Reservations slide blamed on bad snow, Y2K fears |

Reservations slide blamed on bad snow, Y2K fears

Millennium hype and a sparse snowpack is being blamed for a drop in overnight visitors to the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Total nights stayed during December at 70 motels, condominiums, hotels and vacation rental houses fell 49 percent from the December 1998 occupancy rates, according to Lake Tahoe Central Reservations.

Similarly, revenue reportedly dropped 29 percent and calls made to the toll-free reservations number, (800) AT TAHOE, fell 51 percent from the year before.

Marc Sapoznic, of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, said the millennium change prompted overzealous rates in some vacation rental businesses and caused uncertainty in consumers.

“The rates were high,” he said. “But a lot of people just didn’t know what was going to happen with Y2K and many just stayed home because of that.”

He also said that the numbers recorded weren’t reflective of average figures because they are compared to 1998 – a record year for travel to the Tahoe Basin.

One of the driest Decembers on record also impacted the reservations number, Sapoznic said.

But recent snowfall and many reservations already in place for February and March have Sapoznic hopeful.

“I know that things have already picked up,” he said. “The future is looking much brighter with a lot of rental properties already sold out on the weekends.”

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