It isnt all about Black Friday for locals
November 28, 2008
While bargain-hunting shoppers headed to Reno to wait in lines early Friday morning, the commercial cores of Truckee and Tahoe were relatively calm for the big retail day.And most businesses and shoppers were OK with not being a part of the Black Friday mayhem.I think people go to the big stores and malls in Reno on Black Friday, then come up to the small shops over the weekend, said Jannell Botto, owner of Gioielli in Brickelltown.According to Dave Wilderotter, President of the Tahoe City Down Town Association, Thanksgiving tourism and shopping is simply a bonus for local businesses, something great but not necessarily expected.Its great for cash flow but its only a long weekend, said Wilderotter. The real season starts December 20, everything before is just cash flow and bonuses.And Jessica Norris at Bacchus andamp; Venus in Downtown Truckee agreed, saying Black Friday isnt as important holiday season as a whole.Even with the economy I think people are in the holiday spirit, Norris said.
Other shopkeepers were waiting to see the effects of the economic downturn on holiday shopping.Were going on sale for the first time in history, and Cabonas has been open since 1918, so that tells you something, said Stefanie Olivieri, owner of Cabonas in downtown Truckee and president of the Downtown Merchants associationThe expectations were for a slower day in Tahoe City as well.This is traditionally our busiest day of the year, said Chris Beye, owner of Hemmings and Jarrett. We expect it to be slower this year but were ready and waiting.Janet Tuttle, owner of two hotels in Tahoe Vista and Donner Ski Ranch, said she hoped the low gas prices would keep tourists coming in spite of the economic downturn.As for her own shopping habits, Tuttle said she was cutting back.I dont know how much Im spending this year honestly, Tuttle said.
Eve Cartan of the Treehouse in Truckee said it isnt just the economy that shopkeepers take notice of.Its partly the economy and partly no snow I think thats the big thing, Cartan said.Pat Gardner, also working at the Treehouse, said she didnt think there were as many visitors in town as in past years.But Gardner and others hoped shopping would make for a good alternative to skiing for the visitors that were here.Snow is always important, however some times in retail with no snow we do fairly well. People who arent spending money on the ski slopes spend it in town, and we are hoping thats the case this time, Olivieri said.Norris said even without snow, cold weather drives people indoors to local shops.Wilderotter wasnt worried about the weather yet.We only get snow by Thanksgiving one out of every 4 years, said Wilderotter, Ill start freaking if theres no snow by Dec. 15.
Some locals did head down the hill for department store shopping.Shannon Kimbrel, a manager at Hemmings andamp; Jarrett, was one of hundreds at the Reno Wal-Mart when Black Friday sales kicked in at 5 a.m.After spending Thanksgiving with relatives in Reno, Kimbrel and her family spent the night in a hotel room to wait out the unbeatable Black Friday deals. It was worth it to wait in line, said Kimbrel, who made it back to Tahoe City by 9:30 a.m. after shopping all morning. If you have kids you have to go to the big department stores.Despite some name calling and line cutters, Kimbrel said most of the people at Wal-Marts Black Friday sale were well behaved.