobering. The South Shore tourism economy has performed well below other tourism destinations by just about every measure. Last week TahoeChamber held its third economic meeting and what a difference. Optimism and enthusiasm. As part of the program, a dozen different government agencies and private sector industries presented new projects and initiatives. While all these efforts don’t fully address the out-of-balance supply-and-demand economics of this destination, it was great to hear the progress all were making. It was great to see the interest in creating a new South Shore based on recreation and entertainment and it was great to see a room full of new community members with an invigorated interest in South Shore. As I left I had a couple of observations worth noting. First is the need to continue to hold government agencies accountable for community deliverables. No longer can any government agency stand pat. Sadly, over the past 20 years local government has not delivered to the level the local community needs, thus creating much of the cynicism. Government agencies must produce and move the community forward and the community must hold their feet to the fire. Second and equally important is how a younger crowd is taking ownership in the local economy. Many are young professionals and business owners who have a strong interest in making sure this new recreation economy not just survives but thrives, they want change which is in direct conflict with an old guard mindset that is comfortable with the status quo. This new younger generation is active and tech savvy and I believe will have a significant impact on the next round of elections both at the City and El Dorado County. They have already had an impact on some City Council decisions. Any politician that takes them for granted does so at their own peril.
It is great to see both the City of South Lake Tahoe’s Tourist Core Area Plan and the Douglas County community plan move forward in the approval and implementation process. Both will do much to improve the built infrastructure, improve the environment and strengthen the local economy and environment. These approvals are in direct conflict with those who prefer the status quo.
The Big Picture
Disgust is the only way I can describe it. You must be thinking about the recent government shutdown, which was pathetic, but I am talking about the National Security Agency. The revelations about the level and scope of how our personal data and information is being collected is staggering. I am all for collecting intelligence, but from bad guys not U.S. citizens.
Even if you are not a baseball fan I hope you get a chance to catch some of the World Series, what I consider the finest championship in professional sports. Every pitch and swing of the bat means something. I can remember as a kid in grade school some of the games were played during the day and at lunch we would huddle around a little transistor radio to listen. It’s much different today with flat-screen and high-definition TV, but it’s still magic for me.
It’s a Wrap
You have to love these fall colors. They are incredibly beautiful. I have had a chance to get out on my motorcycle to see Monitor Pass and Hope Valley. The colors are incredible. I don’t know if it’s me getting older, but fall is quickly becoming one of my favorite seasons.
— Carl Ribaudo is a contributing columnist to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is also a consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Shore. He can be reached at email@example.com.