Holiday business great for some, worrisome for others
The Christmas weekend got mixed reviews from business owners, with some lodgings reporting canceled reservations and some restaurant owners saying Christmas was business as usual.
“Bookings were not as good. But I don’t think you can blame it all on the snow,” said Tahoe City Travelodge owner Doug Pendleton.
Pendleton said people are changing the way they spend their money and also may be scared away by last year’s power outages and recent media reports of dangerous mountain driving.
Dave’s Skis and Boards in Kings Beach reported comparable sales to this time last year but less overall traffic, said store manager Vic Hutchison.
“We’ve definitely noticed a slow-down these couple days,” Hutchison said. “Starting Sunday we expect to be very busy.”
Business at West Shore Sports was slightly better than last year, likely due to increased advertising and marketing, said the store’s owner Rob Weston.
But the overall business climate in North Tahoe was down this holiday weekend because of unpredictable weather and lack of snow, Weston said.
“Rain, again,” he said.
But even with a base of less than 30 inches at 6,200 feet elevation, Squaw Valley USA had more skiers and boarders this year than last. And they anticipate next week to be equivalent to last year, spokesperson Savannah Cowley said.
Hauserman Rental Group in Tahoe City had full bookings last week and is looking forward to another busy holiday week for the new year, according to reservationist Gayle Hackbarth.
Customers have not canceled reservations due to the lack of snow, she added.
However, Mother Nature’s Inn in Tahoe City did report some cancellations. People called to ask about storms and were worried about driving, manager Sharon Dunkley said.
“We were affected by the weather, no doubt about it,” said Dunkley.
The housewares store adjoining the inn, Cabin Fever, did hit target sales for the Christmas weekend, and employees said they are hopeful for New Year’s week.
Waxen Moon in Squaw Valley has seen its share of candle-makers this holiday season.
“We are so busy we can’t see straight,” said store associate Robin Griffo.
And business was up to par this weekend at Jake’s in Tahoe City, according to general manager and part-owner Tim Hill.
Because Christmas fell on a Monday many school vacations began just last weekend. Holiday tourism will be spread over three weeks instead of two, Hill said.
“As long as we avoid being closed New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day,” Hill said.
Last year’s holiday weather left North Tahoe rainy and without electricity, when more than 20,000 Sierra Pacific Power customers lost power on the North Shore due to a combination of strong winds, weak trees and heavy snow. More recently, Thursday’s snow made holiday traffic daunting and left Interstate 80 congested.
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