Few arrests, lots of business highlight latest SnowGlobe
SnowGlobe, one of the three biggest events hitting Lake Tahoe’s South Shore each year, along with the celebrity golf tournament and Summer Concert Series, wrapped up early New Year’s Day with minimal reports of issues and the strongest turnout in the festival’s history.
Before the three-day concert began on Dec. 29, SnowGlobe Producer Chad Donnelly said he was expecting thousands of additional festivalgoers this year after organizers found a way to make more space in the tree-enveloped South Lake Tahoe venue.
Post-festival meetings were held Friday, after which South Lake Tahoe City Manager Nancy Kerry confirmed that attendance was reported to have increased over the previous year. This season, about 15,000 ticketholders attended each night.
Consequently, the festival was professed to have a significant and positive impact on many lodging properties in the area.
“It’s no longer a question as to whether SnowGlobe directly benefits our town economically,” Kerry said.
The festival is said to bring millions of dollars into the community each year on lodging, business purchases and media exposure alone. But estimates are still being calculated to determine how much economic impact the latest SnowGlobe translated to.
At the Park Tahoe Inn, Guest Services Manager Sean Pratt estimated about 60 percent of the hotel’s guests earlier this week were there for the popular music festival.
“I think we would have sold out anyway on the 31st,” he said, “but the festival definitely helped on the 29th and 30th.”
Festivalgoers also seemed to be relatively well behaved this season, if arrest statistics are any indicator. The South Lake Tahoe Police Department reported that only three SnowGlobe guests were arrested over the three-day span.
All three arrests were made on the same day: New Year’s Eve. One was for domestic violence, another was for drunk in public and the final was for trespassing — an arrest made after the man was kicked out of the venue three times, police said.
SLTPD arrested another man Jan. 1 on suspicion of stealing $17,000 worth of property from the SnowGlobe lost and found. Jermaine Williams, 38, of Reno, Nev., was taken into custody for felony grand theft following a short investigation, according to police.
Authorities said Williams, who was working as a laborer at the event, admitted to the thefts after police confronted him and turned over a suitcase full of stolen phones. Williams possessed 44 smart phones, all believed to be taken from the SnowGlobe lost and found, according to an SLTPD press release.
As for noise complaints, Kerry said authorities received a total of six calls over the course of the festival. Another 15 to 20 calls were made to a special event hotline, but not all of them were for noise-related issues.
Kerry praised the festival for its economical benefits on the area, but emphasized that more work needs to be done to mitigate any negative impacts the event has on the community.
Reducing the noise in nearby neighborhoods is just one of the things the city will continue to talk to SnowGlobe organizers about, she said. Building sound barriers near the venue is one possibility for accomplishing this. Another is to move the festival to a different South Shore location.
Overall, however, Kerry seemed happy with this season’s festival.
“We got a lot of people in and out of town and leaving with good memories,” she said.
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