Commission reviews role in Airport |

Commission reviews role in Airport

Robert Stern

The Airport Commission will host a workshop Thursday to discuss the role of the Lake Tahoe Airport in the community.

Airport commissioner chairman Dr. Keith Swanson said the workshop will touch on commercial and general aviation, the Airport Master Plan, marketing, public relations and subsidies from sources other than the city of South Lake Tahoe. Last August the Airport Commission and City Council held an airport workshop and concluded the need for a three- to five-year plan.

Swanson hopes this workshop will help give that plan a more definitive direction.

He cites the resort communities of Aspen and Vail as examples of subsidized airports. Mammoth is expected to be subsidized in a few years.

“I think it is naive to think that we are going to get any service here without any kind of subsidy,” he said.

Swanson said the airport is necessary to turn Lake Tahoe into a world class resort and a key element for redevelopment.

“Without a viable airport, redevelopment is running on a tire without all the spokes,” Swanson said.

He said redevelopment and transportation need to be integrated.

“I think we are really on the verge of doing something positive with the airport,” Swanson said. “Redevelopment has reached critical mass with the gondola and the start of construction with the quarter shares (Heavenly Grand Summit Resort Hotel and Marriott) this year.”

Swanson, who has served on the commission on and off for the last 15 years, is optimistic about the success of the airport, but understands the obstacles he must face.

“Anything worth having is usually not easy,” he said

The workshop is expected to draw members from the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, the South Tahoe Lodging Association, The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and the Gaming Alliance, said Airport Management Assistant, Janice Brand.

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