Shoulder season bolstered by sporting events
Fall typically marks a dip in the Lake Tahoe economy, but events like Lake Tahoe Marathon Week help bring business to the region at a time when warm weather enthusiasts have gone home and ski resort chair lifts have yet to rev up.
While noting there are typically fewer customers in town this time of year, Dana Turvey, a manager at Sports Ltd. in South Lake Tahoe, said when events such as the marathon come to town, customers become more interested in certain items.
“The last couple of days there have been people in the store looking for things for a marathon,” Turvey said Thursday.
Glove liners, leg warmers and wind breakers are some of the items Turvey said have attracted businesses as of late, suspecting many of the customers are runners who were unprepared for the temperature difference between Lake Tahoe and their hometowns.
Events like last weekend’s Big Blue Adventure Race at the North Shore and this weekend’s Xterra Race in Incline Village also bring adventure into what is typically a slower season.
The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association helps promote such events and officials say the area is a natural location for sports like adventure racing.
“The adventure component helps fill in the shoulder season,” said Andy Chapman, the resort association’s director of tourism. “It’s a good clientele that comes at a good time of year that helps showcase a great product. It’s a very natural connection to what everyone’s trying to do up here, which is taking care of the environment.”
Big Blue’s Jackson agrees.
“In Tahoe I think we get a lot of feedback because the lake is so beautiful — getting the opportunity to go paddle on the lake,” Jackson said. “It’s a nice perspective to be out on the water and be able to look at the Sierra.”
Marketing an athletic competition adds a new facet to the marketing of Lake Tahoe, Jackson added.
“A lot of dollars are spent on marketing destinations as an adventure. I think there’s been a trend in athletes who want to get out and break the norm in traditional events,” Jackson said.
More sporting events, both traditional and non-traditional, may be expected during the shoulder season as the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is in the process of forming a sports commission to look at the possibilities, according to Patrick Kaler, the authority’s executive director.
“Lake Tahoe is such a natural destination for those things,” Kaler said Wednesday. “(More sporting events) would help lure those types of groups to our destination.”