New chamber director for Alpine County
Meet Teresa Burkhauser.
The new Alpine County Chamber of Commerce executive director came on board the Markleeville office last month wanting to put the smallest county in California on the map.
She certainly holds the experience to carry out the mission.
Burkhauser, 47, worked for the Nevada Commission on Tourism for nine years, coordinating the Annual Governor’s Conference for the organization.
The Gardnerville resident also worked for Caesars Tahoe, coming to Lake Tahoe 24 years ago. She left the lake for the Carson Valley right after the winter of 1982-83, a season characterized by El Ni-o — a tropical weather phenomenon.
“It’s time for a change — a nice change of pace I didn’t really pursue. But everything happens for a reason,” she said.
Burkhauser replaces Bob Anderson, who went to work at Fromarc Insurance, alongside his wife Tita, an agent with the insurance company.
Ironically, Burkhauser has known Anderson since she moved to Tahoe in 1978.
Burkhauser thinks it’s appropriate she return to Alpine County for work, as she learned to downhill ski at Kirkwood Mountain Resort. When she’s not working, she also hikes and rides her road bike.
Burkhauser said she plans to reach out to South Lake Tahoe business organizations like the chambers of commerce here, along with the Carson Valley chamber. She’ll also review operations and try to bring back Alpine County Chamber mixers. The Death Ride will remain the chamber’s signature event as its sponsor, despite the ride experiencing its first death this year since its inception 24 years ago.
“I don’t think we’re going to make any changes right away. There are a lot of people to meet first,” she said of her new job.
It’s important to Burkhauser that she balance tourism-based decisions with the quality of life longtime residents have settled down for in this culturally and historically rich area.
“We need to find the right mix to make sure everybody’s interests are represented,” she said.
The Alpine County Chamber of Commerce receives 35 visitors a day. Burkhauser, resolved to entering the shoulder season, acknowledged that number could increase with fall color visitors.
She’s looking forward to changes happening in town, citing the reopening of the former Cutthroat Saloon planned for this month.
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