Labor Day in the basin |

Labor Day in the basin

Gregory Crofton

Winds shifted south and carried smoke from a nearby fire out of the basin making way for an ideal Labor Day weekend at South Shore.

“This is the busiest we’ve been in awhile,” said Matt Bishop, manager at Camp Richardson Marina. “I guess it because of the weather. Usually it snows or it’s windy or cold on Labor Day weekend.”

A fireworks show, clear skies and temperatures in the low 80s drew thousands of people to Lake Tahoe to celebrate the long weekend. People poured into the basin Friday and were gone by mid-afternoon Monday.

“Everything went fairly smoothly,” said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Stewart. “Around lunchtime (Monday) there was a significant back up between Pioneer Trail and the “Y,” but at 2:30 I noticed it started breaking up.”

Joyce Klusnick was one of many who drove up U.S. Highway 50 from Sacramento to escape the valley’s hot weather.

“I love to be up here in the mountains and get away from the Sacramento heat,” said Klusnick, who stayed with friends who own a home at the Tahoe Keys. “I don’t come here much for gambling. I grew up in the Michigan, so I’ve seen a lot of lakes. I still think this is the most beautiful.”

On Sunday, Klusnick relaxed at Camp Richardson Marina with her husband. She was one of hundreds of people who milled on the pier over the weekend. Many rented a kayak, boat, Seadoo or parasail to take out on the lake.

“All the boats were rented and the Seadoos,” said Sophie Sillano, who works at the marina. “Today (Monday) was pretty busy but not as busy Saturday and Sunday.”

As crowded as South Lake Tahoe can get on a holiday weekend, law enforcement reported no major problems.

“The fireworks went off without a hitch,” said South Lake Tahoe Police Sgt. Steve O’Brien. “There wasn’t a significant number of arrests, if any.”

O’Brien said he believes Labor Day draws little bit larger crowd than Memorial Day weekend because of an increasing number of scheduled activities. This year there was a fishing derby, fireworks show, a concert at Zephyr Cove, the Sternwheeler Race and a running race and film festival at Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

Many of the people who came to South Shore stayed at motels in South Lake Tahoe. The Value Inn was booked all three days.

“We did pretty good. The weather was good. The smoke moved out just right in time,” said Mike Mand, manager of Value Inn and its Cloud 9 Wedding Chapel. “On Sunday, we did about eight weddings, normally it’s about three.”

Good reports also came from Anderson’s Bicycle Rental on Emerald Bay Road.

“We were a busy place for sure,” said Doug Anderson, owner since 1978. “Hopefully we have an Indian summer. We had a sluggish start the first half of the season, but August it was busy, thank God.”

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