Tahoe ferry proposal gets mixed reviews | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe ferry proposal gets mixed reviews

INCLINE VILLAGE (AP) – A proposal to make Incline Village a stop on a new public ferry system at Lake Tahoe is drawing opposition from some residents who fear it would bring too many tourists.

Consultants pitched the idea at a meeting Wednesday of the Incline Village General Improvement District board, saying the ferry boats are designed to ease congestion on narrow mountain roads around Lake Tahoe.

Congress last year approved $8 million for two high-speed ferries to carry tourists across the 21-mile-long lake straddling the California-Nevada border.

Some residents and IVGID board members spoke out against the proposed ferry transit “triangle,” which calls for stops at Tahoe City, Calif., Incline Village and the south shore.

“My husband and I made a choice to retire here because we don’t have a lot of tourists,” said Beverly Mapps, an IVGID board member. “Some of us would like it to stay that way.

“When you land all these people on a beach, where are you going to go? I just don’t see there’s a lot to do here,” she added.

Other residents of the north shore community expressed concern that IVGID would be giving up a public beach and parking lot for nothing in return.

Plans call for the ferry boats to dock at IVGID-owned Hermit Beach, which is located next to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort & Casino.

Consultants said the location is ideal because it is 200 feet from a public bus stop and less than 100 feet from the Hyatt parking lot.

They said the ferry system would reduce dependency on private cars at Lake Tahoe and help solve transportation problems on two-lane highways around it.

Plans call for the ferries to each haul up to 200 people, and for docks and parking areas to be built for them.

Boats were once the most dependable way to transport people and supplies around Lake Tahoe.

The largest of the oldest vessels, the SS Tahoe, plied the lake for 45 years after it was launched in 1896.

There now are no large boats to carry scores of tourists from one end of the lake to the other in about the same time it takes to drive a car – 45 minutes to an hour.

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