Ambitious $5 million upgrade under way at Ski Run Marina |

Ambitious $5 million upgrade under way at Ski Run Marina

Sara Thompson
Photos by Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Renovations at Ski Run Marina now are in progress.

New harbor walls, an extended pier and an improved walkway are some improvements residents and visitors will find at Ski Run Marina under an ambitious $5 million remodeling project over the next five years.

Tenants of the marina, which is home to the Tahoe Queen paddlewheeler and seven businesses, are looking forward to the improvements, which they say will modernize it.

“It’s going to make everything not-so-1950s,” said Joe Sullivan, owner of Village Wear & Gifts. “It’ll be a lot nicer.”

After four years and a few false starts, Ski Run Marina owner Mansoor Alyeshmerni is delighted the project is under way. He bought the marina in May 2003.

“When you focus on something for so long, you will have a better plan over the passage of time,” he said.

Marina workers are digging trenches and filling them with pipes and electrical wires for Phase 1 of the project. The work for this phase is primarily taking place underground, said Ski Run Marina Project Manager Annette Lilly.

The project will have four phases and end in 2012, she said.

When the project is complete, Alyeshmerni said he wants the marina to have reasonable parking, a cross-lake ferry, an area for people to gather — such as an amphitheater — free access to the beach, and a pier that includes solar-powered lights.

Alyeshmerni said it was challenging learning all the regulations but said the city of South Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency were helpful.

“I had to learn the ropes along the way,” he said.

Alyeshmerni said high-end shops will go in the marina so he can appeal to Lake Tahoe’s second-home owners. He said he wants to complete more of the marina before he asks businesses to take a chance on the area.

Three areas are available for lease now at the marina, said Janette Dean, owner of Art for the Home. She said she is looking forward to business picking up, since last winter was slow, and summer was as well.

“The fires have hurt these high-end businesses,” Dean said. “It’s hard to ride out through the tough times.”

Businesses that have closed in the marina include L.J.’s Jewelry, Oh Fudge! and Cabin Fever.

Another staple of the marina also will undergo a makeover. The Tahoe Queen will offer limited service from mid-November to mid-January for the first phase of its remodeling. It will be open from mid-January to mid-March, then be offline through early spring.

Marcelo Pizarro, owner of Pizarro Design Studio in West Hollywood, is designing the project. The changes on the Tahoe Queen will reduce the number of passengers, but will provide a more luxurious experience than before, Alyeshmerni said.

Ski Run Marina remodeling

— Current phase: Phase 1

— Placing wires underground

— Replacing two 1,000-gallon fuel tanks with two 2,000-gallon fuel tanks

— Replacing pipes with latest technology

Later phases include:

— Replacing harbor walls with steel beams 20 feet deep

— Dredging the marina of impurities

— Constructing a new walkway along the Riva Grill patio, which connects to marina path on west side of building

— Widening canal with area able to house 14 boats

— Extending pier

— Creating public space for community, such as an amphitheater

Businesses at the marina

— Flour Girl — wedding cakes

— Art for the Home

— Tahoe Sport Fishing

— Parasail Boat Rental

— Village Wear & Gifts — ski and snowboard shop

— Riva Grill

— Dockside Deli

— Three leases are available

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