Tourist season is under way |

Tourist season is under way

Susan Wood
Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune Vicente Arroyo of Van Nuys grills carne asada and corn on the cob for his family at Regan Beach on Monday.

The holiday to honor the call to arms could be called the warmup to summer.

With the exception of pockets like Camp Richardson and the casino corridor, many areas of South Lake Tahoe and Stateline appeared less congested than previous Memorial Day weekends. More people, however, came out as the mercury went up from Friday’s and Saturday’s cooler temperatures.

Earlier in the week, some campers canceled at Campground by the Lake – which in comparison sells out for the Fourth of July holiday by October.

This weekend, 28 of 167 sites were open at the campground, employee Shanna Knapp reported.

“A lot of people came up in shorts and were surprised,” she said.

The weather transferred to a less-than-ideal business climate for Lakeview Sports.

Employee John Capitani said the weekend was slower than most Memorial Day holidays. He’s worked there for six years.

“It was cold on Friday,” he said, adding the business picked up a little later into the weekend. He didn’t have high expectations because he knows the drill.

“It definitely picks up the second week of June,” he said.

Patsy Kyles perfectly timed her visit from the Bay Area. She stayed at Inn By the Lake.

“We thought it would be busier with tons of people. I’m surprised there were so many vacancies,” Kyles said, while riding a bicycle through the campground with her daughter, Erin.

Kyles added she was pleased with less crowds to give her more space to enjoy the lake.

“You live here? You are blessed,” she said.

With South Shore lodging numbers and some auxiliary business down this weekend, many companies may take assurance in that the visitor traffic should be heating up later on.

The Travel Industry of America predicts a 3.2 percent rise in tourism this summer.

And tourism officials and travelers are still uncertain about the full effects of rising gasoline prices.

Visitors like Ted White of Sacramento said he would vacation anyway – despite touring in a Coachmen recreational vehicle that gets eight miles per gallon.

“I made these reservations a few months ago. I would have kept them even if I made them this week,” he said, packing up the vehicle at Campground by the Lake Monday.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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