Partnership with developer mulled to fund North Tahoe Event Center | SierraSun.com

Partnership with developer mulled to fund North Tahoe Event Center

Staff report

KINGS BEACH, Calif. — The North Tahoe Public Utility District is exploring a potential public-private partnership with a Menlo Park, Calif.-based real estate developer to renovate and manage the North Tahoe Event Center.

The partnership was proposed by Laulima Development LLC, which is in escrow on the nearby Ferrari Crown Motel in Kings Beach, according to the district.

For years, NTPUD has been working on a solution to funding shortfalls associated with the event center, located in the middle of Kings Beach off Highway 28 in a high-traffic location. In the meantime, operational subsidies continue to be used to maintain the building.

"As a whole, the district is in a strong position financially, but we continue to face challenges with the recreation department," said Duane Whitelaw, NTPUD CEO/general manager. "If this project proves feasible, it could bring a new building to Kings Beach that the community can be proud of, and continue to access, without our taxpayers shouldering the burden of the cost of the ongoing operation and maintenance and anticipated necessary upgrades."

Prior to entering talks with Laulima, the PUD began looking at an increased annual recreation fee for homeowners within the district to cover recreation budget shortfalls, including event center operations.

Under the potential partnership, Laulima would manage the event center as an asset for its lodging property, while also making it available for public and community events.

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The district's board of directors discussed the proposal in closed session earlier this year and were receptive, according to the district.

Three public meetings are planned to further discuss the idea and to solicit community input:

• Feb. 18, 6-7:30 p.m. at the North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach.

• Feb. 25, 6 p.m. during the NTPUD's Recreation and Parks Commission meeting at the event center.

• A March PUD board of directors workshop, day and time to be determined.

Visit ntpud.org to learn more.