TRYP column: South Lake Tahoe sets new vision, now it’s time to make it happen |

TRYP column: South Lake Tahoe sets new vision, now it’s time to make it happen

Devin Middlebrook
A Fresh Perspective

In case you missed it, the city of South Lake Tahoe has a new vision: “We will reflect the national treasure in which we live.”

This vision was crafted after a two-day retreat by the City Council and city staff in February. This is now the city’s guiding principle that will shape the decisions they make in the future. It may be inspiring, but what does it really mean for the community and how does this vision become reality?

Going from vision to reality is not a simple undertaking by any means. Much of our community is still built from the remnants of the 1950s and ‘60s before environment and economy were taken into consideration. Slowly, our community has been making this transition but recently the passion, energy and enthusiasm has become contagious. True transformation is needed to make our community reflect the lake and the mountains that surround us.

This year will be another year of change and progress, and it isn’t just at Stateline. The factory stores will finally become the community hub we have always needed; South Tahoe Brewery has transformed the old Ace Hardware; Blue Granite climbing gym will break ground; and Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association will be constructing new trails on Tahoe Mountain. The Y and the stereotypical local’s side of town will soon reflect the place and lifestyle we enjoy.

While the city may have crafted this new vision, it is something community members have been embracing for much longer. The work community members have put into Tahoe over the last decade proves what we can get done working together. These projects are the exact thing the city should be supporting, incentivizing and actively embracing.

But the change we need is not to just the physical world of buildings and store-fronts — we need a shift in our culture and mindset. We need to invest in our economy and support new, diverse industries. Technology, environmental science, recreation, marketing, computer science and medicine are just a few of the non-tourist driven industries that can bring stability, jobs and higher wages to our community.

This is a real possibility for Tahoe, but the groundwork needed to make this happen still needs constructing. As a community we need to foster the entrepreneurial spirit, support new ideas and collectively work toward the same goals. I challenge the city to implement its vision by supporting the members of our community, new and old, by offering financial incentives, tax breaks and guidance to entrepreneurs taking the risk to make Tahoe better.

Devin Middlebrook is executive director of the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals. For comments, questions, or more information on how to get involved please email Devin and or visit

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