Placer County approves new Lake Tahoe resort association contract | SierraSun.com

Placer County approves new Lake Tahoe resort association contract

The initial skepticism surrounding the county's revised scope of work for the resort association appears to have subsided, at least for now.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a new, six-month contract with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association at its July 25 meeting in the Tahoe City Fairway Community Center.

The budget is the result of the mediation between the county and the resort association, as well as community input, Placer County Deputy CEO for Lake Tahoe Jennifer Merchant told the board.

The bulk of the $1,779,495 contract will go toward marketing, as county staff had intended in its earlier proposal. However, the contract does retain a small amount of funding for transportation and infrastructure.

The budget sets aside $1,728,262 for marketing services, which includes the direct marketing program, as well as visitor information services, special event sponsorship, and conference sales.

Of the remaining $51,233, the budget allocates $18,104 to transportation services and $33,129 for infrastructure services.

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Back in April, county staff submitted a budget proposal with a revised scope of work for the resort association, which until then had been responsible for reviewing transportation and infrastructure project proposals and recommending which ones should receive funding from the county's lodging tax.

The initial budget proposal removed the transportation and infrastructure review duties from the association, and focused the organization exclusively on its tourism marketing efforts. The association opposed the revised contract.

To keep the association running while negotiations took place, the county board of supervisors approved a one-month interim contract in June.

The new, six-month transitional contract was approved on July 17 by the resort association board. It is intended to cover August through January, rather than an entire year like previous resort association contracts.

Placer County Senior Management Analyst Erin Casey for Lake Tahoe said during the meeting that the agreement was based on shared goals and interests, such as the need for diverse geographic representation.

According to a county memo, under the new contract the association will continue to participate in the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, Tahoe Transportation District, and the Truckee North Tahoe Transportion Management Association meetings, but will transfer infrastructure contracts to Placer County. Following additional negotiations, county staff is expected to return to the board in December with an updated resort association contract proposal.

Casey said that the next steps would be to develop a community outreach plan and to develop a more long-term scope of work and contract for the resort association.

Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at arhoades@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @akrhoades.