Ice skating, camping at South Shore to get more exposure |

Ice skating, camping at South Shore to get more exposure

Susan Wood

South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation got the OK to market its facilities from the City Council Tuesday, showing patience is a virtue to department heads who wait on the sidelines.

Recreation Superintendent Gary Moore got $24,000 to create advertisements for venues like the ice arena and Campground by the Lake. The popular campground is due for 16 more electrical hookups to accommodate the growing number of recreational vehicles that visit the lake.

Moore has discovered many of the city’s guests and customers to the ice arena off Rufus Allen Boulevard come from a distance of 60 to 70 miles away. Some stay overnight, but others come up for the day. He wants to build on that business, advertising in backyard areas like North Lake Tahoe, Carson City and the Carson Valley. Skaters must travel to Squaw Valley, Roseville or Sacramento to find other year-round skating rinks.

Councilman John Upton pointed out that when the mercury goes up to 105 degrees in summer, an escape to Tahoe is worth it to visitors.

Councilman Mike Weber said he likes “the idea of the parks and recreation department getting together with the (Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority).” The two entities have been marketing the area independently, but tourism and business organizations joining forces has been an emerging trend.

The chunk of money – which has made a few agendas – came from an allocation once intended for the now- defunct Tourism Promotion Business Improvement District. The fee-based, citywide district dissolved, leaving the city $49,000 to play with after $21,000 in administrative fees were consumed out of the $70,000 TPBID allocation. About $14,000 was earmarked to install a pedestrian-activated traffic signal at the Heavenly Village crosswalk, a long-debated topic that was given the go-ahead two weeks ago by the council. The city has $11,000 left in the general fund.

In other business, the South Tahoe Redevelopment Agency moved forward with refinancing its 1995 bond debt of $23 million as early as next week. The intent is to save the city $126,000 a year. The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates next week, and agency fiscal consultants want to nail down an interest rate lower than 4.2 percent.

Also through council actions Tuesday, LSC Transportation Consultants of Tahoe City will evaluate vehicle and pedestrian traffic on Harrison Avenue at a cost not to exceed $24,950. The street has been the target of an improvement project for years.

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