More boat-ramp parking is on the way |

More boat-ramp parking is on the way

Susan Wood

Trying to seize on a Lake Tahoe level a half foot over the natural rim, the city is rushing to finish an expansion of the parking lot at the El Dorado Beach boat ramp in South Lake Tahoe.

The current parking lot off Lakeview Avenue fills up with boat trailers and vehicles parked every which way. It’s the first time the boat ramp at the popular beach has allowed launchings in the last three years. On Monday, the lake level stood at 6,228.7 feet – more than 5 inches over its natural rim.

The expanded lot adds 24 parking spaces over a 2.2-acre area off Harrison Avenue. The California Tahoe Conservancy had pitched in $1 million from 1988 to 2003 for the city to buy the property from the owner of the former Timberlake Motel. It was demolished a few years ago to make room for the project.

The improvements – which were also paid for by a $418,000 California Boating and Waterways grant secured almost two years ago – is expected to be completed by the end of the month. “It’s finally coming into fruition,” contractor Greg Herbach said.

Part of the job has been dropped. At one point, the restrooms were slated for remodeling, but city engineer Stan Hill said there wasn’t enough money “to do it right.”

The city is considering applying for a separate grant for the restroom rehabilitation and may demolish the current buildings in the process.

Meanwhile, the boat ramp has been operating with three concessionaires vying for the summer boating business. The city has contracted with Kayak Tahoe to operate the boat ramp and charge $13 for launchings. High Sierra Adventure Sports and Lakeview Sports also take groups and individuals out of the popular summer hotspot.

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