Camping on New Year’s eve |

Camping on New Year’s eve

Sarah Gonser

Of all the locations to toast the new year, the South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation department is hoping at least a few courageous people will choose the campgrounds.

For one week during the New Year’s Eve period, the frozen earth at 1180 Rufus Allen Blvd., right off U.S. Highway 50, will be cleared of snow to accommodate 20 to 25 recreational vehicle hook-ups.

As unusual as this is for the city’s recreation department, Park Superintendent Steve Weiss said it is not unprecedented.

“This is definitely not the first time we’ve opened during the winter,” Weiss said. “But we haven’t done it for at least a dozen years or more.”

Although the majority of the recreational center’s facilities will remain closed for the winter season, Weiss said campers will not be alone during the holiday. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department will use the city property as a staging area for their officers before heading off to their New Year’s law enforcement duties at Stateline.

Weiss said the recreation department is hoping to eventually extend the campground’s seasonal operations when the funding becomes available.

“At some point we want to be able to stay open throughout the year,” Weiss said. “But until we reach that time financially, I think things like staying open during New Year’s will more than pay for themselves.”

The parks and recreation department is also planning to incorporate the old Women’s Center building as a main entrance to the campgrounds. Weiss said a building inspector found the building structurally sound and plans are being developed to remodel the interior.

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