Sass Talk: Lots of positive re-development in South Lake Tahoe; facts about LimeBike |

Sass Talk: Lots of positive re-development in South Lake Tahoe; facts about LimeBike

Austin Sass
Mayor of South Lake Tahoe

The city received some good news this week. We were successfully awarded $2.9 million in federal funds to complete all of the funding for the Sierra Boulevard Streetscape project — we are now 100 percent funded through construction.

Kudos to Stan Hill with the city for his excellent grant application. Per Jim Marino, assistant public works director, “it goes to show that innovative road dieting and multi mobility mode projects are highly recommended for funding and with help from TRPA/TMPO staff, the city is in an excellent place to complete this long overdue project.”

We’ll be seeing sidewalks, bike lanes and a soon to be resurfaced Sierra Boulevard with work commencing next year.

Re-development in SLT

Talking about construction, many people are commenting about all the work going on within the city. Here is a rundown for our visitors:

U.S. 50 from the Y to Tahoe Keys Boulevard is getting resurfaced, new gutters, new sidewalks and bike lanes this year courtesy of CalTrans. A new walk/bike lane is being constructed by the city linking the Stateline area through to Lakeview Commons. You will soon be able to rent a bike in the Heavenly Village area and ride safely all the way to the beaches on West Shore.

At the Y, what were formerly the Outlets, is now The Crossings with a new beer pub, a Mexican restaurant and soon to be coming coffee, wine and deli business opened by longtime local Ed Winslow. There is an outdoor sitting area and live music at Luca Genasci’s AleWorX serving brews, pizzas and plenty of shopping stores as well. Congrats to the new shopping center owners and thanks for sprucing the area up with a whole new look. Also at the Y, the old McDonald’s has been razed and a brand new eco-friendly and alpine designed one will open soon. South Lake Brewing Company is finished and adds a dog friendly brewery that is also the largest in town. Construction has also started on the Blue Granite Climbing Gym and looks to be a center for avid climbers and youth wanting to learn the skills necessary to be safe out on the rocks.

In the mid-town area, also known as Harrison Avenue, two local businessmen took down an old building that was structurally inadequate and have built a brand new structure that will house a sports bar. Coupled with the vibe at Sprouts, Revive Coffee and Wine, and the weekly music put on at Lakeview Commons by the city and On Course Events, this is definitely a very cool part of town.

On Ski Run Boulevard, world famous photographer Corey Rich rebuilt the old computer building and has moved his business there. It’s also eco-friendly and his staff will contribute to the growing popularity in this part of town. On the corner of Ski Run and U.S. 50 the empty lot and the soon to be razed old Super8 Motel will be replaced by a new Whole Foods 365 and four to five other new retail shops. In addition, with the help of the California Tahoe Conservancy, there will also be a water quality improvement project there as well.

Finally in the Stateline area, Zalanta has opened its doors and is getting ready to move to phase 2. Their high-end condos are world class and provide luxury lodging right across from the gondola.

Cannabis and VHRs

A reminder that the city is hosting a special cannabis workshop on Aug. 29 at 9 a.m. at the city offices. The goal is to get public input on what the new ordinance should look like. Help us out by coming with ideas such as how many dispensaries we should have, where should they be, recreational, medicinal or both types of storefronts, etc.

The VHR issue is drawing closer to what we hope will be a final ordinance and policy. The VHR subcommittee and staff have arrived at our vision and will next meet with stakeholders at two separate meetings on Aug. 8 to discuss them and get input. It’s my hope that council will be able to review everything in September and put the issue to bed in October. Fingers crossed all goes well.


I’ve had over a dozen people ask me about LimeBike. Here are some facts. 1) They applied for a business license just like everyone else and pay sales tax just like everyone else. 2) There are 200 bikes out there and they are part of a pilot program LimeBike will run through October. 3) The tires are hard rubber and the bike is not suited for long trips or dirt bike paths. They are comfortable enough for short trips but not something you want to ride for several hours. At least I wouldn’t.

Some interesting stats from LimeBike for the period from July 14-31: The median rental is 17 minutes. The average riders per day are 101. It appears that the most use is for locals to commute to work and for others to go from their hotels to restaurants or shopping. Someone renting a bike for a day or three to four hours to ride to the beaches or on one of our mountain bike trails would probably be advised to rent a cruiser or a mountain bike for no other reason than to be made more comfortable.

Loose ends

A warm welcome to Mike Goar, Heavenly’s new COO and Vail’s Regional VP. He moves to us from Keystone and Park City before that. I’m hoping he will bring us some new chair lifts at Heavenly and Kirkwood in the years to come. Maybe a new CA base lodge as well.

I can’t end this month’s column without giving you my best advice. Get Outside. Whether it’s hiking, wildflower hunting like Mike and Harry, biking, SUP, golf, boating or BBQing, it will put a smile on your face. It’s why we live here and others visit South Lake Tahoe; Outdoor Capital of Your World. Have fun!

South Lake Tahoe Mayor Austin Sass can be reached at and on Facebook by searching Sasstalk.

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