City council receives SnowGlobe recap, raises airport fees
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Lake Tahoe City Council received a recap of the 2019 SnowGlobe music festival during the Tuesday meeting and gave their recommendations for next year.
Recreation Superintendent Lauren Thomaselli presented some of the data from 2019 and offered recommendations.
In terms of code compliance, there were daily corrections that needed to be made and administration anticipates some fines will be given out. Those fines will be deducted from their $75,000 deposit.
Thomaselli recommends crowd management training and improved signage for hazardous materials.
For waste management, Waste Free Earth diverted 90,000 pounds of trash. However, community members expressed concern over firework debris in Bijou Park. Thomaselli recommends having clean up crews return in the spring and having firework personnel immediately clean up firework debris after each display.
Fireworks were a large part of the discussion, there was reported minor damage to vegetation in Bijou Park, the debris left after the displays and noise complaints resulting from the fireworks. Thomaselli recommends implementing additional noise buffering or considering a new location for the fireworks, possibly in Lake Tahoe Community College’s parking lot so that they are on pavement.
Council members discussed only allowing the firework display on the last night, not all three nights and Tamara Wallace suggested doing away with the fireworks all together and considering a laser light show instead.
The council directed staff to look into other options for fireworks.
Chad Donnelly, founder of SnowGlobe, also presented his recap from the festival. He expressed frustration that the regulations are starting to impede the experience for festival attendees.
“We received the worst feedback ever after night one,” Donnelly said. “Last two years, attendance has been down.”
Councilmember Cody Bass, who has attended the festival every year, agreed that the experience isn’t as great as it used to be.
The city has until March to send SnowGlobe the fines and the remaining deposit.
The council also continued its discussion about raising fees at the Lake Tahoe Airport.
The airport is operating at a loss and Airport Manager Mark Gibbs was brought in to get the airport to break even.
At the city’s urging, Gibbs presented ways to increase revenue such as implementing peak prices and off-peak prices for landing, and raising snow removal fees.
Wallace pushed back against raising fees, stating that the Minden Airport offers more services for a lower cost. She fears people will choose to use that airport instead and it could end up losing the airport more money in the long-run.
Several airport users also spoke out against price increases.
In the end, the council voted to raise the price for landing during peak season and table the conversation for the rest of the ideas. Brooke Laine was the lone no vote.