Fourth of July business booms for Truckee/Tahoe
July 5, 2010
TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; It’s anyone’s guess whether the strong Fourth of July crowds were a result of a rebounding economy, budget vacations or a finally-realized start to summer and#8212; either way, area business owners are happy.
In Tahoe City, shops said sales were higher than average.
and#8220;Rentals were up and sales were up just based on the last few years after the downturn in the economy,and#8221; said Chris Larive, a sales associate at Olympic Bikes.
While sales weren’t outstanding, Larive said bike rentals soared compared to last year. Larive said the low water in the Truckee River may have driven more people to bicycles, and good weather coming into the holiday might have drawn visitors to Tahoe.
and#8220;It was certainly strong and good for us, and I think the river had an effect on that since they weren’t renting boats out,and#8221; he said.
Over on Donner Lake, the Donner Pines Market reported a busy weekend, but not bigger than last summer.
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and#8220;It was not quite as big as past summers, but it was good,and#8221; said Roger Gannam, owner of the market.
He speculated that while last Fourth of July was big and the rest of the summer slower, this summer may be a steadier pace throughout the season.
At the Pepper Tree Inn in Tahoe City, manager Georgiana Dawson said the hotel was fully booked Friday, Saturday and Sunday; however, she wondered why she didn’t see more people out on the streets.
and#8220;I don’t think it was as crowded as it could have been. It seems like in years before we’ve had larger crowds,and#8221; Dawson said.
At the Truckee Sears Hometown Store, Owner Charlie Riley reported big crowds in the shop and out on the streets, thanks in part to the Fourth of July parade.
and#8220;Sales were significantly stronger than last year,and#8221; Riley said. and#8220;It was great seeing people in town and#8212; Truckee Pizza and Smokey’s were packed.and#8221;
And he said when he tried to drive into downtown Truckee, traffic was nearly gridlocked with visitors.
Christa Finn, owner of The Pour House Wine Shop in downtown Truckee, said the shop had a better weekend than last year, and a great, if late, start to the summer.
and#8220;It was certainly a big improvement to the past months; it gives us much more confidence for the rest of the season,and#8221; Finn said. and#8220;I talked to other shop owners and they all agreed it was a busy Fourth of July.and#8221;
Steve Topol, owner of the Blue Agave Mexican restaurant in Tahoe City, said the Fourth of July concert on featuring subjektochange on Commons Beach was a huge draw as visitors waited for the fireworks to begin.
and#8220;I would say sales and customers were comparable to last year even,and#8221; Topol said. and#8220;There must have been thousands of people on the beach waiting for the fireworks.and#8221;
Crowds in Kings Beach were no less abundant.
Carolyn Nixon, owner of The Robins Nest and#8212; a novelty and lodge decor shop and#8212; said her sales are and#8220;way up.and#8221;
and#8220;I don’t know if we’re coming out of the recession or if it’s because of the recession people are driving shorter distances,and#8221; Nixon said. and#8220;But I think it’s the combination of lots of good things happening this year.and#8221;
Nixon said many of her customers were from out of state.
At the nearby Red Wolf Lakeside Lodge, Manager Erin O’Brien said visitor turnout was also high, perhaps due to smart guest booking.
and#8220;We overbook the resorts just like airlines,and#8221; O’Brien said. and#8220;The crowds aren’t here but I feel like you need to draw them here. You have to be competitive.and#8221;
At Tahoe Paddle and Oar, store manager Ethan Westwood said he wouldn’t be surprised if rental sales were the highest they’ve ever been since 1986 when the shop first opened.
and#8220;… The fourth was one of our busiest days doing rentals ever,and#8221; Westwood said. and#8220;We had a lot of people asking us about the low water levels on the river, so I guess that could have been a factor also.and#8221;
Jason’s Beachside Grill Owner Monte Webb credited the good weather as one factor for the crowds, adding that July 3 was the busiest day as crowds awaited the Kings Beach fireworks.
and#8220;I haven’t checked all the days but sales appear to be up from last year.and#8221; Webb said.