Transit center future to be discussed |

Transit center future to be discussed

How the city should go about leasing its transit center will be discussed by the South Lake Tahoe City Council when it meets today at 9 a.m.

The city will discuss parties interested in leasing the Heavenly Village transit station. The structure – located near Cecil’s Fountain Plaza – has been vacant for months and is costing the city money to heat.

Leasing out the building would make it more of a cost-effective component to the Park Avenue Redevelopment Project, city officials say.

A flurry of messages between the city and development partners – including Heavenly Mountain Resort and Marriott Vacation Club – may culminate at the council meeting. Marriott, for instance, has millions of dollars and lodging units tied to the development.

According to city staff, Heavenly management has also expressed interest in using the building for locker facilities, a changing room and offices.

The structure has already been favored for a visitor information center for the U.S. Forest Service and California Tahoe Conservancy.

“If the city makes improvements to the transit center under this lease, we need to be certain that any improvements made with grant funds could be put to another permitted purpose if Marriott later decided to not lease the property,” City Manager Dave Jinkens wrote in a memo for the staff report.

In addition, the city is joining efforts with a group seeking a say in the formation of a business improvement district for tourism marketing. City Council subcommittee members John Upton and Mike Weber attended a Business Improvement District meeting last week to hear suggestions on guidelines for selecting board members. They’ll present their findings to the full council.

As for infrastructure, Jinkens will report on a $32 million Highway 50 improvement project, which includes sidewalks, curbs, gutters and storm drains.

The Tahoe Valley Community Plan Team may get a helping hand from the city as it considers deploying a collaborated design process, an extensive landscape-architectural contest, for its massive vision on the west side of town.

The Ski Run Marina used a similar a few years ago sparked a brainstorming session over a period of three days but produced few results.

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

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