Visitors fill basin over holiday weekend |

Visitors fill basin over holiday weekend

From a Camp Richardson ice cream parlor to the casinos, tourists jammed South Lake Tahoe during the weekend for fun, sun and all the traditional trimmings.

The Beacon Bar & Grill got its customers jamming to the music of local bands too.

“When it’s hot and the sun’s out, you can expect this place will hop,” Jean Monsanto said Monday, wrapping up a busy holiday weekend.

Monsanto said the staff of 52 employees handled 35 percent more business than last year. By contrast, the South Shore restaurant whittles its staff down to about 15 food service employees in the winter.

But summer’s official kickoff had people cramming inside the bar and the outside deck, as bartender Ericka Garcia whipped up rum runners like they were going out of style.

Others covered the beach to sunbathe, kayak or people watch.

Those who wanted to cook their own barbecue invaded Kmart at the “Y,” as management reported an outstanding weekend.

Once gas grills rolled out of the discount retailer, Raley’s manager noticed a banner weekend for barbecue fixings.

“Briquets were flying out of here,” Allan Wells said. The manager added about 10 more staffers to handle the influx of hot dogs and potato chip sales.

To wash down the grub, picnickers treated DART Discount Liquor to a better-than-last-year holiday.

Tourist central every year, the parking lots at Emerald Bay filled with visitors headed to popular trailheads and scenic overlooks. Some motorists braved parking tickets by lining the side of Highway 89, where parking is prohibited.

Tourists and residents wanting a taste of the outdoors without fighting the crowds found a little more tranquility in two nearby resort areas.

The smell of fresh wood marked the opening of the new Fallen Leaf Lake general store.

The cash register also rang up Tahoe Mountain Road at Angora Lakes Resort’s store, which opened Saturday as well.

“It’s as good a weekend as we’ve ever had,” Lakeside Marina Manager Roger Gadsbury said, attributing the business to the good weather “in spite of the wind.” The Lake Tahoe Boulevard marina rented more power boats than any other motorcraft.

Tahoe Keys guests and residents lined the pier near the clubhouse to watch sailors operating remote-control sailboats.

Throughout the lake, patrol boats were also out in full force to ensure water safety and responsibility, but few significant incidents occurred, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

Barton Memorial Hospital’s emergency room supported that claim, reporting a slow weekend in contrast to the number of people who descended on the mountain resort.

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