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Nothing to do? Not in Tahoe

by Sally J. Taylor

So what’s a body to do while visiting the South Shore? Lots, lodging owners were told Thursday.

During the June meeting of the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association Board of Directors, recreation providers lined up to tout the many activities they offer visitors and residents.

Those include beaches, boats, bikes and cruises plus horses, hiking, camping and eating.

There are seven marinas on the South Shore and miles of public beaches, noted Director Mike Weber, managing director for Historic Camp Richardson Resort. And Camp Richardson has the marina closest to Emerald Bay, he added.

Not to be outdone, Bill Chernock, marketing director for Zephyr Cove Resort, noted his property’s claim to history. The building that now houses the Zephyr Cove Restaurant has offered hospitality services of some sort since 1862.

“We offer virtually everything there is to do on or around Lake Tahoe,” he said.

That includes cruises on the M.S. Dixie II and Woodwind.

Cruises are offered by Hornblower on the Tahoe Queen and Tahoe Princess which operate out of the Ski Run Marina.

All three marinas, as well as the four other marinas offer a variety of equipment rentals and other features such as parasailing, personal watercraft, paddle boats, regular boats and bicycles.

Lakeview Sports and Action Watersports operate most of the equipment rentals at the various other beaches and marinas including Timber Cove Marina, Tahoe Keys Marina, Meeks Bay, Lakeside Park Beach, El Dorado Beach.

Action Watersports is always looking for new features, said spokesman Bob Hassett. This year they will add the electric lounge chair which travels on the water about three to five miles per hour and the waterwheel which moves like a squirrel cage.

Lakeview has the largest fleet of jet skis and bicycles, said that companies representative, Ron Williams.

When the children get tired of the beach, Tahoe Amusement Park offers rides and activities for everyone from age one on up, said Rich Robertson, owner of the 31-year-old park.

The message on city recreation was more sober.

Though city areas such as Bijou Community Park, the Recreation Center and Reagan Beach have a lot to offer, playing fields are in short supply.

An estimated 300 children were turned away from youth soccer this year due to a shortage of fields, explained recreation Commissioner Dan McLaughlin.

The city and county are taking steps to remedy the problem by beginning a needs assessment analysis to develop a long-term master plan.

Unlike previous planning for the multi-field, multi-function Golden Bear Park, the current effort will “look at all locations available, every single parcel in the community that can be used to improve recreation,” McLaughlin said.

Lodging association member Pembroke Gochnauer, noted that the “lodging was the first and loudest backer for recreation improvements.

“These are the kinds of tourists you want (to attract). They’re family folk. They take advantage of all the facilitates available here.”

In other reports:

— The Nifty Fifty Trolley carried 2,500 people to the Renaissance Fair last weekend, according to Chris Knight with South Shore Transit Management Association. About 500 parked in the South Tahoe High School parking lot.

The trolley begins is regular season on June 19, with operations planned from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Emerald Bay Shuttle, which starts at Camp Richardson, begins June 26 and will connect with the North Shore Trolley.

— The Lodging Association currently has 135 members with “more coming in,” according to Secretary/Treasurer Jan McCarthy. Sixty-two members are lodging properties representing 4,330 rooms and 33 are associate members with businesses other than lodging.

— The next meeting of the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association is scheduled as a general membership meeting on July 9 at 9:30 a.m. The location will be announced later.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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