A few thoughts on our inaugural Community Roundtables (Opinion)

Tom Fortune / VP, COO of Heavenly Mountain Resort and the Tahoe Region, Vail Resorts

It was a true privilege to host two inaugural community roundtables in both South and North Lake Tahoe this week. With the support of Vail Resorts EpicPromise, we gathered community leaders from a variety of backgrounds, with wide ranging expertise, to discuss what we all have in common: a deeply rooted love and passion for our incredible Lake Tahoe community. As part of these discussions, we also addressed our challenges with candor to better understand the realities of our communities and to collaborate more effectively to affect change. It will take all of us together, but I was uplifted by the productivity of these conversations, and I do believe we can – and will – more effectively leverage our collective resources and skills in service of solution-based outcomes.

Dr. Jamie Orr, Co-founder of Untethered Workspace & Cowork Tahoe, gracefully guided our South Lake Tahoe conversation, asking insightful questions and setting the tone for the day. Throughout the conversation, affordable housing, destination stewardship, and transportation stood out as topics that are top of mind in our community. Meanwhile, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation CEO, Stacy Caldwell, facilitated the conversation at Northstar with focus and compassion, and childcare, affordable housing, and transportation stood out as important for us to work together to address. Clearly identifying these issues is an important step in continuing to take action – and now we have a well-defined, community-driven list of needs to focus on together.

Many of us are certainly aware of these issues – I don’t think there were any major surprises – but after these conversations, I’m left inspired by the insight that was shared, the impressive work our partners are already doing to make an impact throughout the region, and am confident we’re even better positioned to develop strategies that address these concerns together. However, what was perhaps most inspiring about the roundtables was the shared sense of purpose that was evident. Having this opportunity to exchange ideas, voice concerns, and propose solutions was a true testament to the power of community collaboration.

While there is much work still to be done, last week’s roundtables marked an important step in uniting as one Lake Tahoe community driving forward. Hosting these was meaningful, not just to me, but also to Northstar GM Amy Ohran, to Kirkwood GM Matt Jones, and to each of our team members at all three resorts. I want to thank our EpicPromise partners, and all who participated, for their bold ideas and willingness to be part of finding solutions. Both roundtables served as a reminder of just how lucky we are to live, work, and play where we do – and to share it with others who are equally passionate is truly special.

I look forward to sharing more about how we plan to contribute to our Tahoe communities based on what we discussed. My door is always open, and I look forward to more of these roundtables in the future.

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