Sally J. Taylor

Numerous reports were presented on Thursday during the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association Board of Directors meeting.

Those included:

— Promotion of a gentlemen’s agreement to stop posting motel price signs from June 15 to Sept. 10 is progressing, said Mark Patel, owner of the Tradewinds Motel and president of The Indian Association.

“One of the most damaging practices is posting price signs,” he said. “This cheapens and degrades the product.”

Patel and others from The Indian Association, whose 38 East Indian members own local motels, have been appealing to owners of motels throughout town where signs are posted to voluntarily remove them beginning June 15.

When a neighboring motel posts a low price, “many (other owners) feel they have no choice but to post signs,” Patel said.

The efforts of The Indian Association were praised by many in the Lodging Association, which has campaigned against price signs for years.

“There’s clearly momentum developing here,” said Ed McCarthy, the president of the larger association. “There’s tremendous movement that will benefit virtually all in the lodging community.”

Both associations hope the 90-day ban will lead to a permanent voluntary ban.

— BASS Tickets reservations representative Cindy Armitage reported a second month of positive numbers for the LTVA central reservations system.

In May, reservations increased by 23 percent compared to May of 1996. Room nights were up 26 percent and revenue increased by 39 percent.

Call volume was down, but the rate of callers who made reservations was way up, Armitage said.

April figures were also up following several months of decline.

— Vikingsholm Castle in Emerald Bay is in a state of “serious disrepair,” said South Lake Tahoe Mayor Tom Davis. “The state has no money for repairs or even upkeep.”

A foundation is being organized to raise funds for the restoration of the historical site.

— Repairs of U.S. Highway 50 from storm damage will cause 30- to 45-minute delays through the summer but the California Department of Transportation closure is not expected until after August, said Duane Wallace, the executive director of the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.

Improvements to the support structure of Iron Mountain Road are being constructed so it can be designated alternate Highway 50 when a closure is necessary.

If work is not done this year, an $11 million grant will be lost.

“It’s going to slide again if we don’t do something,” Wallace said. “Caltrans has been great. They’re delivering on their promise to work with us.”

— Mayor Davis presented an update on plans for the Presidential visit scheduled July 25 and 26.

He complained that at community meetings conducted recently, Washington officials presented development of the agenda as a “bottom-up process,” then gave the community the three topics: forest health, water quality and transportation.

The negative message of declining water quality and dead trees, “is not the message we want to send the world,” he told the lodging association.

“Our message has to get out: the partnership in the past and the partnerships in the future (to solve environmental problems).

“We know what it will take to solve the problems. We need the money to do it.”

— Even with rain during the first weekend of the Renaissance Faire, 10,000 people attended, according the to Mike Weber, a member of the lodging board and the managing director of Camp Richardson Resort, the site of the fair.

Buses and trolleys were busy transporting about 1,800 people to and from the fair at Camp Richardson Resort.

— The 1997 Lake Tahoe Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 12, should be the biggest yet, reported organizer Les Wright, who has been spreading the word about the event all over the western United States.

Participants have numerous options on breaking down the race including 10K, 5K, runs, walks, wheel-chair, singles and relays.

Advertisements are scheduled in several running magazines and print and television reporters have been invited, said Wright who will be seeking complimentary rooms from lodging properties for reporters.

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