Grand Summit Delay Has Minimal Impact
Most business owners in the Park Avenue Redevelopment area are unfazed by a three-month delay in the completion of Heavenly Ski Resort’s Grand Summit Resort Hotel, a $250 million, 192 quarter-share-ownership hotel, which is to be the centerpiece of the Park Avenue Redevelopment Project.
The project originally scheduled to be finished by July 2002 is now estimated to take until October 2002, as a result of an amendment made to the DDA by the South Tahoe Redevelopment Agency and the American Skiing Company, parent company to Heavenly Ski Resort.
The project originally scheduled for construction this year will be postponed until May 2001, but with an accelerated construction schedule, the actual delays have not caused alarm.
“If you have lived in Tahoe for any given time you know that things take longer than expected,” said Corey Funk, former owner of the Lake Tahoe Bear Company, which was demolished last April, but which has been reserved a spot by Trans Sierra Investments in the retail section of the completed project.
“It’s only three months, so it’s no big deal,” he said.
Funk and his wife also own Alpaca Pete’s in Meyers, which they have operated for five years.
As for the Lake Tahoe Bear Company, Funk will be applying to the Redevelopment agency for financial compensation, based on previous business revenues. The Lake Tahoe Bear Company was open for one year before being demolished last April.
“We will be affected very little if any,” said Pete MacRoberts, president of the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association.
There are plenty of hotel and motel rooms available to absorb the influx of visitors to the South Shore, so the city is not losing any money from the 10% Transient Occupancy Tax, he said.
However, the American Skiing Company will compensate the redevelopment agency with $500,000, the amount of money in TOT that the Grand Summit is expected to produce in the first three months. However, that money can be reimbursed if the Grand Summit exceeds projected figures.
“I am optimistic that this project will affect the city very positively,” MacRoberts said.
At least one business owner, Ed McCarthy, who owns the Red Carpet Inn, a property scheduled for future purchase for demolition by the Redevelopment Agency is unsettled by the holdup, which to him is just one more roadblock in a nine-year string of delays.
“If the redevelopment agency had taken it back nine years ago, the equity on the leaseholder could have been $700,000 higher,” he said.
The Red Carpet Inn, however, is on property slated for a second hotel, one in which the deadline has been speeded up by the revised schedule.
But according to McCarthy, the accumulated delays have negatively affected his ability to make informed business decisions.
“If you have to spend $80,000 on a roof, are you going to spend that much money if the building is coming down next year,” he said.
John Jovicich, owner of Cecil’s Market Inc., who has been a proponent of the Park Avenue Redevelopment project from the start is anxious to get the project underway, but is unfazed by the three-month delay.
“Obviously I would have liked to have started yesterday, but the important thing is the project is moving forward,” he said, referencing construction of a new Cecil’s Market, which is to be constructed in the redevelopment area and will be more than twice the size of the old structure, which was torn down last April.
As part of the deal Jovicich made with the Redevelopment Agency last April, Jovicich sold the Tahoe Manor Hotel for $500,000. He also made a land trade, which gave him possession of the property on which Paul Kennedy’s Steak House sits, a property from which he now earns revenue by leasing to the establishment.
Jovicich doesn’t feel that the three-month delay will cause him a significant financial impact.
“The thing to keep in mind is that we are moving forward in a very slow process, and the people of the community will be very pleased when the project is completed,” he said.
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