Tahoe officials prepare for visitors ahead of NYE
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Local agencies in the Lake Tahoe basin are preparing for the crowds that New Year’s Eve celebrations will potentially bring this weekend.
“Our police department is in very close communication and is working on the logistics plan with Douglas County, California Highway Patrol, Nevada Department of Transportation, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, California Department of Transportation, and Public Works,” said South Lake Tahoe City Manager Joe Irvin.
Together, the public agencies will be able to survey areas of South Lake Tahoe throughout the night, especially Stateline, during the celebrations in order to continue to protect the safety of the public.
The concern for an influx of travelers into the basin and on the streets was raised after a record-breaking storm hit the basin on Friday, Dec. 24, leaving the basin with over 16 feet of snow in just over two days.
Now, as a mass exodus has begun out of the basin, the City of South Lake Tahoe has activated an Emergency Operations Center, which will continue to help people navigate their way through the snow-filled streets of the city.
“A plan is coming into place right now,” said Irvin. “With the weather changing and great snow, I anticipate town will be very busy.”
Nevada Highway Patrol PIO Trooper Charles Caster said that the agencies involved will be taking cues from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
“They’re going to be monitoring pedestrian traffic and all that there at Stateline,” said Trooper Caster.
Both Irvin and Trooper Caster stressed that there are no current plans to close Hwy 50 for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, and if that decision were to be made, it would be agreed upon by all of the entities first in the interest of public safety.
Irvin suggests that with the amount of snow and traffic congestion in the city, those who will be celebrating the new year in the city should park their cars in the parking garage at Heavenly Village, or any other public parking garages in the area.
On the North Shore, officials are preparing for the holiday ahead of the inclement weather as well.
“This storm has certainly thrown a curve ball to us all,” said President and CEO of the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau Andy Chapman. “Not only the visitors, but all the locals considering what South Shore went through. It kind of disrupted the normal travel patterns between Christmas and New Year’s, where people who were here for Christmas would leave at a certain time and those coming in for New Year’s would would come in at a certain time. Now those have have kind of mushed together a little bit.”
Now that the weather is clearing up and the roads are in the process of being cleared, Chapman is excited to welcome visitors and locals to enjoy the last few days of the year.
“It’s going to be busy,” said Chapman. “Businesses are ready for the crowds and given what we’ve had with the Caldor Fire and some of the closures and all that, I think businesses are ready. The storm just passed on, and it threw us a curve ball, but it also sets us up nicely for the weekend and beyond into the rest of the year.”
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