SnowGlobe: A boost to South Lake Tahoe’s economy |

SnowGlobe: A boost to South Lake Tahoe’s economy

Griffin Rogers
The SnowGlobe festival draws huge crowds to South Lake Tahoe.

It’s one of South Lake Tahoe’s biggest tourist attractions, and now it’s less than three weeks away.

SnowGlobe, a three-day music festival, is coming back to South Shore this month for the third consecutive year, and officials said they are expecting another boost to South Lake Tahoe’s economy.

“They (the event organizers) bring in 10,000 people that put millions into the economy,” said Nancy Kerry, city manager for South Lake Tahoe.

Last year, the total impact of SnowGlobe on South Shore was about $4.8 million in media exposure, lodging and business purchases, according to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.

Of $4.8 million, about $1.2 million came from lodging, about $2.5 million came from cash contributions that were tied to SnowGlobe spending and about $1 million came in media value that stemmed from digital and radio ads, according to the LTVA.

But Kerry said there are also long-term benefits to bringing SnowGlobe to town that are much more difficult to calculate. For instance, it’s hard to tell how many first-time visitors return to the area as a result of attending the festival.

“When they have a really great experience,” she said, “they tend to build a connection.”

Although not everyone agrees that the event should be a part of the community, Kerry said there’s no denying how it helped South Lake Tahoe in the past.

In 2011, when the economy was weak and a lack of snow was leading to canceled hotel reservations, SnowGlobe helped fill lodging vacancies significantly.

“We must attract events and accommodate the visitor,” she said, “but our residents and their concerns are equally important.”

Additionally, SnowGlobe’s younger demographic, which is largely social media-driven, helps when spreading the word about South Lake Tahoe, said Mike Frye, events and media relations manager at LTVA.

The younger visitors also seem to help South Shore’s smaller businesses, he said.

“These little hotels,” Frye said, “they’ve feasted on these things.”

As SnowGlobe continues to teach tourists about the fun things Tahoe has to offer, Frye said he expects more people to attend the event in the future.

“We hope it grows,” he said. “The whole point of it is to grow it.”

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