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The future of Tahoe is now (opinion)

Recently, many people in town, including myself, have been talking a lot about change. It is important to talk about what our region can become and what is needed to solve the problems we all face. People often talk about this progress as being somewhere in the distant future, but change is here and now; the great things this community can become are now reality. It is not isolated to one side of town or the other. It is happening across the region and beyond. It is also happening in both the physical and digital worlds.

Last week the old Tahoe Daily Tribune sign came down to make way for Tahoe Mountain Lab’s newly renovated home — and the Tribune will still be located in the building. This transition is symbolic of the place Tahoe is becoming — the old and the new working together for something greater. Not only will Tahoe Mountain Lab serve local startups and entrepreneurs, they designed the space to integrate and work with the community. For example, on June 4-5 the first ever Tahoe Hackathon, an event designed to connect the community and local government using technology, will be hosted at Tahoe Mountain Lab. Everyone is invited and all ideas are welcome. For more information, visit http://www.bit.ly/1RksCuI.

With summer upon us, we are officially entering construction season, but this year feels different than most. Barton Health is busy expanding its campus and constructing a health and sports performance center. Their plans for enhancing community health are well underway. A few blocks away, developers are renovating the factory stores at the “Y” to create a hub for the community.

The energy around Harrison Avenue is hard to deny. South Tahoe Standup Paddle has expanded to a new building closer to the beach and there are plans to renovate the building where they were previously located. Regan Beach will soon be receiving much-needed updates and our community has the opportunity this November to fund a new recreation center.

This progress is amazing to witness, but we still have work to do. We must look to other communities around the country, learn from what they are doing, and bring their innovative ideas to Tahoe. Take Truckee for example — they are revitalizing an old railyard into a new business complex integrated with 66 affordable housing units, creating a place for people to work and live. Truckee Roundhouse is creating a maker space, or a community-operated space, at the airport where people can collaborate to create amazing things.

This can also be our reality. We are on the edge of something great, and now is the time to take advantage. There are more ways than ever to get involved and make Tahoe a better place. We cannot let this opportunity slip through our hands.

Devin Middlebrook is the civic engagement committee chair for the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals. For comments, questions, or more information on how to get involved please email Devin and dcmiddlebrook@gmail.com or visit http://www.TahoeTryp.org.


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