Tahoe City Golf Course: Ice rink, lodging among potential developments

Margaret Moran

Online survey

To provide input on the future of the Tahoe City Golf Course, visit

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Big changes could be in store for the Tahoe City Golf Course.

Recreational options such as tennis courts and a winter ice rink, along with an emergency service helipad, a lodging facility and additional parking are among possible future amenities for the publicly owned property.

“(We’re trying) to further integrate the golf course into the community and to make sure it’s treated as an asset to the community and to utilize it in the most appropriate manner,” said Jennifer Merchant, Tahoe manager for the Placer County Executive Office.

These potential projects are in the “conceptional planning stage,” she said. To help shape the conversation and the course’s future, public feedback is being sought, in the form of an online survey, at agency meetings and at recent public open houses at the course’s clubhouse.

“I like it because I’d like to see more than just a golf course in the community, more of a community center,” said Robin Lewis, of Tahoma, who attended Wednesday’s open house.

Some suggestions she liked were the ice rink, a swimming pool, the helipad, additional parking and a bocce court. As for lodging, Lewis said she’s on the “fence” about the idea.

Tim Longo, a resident of Alpine Meadows who golfs at the course twice a week, said he is wary of potential changes and would like the course to remain as is.

“Some growth is great; a lot of growth maybe not so much,” he said.

Keeping the golf course is also the primary interest of Tahoe City residents Don Hale and Don Hay, both avid golfers. Both said they won’t mind changes to the course — as long as they don’t impact its use.

“There are so many options, and all or none of those things could happen,” Merchant said.

But there are some short-term changes to the course that are definite.

To comply with environmental laws, the parking lot and driveway will be paved and drainage improvements will be done, with work likely starting this fall and ending in spring 2014, said Cindy Gustafson, general manager of the Tahoe City Public Utility District.

Other short-term changes likely to move forward are the bocce court, which is currently being designed; the ice rink; and the emergency service helipad. The bocce court is expected to cost roughly between $5,000 and $6,000, while a price tag and timeline for the ice rink is unknown, as they depend on the rink’s size and design.

Kevin Smith, general manager for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District, said the preferred location for the helipad would be along Fairway Drive, just above the North Tahoe Fire station. It would be a 60-foot diameter concrete pad with some ground lighting, costing about $250,000, the funds of which are already in place thanks to district property tax revenue.

“People are curious about noise and frequency of use, but overall, at least my impression from talking to folks is they’re very supportive of the concept,” he said.

Public feedback on all ideas will be reported to a property oversight committee at 1 p.m. on April 29 in the TCPUD board room, Gustafson said.

The committee is composed of four funding partners — TCPUD, Placer County, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and the airport district — which combined to buy the course in 2012 for $4.7 million, with the objective to enhance opportunities for open space, economic vitality, community character, recreation, conservation and safety.

“I think it’s all going to fall together, and it’s going to be a mix of priorities, opportunity and what are the interests of the partners and community,” Merchant said.

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