Ribaudo column: Lake Tahoe South Shore carving out new position in evolving tourism industry
A couple of thoughts and observations to close out the year:
As we come upon the new year, it is becoming clearer that climate change is having an impact on the ski season, but more importantly the overall tourism economy. For years South Shore was primarily known as a gaming and ski destination. But as population, demographics and consumer interests have changed, the South Shore is carving out a new position that is focused on entertainment and recreation, of which gaming and skiing are a part of but no longer will define the destination.
Speaking of the ski industry, it was great to see Rob Katz, the chairman of Vail Resorts, earmark contributions to mental health issues in resort communities in Colorado, Utah and Truckee. As we have seen, mental health is one of the most pressing problems facing this community. I was just not sure why South Shore did not make the list for donations and why the contribution to Truckee was half that to other resort areas. Interesting.
It looks like 2018 will include a ballot measure on vacation rentals. The issue has split the community like few others with no compromise in sight, thus, a ballot measure and surely a legal fight.
We are well versed in the current effects on the community, which include noise, parking and trash. But what we don’t know is the potential impact on home values if there is a moratorium or elimination of rental units.
It’s a complicated problem being solved with a sledgehammer. As I have indicated before, I recommend a one-year cooling off period so the community can assess the impact of the new city policy on enforcement and the cap on the number of available units. The community can further evaluate the situation and go from there.
I was walking through the Heavenly Village recently and I remembered all those who years ago opposed the village. The village has done well, as has Harrison Avenue and the Y. Entrepreneurship and creativity can be powerful when it is allowed to flourish. Think if the community has listened to those naysayers and we still had places like the Talley Ho motel, the mini golf course and no sidewalks.
Vision and creativity are the most important assets the South Shore community has, and we need more. It’s great to see this creativity spread throughout South Shore and hopefully in 2018 it will continue.
I was glad to see the Warm Room find a temporary home for the winter. The program is needed and kudos to the Lake Tahoe Presbyterian Church for stepping forward to provide a facility.
The Big Picture
The Republican tax cut is a big mixed bag, but it certainly benefits corporations. It is assumed the tax cut will stimulate 3.5 percent GDP growth annually, will pay for itself and the money saved by corporations will translate into higher wages for working people. It’s either a genius idea or it will end up on the ash heap of economic policy history.
I found another place in Carson City you won’t want to miss. For tamale lovers check out the Lady Tamales. It’s a hole in the wall, but damn, is it good. Get a dozen for $10. It’s a can’t miss. Here is the location: 933 Woodside Drive, Suite 102, Carson City, Nevada.
It’s a Wrap
I want to thank everyone who reads this column for taking the time to do so, especially those who every week tell me what they like or don’t like. I know not everyone agrees with what I have to say and that is OK. I just hope you enjoy reading it. I wish everyone a prosperous and happy new year.
Carl Ribaudo is a columnist, consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached at email@example.com.