More businesses will close, but new ones will emerge
As the seasons change, so do the storefronts. Businesses come and go, but it seems that they go more than they come in Tahoe City ” until recently. Four new businesses will open in upcoming months around town, giving a facelift to parts of the main street.
Carol Hester, Tahoe City Downtown Association board president and owner of Geared for Games, said the closures are normal and part of the cycle of regular business. She pointed out that as some businesses close, it provides opportunity for others to open.
In the Lighthouse Shopping Center alone, two businesses have closed within the last few months. Tahoe Bliss, an ice cream and coffee shop, will replace the Baskin Robbins, said Rob Williams, the Lighthouse facilities manager, but the space formerly occupied by Pierce St. Annex has yet to find a new tenant.
“We’re not sure of the use [for Pierce St. Annex], but we’re putting it out there. If they have ideas, we’re having people look at it,” Williams said.
Scraps Dog Bakery is a new addition to the plaza and has been open since the beginning of August. Owner Sandi Tibbles said business has been great so far and she has a strong local following. The store offers specialized dog and cat foods, as well as pet accessories..
“The new businesses in Tahoe City are only showing that Tahoe City has vibrancy … we’re not on the way out, there’s opportunity for us,” said Ron Treabess, director of community partnerships and planning with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.
The open space next to Baricolor across from the fire station will soon be filled with a new fine arts gallery, Mountain Critters.
Additionally, a developer recently bought the 76 gas station site at the Tahoe City Wye, which has been vacant for at least two years. Plans propose a mixed-use housing development with a restaurant downstairs and four units of timeshares or condominiums upstairs, said Amanda Blackwood, general operations for Rippey Commercial, LLC, which bought the property.
Changes are also taking place in the Cobblestone Center. In December, Z Jewelry will replace Three Dog Knit, said Monica Grigolite, property manager at Cobblestone. And a new ceramics store will replace one that recently closed.
Judy Souza, Three Dog Knit owner, is relocating to the Village at Northstar and plans to open her doors there in early December. Northstar is looking to make the village accessible year-round and take care of all commerce needs, said Souza, and sought out her shop to fill the hobby niche.
Additionally, Souza said her numbers have been down recently and that she does not see the same flow of traffic in Tahoe City as she once did.
“There’s kind of a dying market here in Tahoe City,” said Souza. “We need a resort hotel ” without it we’re lacking.”
Because Tahoe City is so fractured, Souza said, Three Dog Knit is hoping to find itself back in the black in the Village at Northstar.
“This is a town that changes and you have to adapt to those changes,” she said.
Painted Rock Pottery and Mosaics shut down at the end of August. A frequent customer and mother of three, Heather Lavoie, was saddened by the closure and saw a continued need for a family-friendly indoor resource involving the arts.
“I feel Tahoe City needs this kind of store. Locals can go with their families and enjoy Tahoe City … there’s no other place to go to take our kids and enjoy something inside,” Lavoie said.
She and business partner Darla Rosenfeld have planned a grand opening for their new ceramics, mosaics and art studio All Fired Up for early December.
“I’ve been pretty creative, but I just haven’t had the outlet here … and that’s how it started,” Rosenfeld said.
Meanwhile, Radioshack will close its Tahoe City doors by Jan. 1 and will consolidate into one store in Truckee in the Gateway Shopping Center.