Mask UP Tahoe campaign expands North Tahoe’s efforts to encourage safe, responsible travel |

Mask UP Tahoe campaign expands North Tahoe’s efforts to encourage safe, responsible travel

Staff report
Sherry (left) and Ayla McConkey stand in support of the Mask UP Tahoe campaign.The advocacy campaign is the destination’s latest effort to communicate the importance of personal responsibility to an audience determined to recreate through summer months and beyond. Ming Poon
Courtesy of Ming Poon

The North Lake Tahoe area continues to amplify messaging around safe travel, reminding visitors and residents that wearing a face covering is a simple act, but a grand gesture to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The Mask UP Tahoe advocacy campaign is the destination’s latest effort to communicate the importance of personal responsibility to an audience determined to recreate through summer months and beyond.

“We recognize the innate need to keep North Lake Tahoe communities safe and local businesses open,” explained Jeffrey Hentz, CEO of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “Our role is to manage tourism responsibly and ensure we are proactively communicating with incoming visitors about the importance of washing hands, social distancing and wearing masks. While we are not promoting travel to the destination, we know there is an overwhelming desire for people to get outside and enjoy nature. We want to ensure they are doing so responsibly and through a variety of content campaigns, (and) are sharing that message across all of our platforms.”

At the onset of business closures and stay-at-home orders in March, the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and Placer County partnered to convey a “Stronger Together” message for the local business community. The video series evoked messages of positivity during a time when many small business owners were concerned about their survival. Throughout the phased reopening process, the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association developed reopening toolkits for select business industries in the region, hosted town hall meetings to communicate effectively across each business sector, and personal protective equipment was sourced free of charge for local businesses to share with customers and staff. In conjunction, the North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative produced multiple safe-travel content pieces and worked closely with regional partners to advocate for safety messaging on trails and in front of high-trafficked areas.

“Placer County remains vigilant on all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Erin Casey, principal management analyst for Placer County. “We continue to work closely with public health officials, the (marketing cooperative) and local business associations to decipher state guidance and maintain safety compliance among the business community. We know there is a lot of work ahead, but we feel confident in how far we’ve come and the new, collaborative systems in place. Personal responsibility is critical during this time. If we practice responsible distancing and safety measures, it shouldn’t matter who is in the house down the street, at the grocery store, at the lake, or on the trail. We are committed to the health and safety of North Lake Tahoe to ensure our community is a beautiful place to live, visit, work and play.”


The Mask UP Tahoe campaign features local leaders with global reach who share a unified message that is rooted in adventure and responsible travel. Through a montage video that anchors campaign messaging, the sentiment is that for North Lake Tahoe to stay open, everyone needs to do their part and wear a mask. Local community leaders featured in the series include Olympian Travis Ganong, professional skier Michelle Parker, and founder of the Shane McConkey Foundation Sherry McConkey.

Additional videos will launch through North Lake Tahoe’s website at and social channels in coming weeks. Videos will feature professional athletes Jim Morrison, Hilaree Nelson, JT Holmes and Rory Bosio; Jessi, Jenni and daughter Mable of the Dead Winter Carpenters; award-winning photographer, Ming Poon; professional skiers, Elise Saugstad and Cody Townsend; and small business owner, Brendan Madigan.

The travel and leisure industries comprise over 60% of the jobs in North Lake Tahoe, and visitor spending averages over $835 million annually. Visit California anticipates unprecedented economic impacts to the statewide travel industry, eclipsing the impact of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by sevenfold. The organization estimates a statewide loss of $10.9 billion in revenue, a decline in direct visitor spending by $54.5 billion, and a loss of 554,000 jobs this year.

Here are six ways to provide immediate support to North Lake Tahoe businesses and families:

Donate to the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe’s COVID-19 Relief Efforts in support of local families; purchase gift cards from Tahoe area businesses to be used at a later date; contribute to the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund to support local nonprofit organizations assisting the community; buy a family friendly activity box packed with locally made goods; live-stream an exercise class offered by a local fitness or yoga instructors; or participate in a virtual field trip or tour.

The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and Chamber of Commerce is collaborating with local business associations, the Sierra Business Council and Placer County Economic Development to provide additional resources for local business and community recovery. Community updates, including how to support local businesses will continue to be updated at

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