GM’s Corner: Peak summer nearly over for beaches
August 3, 2017
The end of peak summer is near. What do I mean by "peak summer"?
Peak summer is the six-week period when nearly every school district is on summer holiday. Not surprisingly, this coincides with the busiest time at our summer venues, particularly our beaches.
This always prompts lots of inquiries about beach access, and it gives me the opportunity to provide you with some of the facts and figures related to beach access.
Beach access is guided by the beach deed, which granted the beaches to the Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) back in 1968, and Ordinance 7, which is the implementing document for the beaches and all of our other recreation venues. You can take a look at Ordinance 7 at this link: https://www.yourtahoeplace.com/uploads/pdf-ivgid/rec_ordinance_7_1998.pdf
Peak summer is the six-week period when nearly every school district is on summer holiday.
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The specific access restrictions in the beach deed states that the beach is "for the benefit of, property owners and their tenants (specifically including occupants of motels and hotels) within the Incline Village General Improvement District as now constituted, and, as the Board of Trustees may determine, the guests of such property owners, and for such other purposes as are herein expressly authorized."
As most of you know, property owners with beach access have the option of receiving up to five Picture Passes, which allow unlimited beach access for Picture Pass holders. Owners also have the option of receiving Punch Cards instead of picture passes or any combination of the two, which add up to five. Property owners can also purchase additional Punch Cards at the cost of one-fifth of the recreation fee. Only 99 additional punch cards have been purchased in the current year.
Currently, 7,756 of the district's 8,194 parcels have beach access. Those 7,756 parcels have 20,417 picture passes, and 10,326 punch cards.
About 58 percent of beach visits come from picture pass holders. Another 37 percent of visits are via Punch Cards, Exchange Tickets or paid guests of pass holders who accompanied them. Many of these Punch Card visits are property owners and their families, as well.
Only about 5 percent of our visits come via the Guest Access Ticket. Vacation renters primarily use the Guest Access Ticket. This 5 percent number is consistent with other data, which shows that very few of our homes are commercially rented during any given week. During peak season, an average of 250 housing units per day are occupied by tourists, which is about 3 percent of our total housing stock.
Peak summer beach visit levels have been fairly flat over the past five years. We've seen an increase in shoulder season attendance, mainly due to the extended period of time we are now staffing the gate and keeping the Burnt Cedar pool open to the public.
There are some members of the public criticizing our increased beach expenditures over the past few years. This cost increase is primarily due to the extended season previously noted. We've also received additional revenue to offset the cost of extending our days of operation.
Parking is also a hot topic at the beach. This summer, we have restricted parking at peak times at Incline Beach to Picture Pass holders and Punch Card holders. During the off-season, we will be looking at other means to help deal with the parking challenges at the beaches.
I will use this space to let you know when there is further public discussion about beach access.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
"GM's Corner" is a recurring column from IVGID General Manager Steve Pinkerton, who discusses issues and offers updates regarding various district matters. He may be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.