Placer supes OK long-term North Lake Tahoe tourism plan | SierraSun.com

Placer supes OK long-term North Lake Tahoe tourism plan

Sandy Evans Hall, CEO of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, addresses the Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning regarding the 2015 North Lake Tahoe Tourism Master Plan.
Margaret Moran / Sierra Sun |

KINGS BEACH, Calif. — A long-term plan has been approved to guide future North Lake Tahoe tourism investment in areas of visitor activities and facilities, transportation, marketing and visitor information.

In a 4-0 vote Tuesday morning, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the final draft 2015 North Lake Tahoe Tourism Plan, which took three years to develop and incorporates research and public input.

Board chair Kirk Uhler, of District 4, was absent from the meeting at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach.

“I think it’s critically important that we reflect the needs and the wants of the people who live here, who are maybe not the intended beneficiaries … are certainly beneficiaries of it at least tangentially, so thank you for that,” said Jennifer Montgomery, District 5 supervisor, whose region includes North Lake Tahoe.

The document will serve as a roadmap for officials on how to spend Transient Occupancy Tax funds with the intention of improving the tourism experience.

TOT is a charge added to the cost of a room — motel, hotel, condominium — paid by area visitors who stay fewer than 30 days.

Specifically, the plan defines a long-term tourism vision and identifies goals, potential partners and funding sources to make it a reality.

Objectives outlined in the document are divided into two tiers, consisting of a ranking system that will guide recommendations for TOT fund allocations.

Tier 1 recommendations include providing a connected trail system throughout North Lake Tahoe, implementing a free and frequent transit service, focusing on user-friendly technology to guide visitors and increasing the number of faraway visitors.

Meanwhile, Tier 2 consists of advancing efforts to improve the quality and variety of lakeshore lodging properties, advocating for more direct flights into the Reno and Sacramento airports, investing in world-class events and installing more way-finding signage at key sites.

“From a small lodging or small business perspective, this document and this exercise is pretty valuable, not only in its recommendations, but as a tool for communication to a lot of small business owners where we can understand and align our business strategies with those of the county and the investments (it is) making in the tourism industry,” said Alex Mourelatos, owner of the Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort in Tahoe Vista and member of the 2015 Tourism Master Plan task force.

The effort marks the third reiteration of the tourism plan, with the two past having been created in 1995 and 2004.