Minimal retail options for Thanksgiving shoppers at Marriott |

Minimal retail options for Thanksgiving shoppers at Marriott

Jim Grant/Tahoe TribuneAndrew MacKenzie installs shelving at the Powderhouse store, scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day.

Closing in on the holiday season, retailers are beginning to open in the Marriott complex at Park Avenue this week.

As the first to sign on in the South Lake Tahoe redevelopment center, the Powderhouse ski shop plans to make the inaugural opening on Thanksgiving.

An SMC Contracting crew was busy with activity at the 2,500-square-foot space steps away from the Heavenly Gondola station.

“I told my wife she won’t see me for a few days,” General Manager Bob Spees said from the Powderhouse site across Highway 50.

The store will feature its signature selection of ski gear, ranging from jackets and boots to goggles and sunglasses.

Spees has been busy hiring for that store and his western wear shop High Chaparral. The 2,000-square-foot shop, due to open Dec. 20, will carry traditional cowboy attire, including hats and belts.

Between the two stores, Spees needs at least 60 employees. He’ll run three stores until the 8-year-old store on the north side of the highway is demolished. That date is undetermined.

And with a $5-per-square-foot price tag on monthly leasing retail in the new complex, Spees hopes to continue a strong business at Stateline.

“We’re going to try to mirror this store,” Spees said.

The manager added he’s enthusiastic at the prospect of moving to such a high-profile location.

“This has always been such a pedestrian-unfriendly town,” he said. For example, he took issue with huge snowbanks forming outside the store last year. “Now we’ll have heated sidewalks.”

The complex was designed as a ski village that encourages life outside the car.

Lew Feldman, an attorney who represents the managing partners of the retail complex, said the merchants are engaged in a foot race to open in time to seize holiday sales.

Patagonia at Heavenly was aiming for opening this week. Now it will tentatively throw its doors open Dec. 7, along with Heavenly Sports and the Boardinghouse. Heavenly Eye has already opened in the gondola station.

The Gold Store is slated for business Dec. 10. One week later, Sealed with a Kiss and Wolfgang Puck Express expect to join Century 21 at Tahoe Paradise near the ice rink.

Completion of the ice rink has been delayed until next year, as well as the city’s parking garage and transit center.

The $250 million Park Avenue project is anchored by the Marriott Grand Residence Club condominium complex and its Timber Lodge time-share hotel.

— Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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