Letter: VHR ban a bad move (opinion)
June 12, 2018
Editor's note: The numbers used in this letter, including the claim that tourism would drop 1/3, have not been confirmed by the Tribune.
With respect to vacation rentals, I may be biased since I serve as managing broker for a vacation rental company in operation since 1983.
Getting rid of, or significantly restricting vacation rentals would be a huge mistake for the community. According to my best understanding, there are 2,364 casino rooms (MB 437, Harveys 740, Harrah's 525, Hard Rock 539, and Lakeside 123). These rooms are capable of sleeping about 5,000 guests.
There are approximately 1,400 vacation rentals in South Lake Tahoe (outside the tourist corridor), and there are 461 vacation rental permits in Douglas County, total 1861 vacation rentals.
Typical vacation rentals sleep seven or eight people, say seven to be conservative, in which case the vacation rentals sleep 13,027 people. My wildest guess is that there are about 40 motels with 25 rooms, which is 1,000 rooms which might sleep 2,000 guests. So here is the summary:
65 percent 13,027 Vacation Rental Guests
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25 percent 5,000 Casino Room Guests
10 percent 2,000 Motel Room Guests
100 percent 20,027 Guests Total
It is clear that vacation rentals are by far the most important factor in the ability of the south lake area to support tourism. If there were no vacation rentals, tourism would drop to about 1/3rd of what it is today. Probably casinos would close. Motels would be full and require reservations far in advance. Jobs at casinos, restaurants, vacation rental companies, house cleaners, gas stations, Doctor offices, stores, marinas, and on slopes would simply disappear.
Unable to make a living, people will be forced to leave the area But, affordable housing would be accomplished because real estate values and rents would probably drop by 25 to 50 percent.
Yes, the town belongs to the residents, but the lake belongs to all the people. Not fair for a few of us old ( I am 78) residents to sit here and not let all the people enjoy this beautiful wonder of nature. Rather than ban vacation rentals, we should probably ban permanent residences within 1,000 to 2,000 feet of the lake.
Zephyr Cove, Nevada