2010 Census: Tahoe City population drops; some blame low jobs, high living costs | SierraSun.com

2010 Census: Tahoe City population drops; some blame low jobs, high living costs

Jason Shueh/Sierra SunA Tahoe City population sign pokes its head out of the snow near downtown. New US Census data shows the population in Tahoe city is now at 1,557 residents.

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; The economy is still roiling, and with it comes new data showing a miniature exodus out of Tahoe City that some residents say is due to declining jobs and higher-living costs.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Tahoe Cityand#8217;s population has dropped from 1,761 in 2000 to 1,557 full-time residents in 2010, a 204-person decrease and#8212; about 11.6 percent.

Sue Daniels and#8212; a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Tahoe City and board member with the North Tahoe Public Utility District in Kings Beach and#8212; said she thinks the population decline illustrates Tahoeand#8217;s generally poor ability to retain residents.

Daniels said she grew up in the region and can remember returning to North Tahoe after college graduation, only to find most of her friends had moved onto other areas.

and#8220;Out of 100 kids that graduated Truckee High, only 10 of us stayed,and#8221; Daniels said.

Since the Great Recession hit, she said North Tahoeand#8217;s resident retention problems have worsened, forcing younger couples out of the region to more opportunistic or affordable areas such as Reno and Verdi, Nev.

and#8220;Itand#8217;s simply getting too expensive and there are not enough jobs,and#8221; Daniels said. and#8220;I feel so badly for the young people because they canand#8217;t find good full-time work.and#8221;

Christin Hanna, vice president of the Tahoe City Downtown Association and owner of Tahoe Youth Ballet, said the Tahoe City economy, like other communities around the basin, lacks living wage jobs and#8212; seasonal or otherwise and#8212; to compensate for rising living costs.

Hanna also said she thinks the population decline could be due more to second homes being purchased or rented. The census shows that of Tahoe Cityand#8217;s 2,119 housing units, only 744 are occupied by full-time residents, and 1,375 are vacant or owned by second homeowners.

Hanna said the townand#8217;s dependency on seasonal residents usually hurts local business in the offseason when the crowds leave.

and#8220;Itand#8217;s unfortunate but its kind of where things are now,and#8221; Hanna said.

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