Is living in a tourist destination really that bad?
LAKE TAHOE and#8212; Anyone who spends more than a week in Lake Tahoe Basin has undoubtedly heard the term and#8220;gaperand#8221; dropped into casual conversation.
Whatever the aspect of meaning the word conjures for certain locals, it highlights the frustrations some residents have toward living in a heavily frequented tourist destination. And with Lake Tahoe planning for a new type of tourist and#8212; leaders are discussing a future where destination and drive-in tourists play a more vital role and#8212; the idea of more tourists generates diverse reactions from the community.
and#8220;I hate it when I am driving on Lakeside and some guy slows down to about 15 mph so he can look at the lake,and#8221; said South Lake Tahoe resident Richard Strauss. and#8220;I’ve been late to work because of slow driving.and#8221;
Many locals interviewed complained principally about traffic, particularly during the holidays.
and#8220;On the big holidays, I don’t want to drive anywhere because I know the traffic will be bad,and#8221; said South Lake Tahoe resident Jerry McDonough. and#8220;But, I adjust and try to do my shopping beforehand.and#8221;
Incline Village resident Sally Miller expressed frustrations with the lack of parking available outside Raley’s, and traffic jams resulting from the light in by the casinos in Crystal Bay.
and#8220;The traffic light in Crystal Bay is constantly holding up traffic so two people can walk across the street,and#8221; she said.
Traffic can be pretty bad at times, too, near the and#8220;Wyeand#8221; intersection in Tahoe City.
and#8220;Sometimes traffic is backed up all the way to Lake Forest Road,and#8221; said Tahoe City resident Tony Hetrick. Lake Forest is about two miles east of Tahoe City.
A handful of residents take issue with noise emitting from vacation rentals or trash being left out for too long on neighborhood streets by visitors.
and#8220;When I lived closer to Tahoe City we had a vacation rental right next to us,and#8221; said Tahoe City resident Katie Souza. and#8220;Some people would be out on the deck, partying until midnight and being generally inconsiderate.and#8221;
However, some residents said tourists are not the source of noise and that permanent neighbors can be just as inconsiderate.
and#8220;My neighbor is always revving his truck engine at seven in the morning,and#8221; Strauss said.
Others understand the tourist-centric nature of the region and realize others want to enjoy the lake and its picturesque surroundings.
and#8220;Most of time it’s good people that come here and I enjoy meeting different people from different places,and#8221; said McDonough. and#8220;Of course it gets too busy occasionally, but I just try to stay off the roads at the high impact times.and#8221;
Added Kings Beach resident Eric Trujillo: and#8220;It’s just part of the local life. and#8220;It’s a small town with few roads.and#8221;
South Lake Tahoe resident Scott Bledsoe said people need to realize that tourism is a source of income and some of the headaches come with the territory.
and#8220;It’s the nature of the beast,and#8221; he said. and#8220;Summer is a little crazy in South Lake, but when the fall rolls around there’s nobody here and that’s when the residents pretty much have the lake to themselves.and#8221;
Bledsoe said it’s important to learn the patterns of the tourist season and adjust. He also acknowledges the business he works for is dependent on the influx of tourists.
and#8220;During the summer, my hours go up, which is great,and#8221; he said. and#8220;When the tourists leave, my hours get cut.and#8221;
and#8220;Tourism provides us with jobs, so we can’t be frustrated by it,and#8221; she said.
Others interviewed expressed appreciation for the opportunity to live in a place where a diverse array of people from diverse places and backgrounds gather.
and#8220;I think it’s awesome to hang out with people from different places,and#8221; said Jeannette Kranick, of South Lake Tahoe. and#8220;Obviously, it depends on the tourist, but I have hung out with some pretty cool people that were vacationing up here.and#8221;