Tahoe braces for big bash | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe braces for big bash

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune
Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily TribuneGearing up for the New Year's celebration at Stateline, Jim Peacock, outside maintenance worker for Harrah's Lake Tahoe, takes down Christmas decorations Sunday.

‘Tis the season for no vacancy signs and street light climbers.

The South Lake Tahoe community, from the Alcohol Beverage Control to liquor stores, is gearing up for New Year’s 2002.

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department sent out fliers to businesses and residents reminding them of open container laws, under 18 curfews and illegal fireworks.

“Everybody’s working,” Sgt. Steve O’Brien of the South Lake Tahoe Police department said. “Everybody is either on overtime or working their shift.”

O’Brien estimated that 100 to 125 law enforcement officials from the California Highway Patrol, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department and the Alcohol Beverage Control will be working together to minimize harm on New Year’s Eve.

South Lake Tahoe police has a mutual assist agreement with Douglas County Sheriff’s Department if the Nevada law enforcement agency needs help on New Year’s Eve, O’Brien said.

The gym at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center will be made into a makeshift booking station, and other stations will be near Stateline, law enforcement officials said.

O’Brien said the celebration may be smaller this year due to travel scares from Sept. 11, but still expects a large crowd.

“People have backed off travel,” he said. “I don’t know if we have the numbers that we’ve had in the past but the town at the moment seems full. We’re gearing up, we have to gear up, for large numbers.”

Reports from the casinos at Stateline were optimistic.

“We’re booked, Harveys is booked, everyone is booked. All the wild ones are coming,” said Patricia Jones, a concierge at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

“I’m going to go home, lock my door and watch a movie.”

Horizon Casino Resort reported no vacancy. The casino said it hired private security to beef up its watchful eye.

A concierge at Caesars Tahoe said there were a couple of rooms still available for late arrivals.

Yellow Taxi will have it’s entire taxi arsenal to shuttle people to and from Stateline. The company said it will take about 45 minutes to get to a call. But after the New Year’s Eve ball drops, it’s a different story.

“They will have to flag down a taxi just like 10,000 other screaming people,” said Jim, a Yellow Taxi employee.

Dart Liquor Store owner Steve Francouer said he has seen a steady increase in customers.

“It’s going good,” Francouer said. “We’re seeing an influx of Californians coming into town.

The liquor store, after a “very, very long day” on New Year’s Eve, will shut it’s door at 6 p.m. to allow law enforcement officials to park their cars, Francouer said.

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