Opening Day event was a success: Now let the complaining begin |

Opening Day event was a success: Now let the complaining begin

Patrick Ronan

Pretty amazing! We actually had a major event and everyone who attended seemed to have a great time. Everyone I talked to was blown away by the fact that we actually pulled it off. The music was phenomenal. The motorcycle show was a big hit. The vendors seemed busy and the weather cooperated. We actually even saw “No Vacancy” signs at several of the motels up and down Highway 50. And this is only June. For the outside events, both boats were full for the paddlewheeler races and the geo-caching had over 600 participants.

What a great event that so many agencies worked together to make happen.

But what are we going to hear about for the next three weeks in the editorial sections of the paper? “The Traffic was Terrible.” “It took an hour to go from Round Hill to Ski Run.” “Why didn’t any anyone tell us about this?”

I will find it interesting to read these comments from people who apparently don’t ever read the rest of the paper or they would have known about the event. And most of the complaining will of course be from locals.

With any successful big event comes traffic issues. How many people try to drive around AT&T Park before or after a game that aren’t going to it? Is it tough at all to get into Virginia City the weekend of the camel races? How easy is it to get through Carson City when they close Highway 395 for the Nevada Day parade? What’s traffic like in Angels Camp when they have the frog-jumping contests every year? Have you driven near Arco on a Friday night for a Kings game? Ever try to drive through Napa in the fall on a weekend? Any weekend?

“But this is Tahoe. We don’t like traffic.”

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Last summer I made it a point to drive through town on Saturdays and see how busy the town was. Seldom were more then a couple of motels full on the busiest night of the week. Ten years ago, both Fridays and Saturdays were always full. What was the solution to bring back the tourism dollars to put in to our economy? Marketing and special events! Well thanks to the TID and the LTVA’s use of a decent-sized budget, we now have started some major marketing efforts and have a very successful event to be proud of.

Remember, we are a tourism town whose only source of revenue is from tourism dollars. No other business brings in money to our economy. After it comes in, we then pass it around several times. Why do so many forget that. This past winter was not exactly stellar for most of our businesses.

But what about the traffic? There are already plans to evaluate all aspects of the event by all the agencies that made it possible in the first place. And there have already been many very good suggestions to help alleviate the traffic issues.

— Patrick Ronan is a lodge owner and 15-year resident of the South Shore.