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Marina owner wants solar lights, boat

Susan Wood
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Mansoor Alyeshmerni, owner of the Ski Run Marina, wants to make aesthetic improvements including the installation of solar-powered lights, which would eliminate existing power lines.
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The Ski Run Marina aims to go solar.

Marina owner Mansoor Alyeshmerni, a Beverly Hills investor who bought the 4.3-acre South Lake Tahoe complex in May 2003, has kicked off his third summer here with plans to install solar lights as part of a $1 million improvement plan.

Beyond solar panels, Alyeshmerni wants to welcome a solar-powered boat – one the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency would like to see as a mode of waterborne transit on Lake Tahoe. He expects to have at least a handful of solar lights placed in the marina parking lot by mid-October and plans to apply for permits with the city and TRPA this week.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to conserve?” he asked. “When I took stewardship of this place, I took it seriously.”

The upgrade doesn’t come cheap. The shoebox-style light heads cost $2,500 each.

“The nice thing about this is, if we have sun, all the lights will be working,” he said.

They’re also more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Alyeshmerni finds the wires strung over the marina bridge to the dock an eyesore.

“We’re trying to make this place more friendly to walk through,” he said during a stroll of the grounds Tuesday. “I think this space should be public.”

Vance Hopkins, night manager of Riva Grill at the marina, said he thinks solar lighting is a wonderful idea for the parking area, which is dark for customers and employees alike.

“We’ve been hoping and praying for lights in the parking lot for years now,” he said.

The complex offers a free half-hour of parking and nightly entertainment by the Steve Walker Band, which performs on the Tahoe Queen.

Tables and chairs were placed in the courtyard area to invite customers to linger, and accents place the finishing touches on some areas that appear dark and uninviting. He painted the ceiling entryway blue and adorned it with pictures.

“This whole area was dead,” he said, pointing to the entry on the side of the complex next to the Chevron gas station.

Alyeshmerni spent $30,000 alone on staining the woodwork in the complex. A wooden eagle sculpture created by artist Jerry Toste stands in the courtyard. In addition, the restrooms were revamped. An eatery where the Watermark Cafe once stood has been remodeled. It’s run by the Tahoe Queen concessionaire, Aramark.

Alyeshmerni said the improvements are helping to stablize business at the marina, which has seeh a high turnover of merchants.

As far as the waterfront area, the businessman has put a dredging job on hold because it may be more complex than anticipated. But he’s exchanged ideas with the city about installing a pier.

“We’re encouraging him to evaluate all his options before he makes any commitment,” city Economic Development Coordinator Camden Collins said.

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