Nevada approves hotel room surcharge for Lake Tahoe events center
STATELINE, Nev. — A bill that will increase the price of a Stateline hotel room $5 to help pay for an events center at Lake Tahoe was recently signed into law by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.
Senate Bill 461 was approved by the governor last week after being approved by the Nevada Legislature.
Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority Director Carol Chaplin said the surcharge represents the largest revenue source for the center and will allow them to move ahead with the planning process.
“We are appreciative of the state leadership who supported this legislation and recognized the potential economic impact to Douglas County through the proposed event center,” she said. “With this primary funding mechanism, derived from overnight visitor assessment, we can look forward to the revitalization of our tourism economy and our community.”
Authority supporters said the fee will only be levied within the Tahoe Township, which covers Douglas County’s portion of the Tahoe Basin.
Several local businesses and organizations such as the Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority and the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce supported the legislation.
“The passage of Senate Bill 461 creates an important revenue stream, paid by overnight visitors to the Lake, that is necessary for a future multiuse event center,” Bill Chernock, executive director of the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release. “This is a major step in bringing us closer to diversifying our local economy that will benefit all of Douglas County.”
Another source of income to build the center is money generated by Redevelopment Area No. 2, which Douglas County commissioners are scheduled to discuss in Stateline on June 20.
The redevelopment area is being opposed by commissioners John Engels and Dave Nelson. Nelson held a town hall in Gardnerville last week that organizers said attracted about 200 residents.
Their argument is that the Stateline casinos should be paying for the events center instead of the redevelopment area.
Commissioners were discussing the redevelopment area at a May meeting where an altercation took place between Chair Barry Penzel and Engels.
The two men walked into the lunch room behind the commissioners’ table.
A video of the meeting showed Commissioner Larry Walsh following Penzel toward the back room, and shut off just before they left the room.
“I was not in the room when whatever happened, happened,” Walsh said on May 31. “Barry asked me to wait outside as he wanted to talk with John for a minute. I went into the room immediately thereafter, and was present when the DCSO deputy took Barry’s statement.”
Within minutes of the recess, Douglas County deputies and Tahoe-Douglas medics were called to the scene to treat Engels who had a severe cut to his forearm.
The Carson City District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating the altercation.
Carson City District Attorney Jason Woodbury confirmed that his office received the Douglas County Sheriff’s investigation and that he has reviewed the report.
“Based on that review, I have directed our investigator to complete some additional investigation,” he said in a note to The Record-Courier, the Tribune’s sister publication.
He said he expects the supplemental investigation to be done later this week or early the following week.
“Once that is completed, I expect to make a decision in the case relatively quickly,” Woodbury said.
The redevelopment area is estimated to generate $116 million in property tax revenue over its 30-year lifespan. About 40% of that would go to the county with the rest going to the Douglas County School District, the Tahoe Douglas Fire District and a variety of other taxing districts in Stateline.
Due to increased interest in Douglas County Redevelopment Area No. 2, the county has created a webpage to provide additional information related to the area. The webpage includes answers to Frequently Asked Questions and history of why, when and how RDA No. 2 was established.
In addition, the webpage contains links to RDA No. 2 related materials provided to the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners and the public for consideration since 2009.
Douglas County Redevelopment Area No. 2 was created in 2016 to aid the county in achieving a desired strategic planning goal to “work with local partners and stakeholders to initiate the development of a year-round conference/entertainment venue at Lake Tahoe (within Douglas County).”
View the website at bit.ly/DouglasRDA2.
Commissioners are scheduled to hear an item 1:30 p.m. June 20 board meeting.