South Shore struggling to be more than it is


By Kathryn Reed

Connecting the dots of the South Shore is getting closer, but what the end picture will look like remains to be seen.

Tuesday night was the third economic forum in the last year focusing on gathering people to discuss visions for the area and starting the dialog to be able implement ideas. (The other meetings were Oct. 23, 2012, and March 5.)

On Oct. 22, 12 speakers gave brief overviews of what their entities are doing.

They were:

The South Shore is trying to figure out what will be the solution for a sustainable economic future. Photo/Kathryn Reed

South Shore is trying to figure out what will be the solution for a sustainable economic future. Photo/Kathryn Reed

• Jason Drew – Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce – talking about the chamber’s vision for 2020 and being active politically.

• Tom Greene – Tahoe Prosperity Center – the need for a substantial digital delivery system.

• Kim Kerr – El Dorado County – Meyers plan and recreation on the South Shore.

• Mimi Moss – Douglas County – South Shore area plan, recreation.

• Lew Feldman – attorney – next phase of Chateau project should be done in July.

• James Grant – Vail Resorts – zipline at Heavenly should open in December, rope courses next summer.

• Nancy Kerry – South Lake Tahoe – recreation plan under way, Harrison Avenue next summer, tourist core plan to TRPA in November.

• Carl Hasty – Tahoe Transportation District – loop road progressing, Stateline bike trail ready to ride, bus shelters going in, ferry service to begin environmental study phase.

• Kindred Murillo – Lake Tahoe Community College – planning for next 40 years, becoming an education and cultural center, four-year education, desire for new facilities.

• Mike Cook – Caltrans – projects on South Shore continue though 2019.

• Ivone Larson – South Tahoe High School – unparalleled opportunities through new programs in state-of-the-art facilities.

• Cindy Martinez – Bijou Community School – two-way immersion program.

A common thread weaving through their presentations is one builds upon the other. It’s about education, having a knowledgeable workforce, providing recreation activities for locals and tourists, and having the transportation-infrastructure to move people from place to place.

The more than 100 people at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel were asked to use one word to describe what they heard from the speakers. They said – vision, recreation, implementation, progress, community, positivity and education.

Then it came time for four predetermined ideas to be discussed. And while recreation was a common theme at the start of the meeting, it had nothing to do with the four ideas.

The ideas were an outdoor music venue, business incubator-accelerator-innovation center, interpretive discovery center, and arts identity.

The four speakers each gave three examples of other locations that have brought the same ideas to fruition and then they talked a bit about what it took for those venues to prosper.

When it came time to find out what the audience thought should be done going forward there was not overwhelming consensus. However, more hands went up for believing a music venue would have the greatest impact on the area, while creating an arts identity would be easiest to do.


About author

This article was written by admin


Comments (15)
  1. suspicious mind says - Posted: October 23, 2013

    This is very much like old Russia’s five year plans.
    Great on paper and vision(?)but short on accomplishment.
    How in the world will two way bilingual immersion benefit anybody, Cindy?
    Didn’t see anybody from TRPA and they are big, big players.
    As an old friend told me years ago, this place is poverty with a view.

  2. Perry R. Obray says - Posted: October 23, 2013

    With skyrocketing, expensive real estate prices, housing is a sore subject. I’m guessing around a $100K per household income is desired for a sustained and full productive existence at Tahoe. This isn’t going to happen on a large scale probably with a recreation focused economy.

    Proper education for a better chance at a full productive lifestyle is within reach for many locals.

    It seems the CalTrans sidewalk project is hugely under rated. I was stunned when snow removal was done on the new CalTrans sidewalks. Also the sealing last spring of the new CalTrans side walk looks impressive for the long term integrity of the new infrastructure. What most likely is a very efficient new pathway system, might be one of the little pieces of a huge puzzle that can have a significant quality of life impact.

  3. Bob says - Posted: October 23, 2013

    Let’s hope the welders over at Caltrans have installed some type of bumper wheel on their plows so they don’t destroy all of the new curbs on Highway 50 over the winter.

  4. Moral Hazard says - Posted: October 23, 2013

    Suspicious, learning multiple languages makes kids perform better on math and language tests later in life.

  5. Mick says - Posted: October 23, 2013

    Bi-Lingual education is a Joke!!! Students end up learning 1/2 of each language. Which is what I see in SLT..

  6. Kay Henderson says - Posted: October 23, 2013

    Thank you for the excellent summary of the recent economic forum. There are clearly many people thinking long and hard about what can be done to put into place a sustainable economy, and because of your article, the rest of us understand this thinking better.

  7. careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: October 23, 2013

    I have really noticed the completion of the landscape/lighting upgrade on Lake Tahoe Blvd from Al Tahoe to Stateline. It’s amazing what a difference a path, some plants, fences, bus shelters, garbage receptacles, and lighting can make, it brings out pride of community, and sends a message that we are a real city, very beautiful :) Hope we can keep it looking good through the years!

    Looking forward to the Harrison Ave project completion; which I think will complete the whole Commons area, and look forward to these upgrades moving towards the “Y”?

    Any word about Meeks giving up the in town location? I’ve heard rumor of that for years, is it a real possibility? IMO it’s a shame to waste such a beautiful spot on a hardware store, and I would be more than willing to drive to Meyers for my larger hardware needs, and usually go to the smaller stores in town anyways.

  8. ljames says - Posted: October 23, 2013

    South Shore struggling to be more than it is

    I am not criticizing the title of this article – it’s spot on, but that it would be spot on is really the crux of the issue isn’t it? What is it about this place that it struggles to “be more than it is” rather than just going about what it is and being pretty darn good at it as just a natural outgrowth of inspired, creative, and community-oriented grass roots efforts? Do people really need others to tell them their town looks like crap? Do property owners need to be forced / coerced/ cajoled to improve their properties – maybe the answer sadly is yes?

    Now lets just not go totally in the opposite direction where every improvement has to be on the scale of complete tear down and massive redevelopment that is only supported by outside ownership, susceptible to nation-wide economic downturns, and turns SLT into a wanna-be city (e.g., parking meters, focus on casinos visitors, and 3+ story buidlings) vs a mountain town that says this is a place to slow down and smell the pine trees.

  9. sunriser2 says - Posted: October 23, 2013

    I know this will controversial, but the area should consider having all NEW hires of the City, County, STPUD, Schools etc be incentivized/required to live within the boundaries of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District.

    Too much of the local tax money is being spent in Gardnerville.

    These people should have skin in the game.

  10. Not Born on the Bayou says - Posted: October 24, 2013

    Regarding the new construction activity in the Hole, it’s good to see some action finally. In looking back through some previous articles about this and reader comments, a couple of thoughts occurred to me. Some readers expressed concern that the retail being added might just add more t-shirt type shops and/or empty and revolving door business occupants. To me, that makes it a good thing that they’re starting off smaller rather than building out all of the retail footage initially. That might allow more testing of the waters for demand and mix of businesses and facilities that come in there later.

    Putting aside my not knowing how the mix pencils out financially in terms of retail vs. lodging vs. convention center, I remain skeptical that a convention center will be a viable big pull. It seems to me that if they can find the right amount of retail/restaurant space and lodging needed, that the remaining space designated for a convention center should be reconsidered.

    I think a unique building/indoor-outdoor center there dedicated to two main purposes would be more captivating for visitors and locals alike, and draw attention as a one of a kind high activity focal center:

    – Outdoor adventure/education/trip planning, with an organizing entity plus several small businesses that provide or organize outdoor/trip etc. services such as bike/kayak/SUP/wilderness gear rental and tours, outdoor photography courses, education rooms with films, learning stations, and interactive topographic models, Lake history/museum displays, rock climbing walls, outdoor exercise course, and a small zipline, ice rink, etc

    – A concert/theater/performance venue, possibly both indoor (for smaller shows) and outdoor (for small plus medium/larger size shows).

    This area could be designed with public open spaces around it with lots of trees and grass, so that even when events weren’t happening, it would have reason to be occupied. This center could also host regular events like beer or wine tasting, Tahoe dining samples or visiting chefs, arts and crafts booths, ski swaps, farmer’s markets, etc etc.

  11. Mike says - Posted: October 24, 2013

    Of all the things listed in this article, I find it interesting that Mick took issue with the bi-lingual program at Bijou. I know Mick does not have a child in the program because he would be more informed about its success. He would also know that there is a waiting list to get into this program. And the program is turning out top notch students, both on the English and Spanish side, who are fluent in both languages. Maybe Mick should become informed and educated about a subject before making incorrect statements, which could be construed as simply racist.

  12. reloman says - Posted: October 24, 2013

    Not Born, I beleive that a convention center is really the most financially viable option. In the last month I have learned of 2 conventions that wanted to come to South Lake Tahoe at the end of September beginning of October. One was for 1200 people and the other was for 800. But because of the limited space we were unable to accomidate them. This probably would have generated $2 million to the local economy. Both of these conventions would have had attendees whos average income was $100k plus.

  13. Not Born on the Bayou says - Posted: October 24, 2013

    Reloman, if that’s true, I would support it, especially since the city’s off the hook now as I understand it from convention center debts there. But I’d still like to see some degree of a well designed outdoors focused plus entertainment center there, even if scaled down – or if it could be set up as a multi-use facility including some of those features plus a convention center.

  14. Joe Marzocco says - Posted: October 25, 2013

    Thank you Mike for your comment to Mick. Much more elegant than what I would have said.

    Namaste (a word that is neither English nor Spanish)

  15. dumbfounded says - Posted: October 26, 2013

    Obviously, if meetings solved problems we wouldn’t have any problems…