Placer County buys South Lake Tahoe hotel


There may soon be more open space in South Lake Tahoe along Highway 50. This is because on Feb. 24 the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted to buy the A&A Lake Tahoe Inn for approximately $1.4 million.

The South Lake Tahoe hotel is one of many the city would like bulldozed because they add to an overabundance of hotel rooms, many of which are not being used as traditional hotels but instead as non-conforming residential units.

Placer crossed county lines for this purchase so it could obtain the tourist accommodation units from the site. By leveling the structure the county can obtain a 3-to-1 bonus on TAUs per the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Region Plan because it is in a stream environmental zone.

TAUs are a commodity the TRPA created to regulate growth. Many now say this commodity, as well as commercial floor area, hinder redevelopment by placing value on items that in many ways are artificial and are certainly not the norm in the construction world.

It’s possible the California Tahoe Conservancy and Placer County would enter a land swap or purchase down the road involving this site.

The 34-unit hotel is at 3520 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

— Lake Tahoe News staff report



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Comments (14)
  1. Steven says - Posted: February 26, 2015

    What is wrong with the stinking city ?! Renovate these “many” and make them functioning hotels, put the tourists back in them and get the tourists out of our neighborhoods ! And collect the precious TOT.
    And previously the city said they need all these motels paying tot, and didn’t want to see them sold.
    When will this city get real leaders ?!

  2. SLTEXPAT says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    Who’s going to pay to “renovate” these low end motels? These motels don’t make enough seasonal money to carry them through the shoulder seasons so they do weekly rentals year round to SLT’s transient population which to a large degree are the dope/crime problem in SLT. With TRPA regulations so tight I say let big money buy these motels and tear them down so they can either restore the area to its natural habitat or build a new hotel property that is desirable to those who can/will pay money for nicer accommodations. I’m sorry but the years of all of these little shi$ bag motels in SLT has got to go away. It’s part of what makes the city look/feel like a 2nd or 3rd class resort destination. The days of resistance to change are what is causing a slow death to the city. Keep some of the housing quaint, homey and old school but commercially you’ve got to keep up with the demand/times. Ya gotta pay to play or you’ll die a slow death like the City is now. Time to wake up and TRY to get some leadership that has the ability to come up with a business model that works and doesn’t just fit their own personal agenda. Just sayin,,,

  3. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    Steven & SLTEXPAT, Good observations by both of you in regards to the old motels. Having been in that business myself ,off and on for many years ,you both make some valid points.
    Yes the city does need the TOT, but whose gonna pay to fix them up? Certainly not the property owner because that person already would have done so as their place fell into disrepair from years of neglect and then it becomes a weekly rental for people working for minimum wage because the can’t afford anything else. Or perhaps the renters are dealing drugs or are part of the criminal element in town.
    I wish I had the answer to this SLT problem but I will give it some more thought and get back to you. OLS

  4. fromform says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    SLTEXPAT, steven: yup

  5. reloman says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    fixing up these old motels and bringing them up to code for long term rentals is on the councils agenda for tuesday, you all may want to look at the draft law. There are about 1300 rooms being used for long term rental, if these were forced into the nightly rental market we would see a drop in occupancy and room rate for the current nightly rentals a a drop in TOT.

  6. Atomic says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    Bulldoze all of that junk. If you think this is about city leadership you would be wrong. Council members cannot force owners to upgrade their third world motels. Most owners are likely just holding on and simply trying to just pay their bills. That scenario leads to a town looking like SLT. The precious TOT referenced above will stop even at the nice lodging unless we continue to destroy the month to month garbage we currently have. Destination resorts cannot compete when they look worse than the travelers own home town! Too much supply leads to lower pricing. TRPA and the conservancy are the only ones providing any solutions to this problem. Keep the bulldozer idling…….it’s gonna take awhile.

  7. legal beagle says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    TAU’s are very valuable. No doubt the city sold them way under market. CSLT, please prove me wrong.

  8. Atomic says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    How about you prove the market value of TAUs? …then add in all of the police activity and emergency room visits and general crime that exists in these dirt bag motels. If TAUs were so valuable and had a READY MARKET, we wouldn’t have this problem.

  9. Isee says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    The article says it all. TRPA’s system of TAU’s is not the norm in the industry. It’s the reason that less than 700 acres in Meyers needs an 87 page development plan. Ridiculous!

  10. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    Individuals wanting to understand how the City controls the commodity called Tourist Accommodation Units (TAUs) should review the agreement that took place between Edgewood Properties and the City of South Lake Tahoe regarding the eventual Bonanza Neighborhood Park.

    I would venture to guess that if the CTC is becoming involved in this that Placer County will purchase the property and be required to restore it and then donate it to the CTC, and then the CTC will give the City a non-environmentally sensitive parcel that would be buildable as recompense for the loss and transfer of those TAUs to Placer County.

    TAUs have a definite value but there still remain lots of TAUs in the City as evidenced by the number of broken down, dilapidated old hotels/motels.

  11. reza says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    Reloman, Tuesdays meeting will be the start to force these slum lords to either become nightly motels (they went weekly because they could not make it this way) or become up to code long term apartments. Most likely the majority will sell because they are hocked up to their you know what and won’t want to invest in safe electrical wiring and proper kitchens. For a buyer, its either a tear down or a major investment in low income housing. Either way, these units will be safer. Its a miracle they have not burned down yet.

  12. fromform says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    they tear’m down, where we gonna get our crystal?

  13. ljames says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    the problem isnt old or small hotels – they could have been managed as charmers as such properties are in the Monterrey/Carmel area – the problem was even when these places were packed in summer owners like everyone else in Tahoe felt they didnt have to do anything to keep people coming, the scenery would be enough. Now, after decades of providing inferior customer service in so many areas of hospitality, we find that all the up-scaling in the world may bot be enough. Ironically if this is the hotel by Eldordo beach?, from the outside it does not look like any sort of eyesore.

  14. reloman says - Posted: February 27, 2015

    Ljames you are 100% spot on. Little backg4ound on this property, it used to be owned by the same people who own the budget motel next door, they sold it a little over a year ago to a company who supplies employees to places like Harrahs, this company found that they really didnt need it after all and put it back on the market. It is really not in bad shape, but has been use for long term for awhile. Placer should try to buy Beverly also, but the owners of that one own a number of motels and may not want to sell.