Plenty in the running for BID board |

Plenty in the running for BID board

Susan Wood

Twenty-six people from diverse backgrounds but one communal goal will be considered Tuesday to run the proposed business improvement district intended for tourism marketing.

Their names are listed here, with one application under Joy Curry disqualified for a delinquent business license.

The City Council seeks 11 people to steer the South Shore’s future marketing efforts – two members each from hotels and eateries from opposite ends of town split by Ski Run Boulevard; two retailers with low and high gross revenue sales; and five at-large members.

Some people applied for more than one category, including: Eric Eymann, Melissa Springer, Victor Babbitt, Lou Pierini and Richard Van Buskirk. The City Council may reduce the entries to 22, according to a city staff report. Applicants will be given the chance to interview in public. They were asked to submit a letter of interest to distinguish themselves within the group.

A few people declared the need for special events. Like Van Buskirk’s desire for more draws to Lake Tahoe, Paul Bruso of Ernie’s Coffee Shop suggested the board use as an example the list of events such as the Great Sternwheeler Race, (Ascent) gay and lesbian ski week, Renaissance Faire and Lake Tahoe Marathon because they “create tremendous extra revenue for local businesses.” Bruso has had his business for 24 years.

Les Wright, who has organized the marathon for a decade and served the community as a teacher and coach, touted his travel industry experience. Restaurateur Keith Simpson will opt to use his knowledge in business and the Lake Tahoe Wedding and Honeymoon Association for marketing Tahoe. Babbitt thinks what’s key is promoting outdoor recreation, a personal interest for businesswoman Julie Threewit who shares “a passion for impressionist art, crossword puzzles, current affairs, politics and the underdog.”

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Marketing money collected under a proposed BID fee is aimed at replacing the $753,000 lost in reduced city subsidies to the South Lake Tahoe Chamber and Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.

One of the duties of the BID board includes earmarking the $30 to $3,000 annual funds set by a formula based on revenues and type of business. As the chamber-spawned proposal stands now, 2,607 companies in the city would pay an estimated $326,000 annually into the BID coffers.

The meeting is scheduled in Council Chambers at 1900 Lake Tahoe Blvd.