A whirlwind trip and a landmark’s decline | SierraSun.com

A whirlwind trip and a landmark’s decline

Norm and Alan Nicholls
Nicholls Real Estate Group

Alice and I returned home last Friday night after a six-day vacation that found us flying to and from Spokane, Wash., then driving to Clarkston, Wash., Bozeman, Mont., and to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and back.

We drove through some beautiful country, along major rivers, and we absolutely loved our day in Yellowstone. We saw deer, elk, antelope, buffalo, bald eagles and other wildlife along the way. Old Faithful did her thing for us, and we really enjoyed the high mountain meadows and multiple mountain lakes, rivers and streams within the park and along the way.

When talking to our relatives and other “locals” it was apparent that they all loved where they lived, but they admitted that the cold of winter is much more severe than what we have here in the Sierra. It is not unusual to have days of sub-zero temperatures in the winter and many cars are equipped with engine block heaters that are plugged in during these cold snaps.

We have more snow, they have more cold. I’ll take the snow.

What was very apparent was the increased building of homes and commerce in areas like Clarkston and Bozeman. Many people have chosen areas of Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming as retirement havens, and it is definitely beginning to show. The real estate market is very active in these areas and populations are growing and real estate prices are increasing very quickly. Sound familiar?

For nearly 30 years, the building at 11836 Donner Pass Rd. was a major hub of real estate activity in the Truckee-Tahoe Donner area. The building originally was built, and staffed by, Dart Resorts, the developer of Tahoe Donner. During its occupancy nearly 6,000 property sales were consummated in the building. The portal “Tahoe Donner” sign still stands today.

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In 1986, the owners of Boice Countryside Realtors acquired the property, which expanded their real estate presence in town. The Boice owners immediately remodeled parts of the interior and changed the exterior to include a blue metal roof and the siding was stained gray.

I joined the staff in August of that year and I remember making a remark to Judy and Bill Deatsch and Bill Whitehead, three of the owners, that if we couldn’t sell real estate, we could always open a fish ‘n’ chips place.

Changing to a fast food restaurant never came to pass, as Boice grew and became a dominant force in real estate. Thousands more transactions took place within the walls of this proud building until Boice outgrew it and moved to their present location at the corner of Northwoods and Northwoods in Tahoe Donner.

I spent 13 wonderful years there and have many great memories. I established many lasting friendships and acquaintanceship there and sold a lot of real estate to a lot of clients-turned friends.

It saddens me to see this now-empty building sitting in disarray and decay. I am sure that the previous owners ” the Boice owners sold the building and adjacent property several years ago ” agents, clients and all our families feel the same way. It particularly struck me hard when some unthoughtful individual decided to display their graffiti on the back wall a month or so back.

I urge the present owner ” whomever that might be ” along with the Town of Truckee, if they have any leverage and jurisdiction, to either spruce things up, possibly sell fish ‘n’ chips or bring the “lady” down and replace it with a new building that will usher in another chapter in the future growth of Truckee.

Three great events will take place in the next couple of weeks. The Sierra Boat Company in Carnelian Bay will host the Concours d’ Elegance, a display of classic wooden boats this weekend. Truckee will host “Western Week” from Aug. 6 through Aug. 13 with many events including the Truckee Championship Rodeo at McIver Arena on Aug. 12 and 13. These are great events for visitors and locals alike.

The answers to last week’s question, “Where was Mountain Hardware’s original location, and, what store preceeded Mountain Hardware in its present location?”

Mountain Hardware was located in what is now the Old Gateway Center at 10976 Donner Pass Rd., and Safeway was in the building it now occupies.

We had lots of winners, including our “early bird” winner, Pat McKechnie that called in at 5:08 a.m. the day of publication. Don’t you ever sleep, Pat? He gets the bonus “3” chances at our 2006 raffle for $500 at the end of the year. Additional winners who each earned one chance towards the raffle included: Ray Craig, Denny Dickinson, Charlie White, Susan Summers, Craig Meacham, Ruth Yerkes, Amora Higbee, Larry McEneaney, Barbara Brill, Lori Tucker, Charley Brant, Carla Beebe, Shirley Reynolds, Verna Painter, Mary De Lisle, and Sheila Greeno.

Thanks to all who played the game.

Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate Group are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee.

Gar Woods is a very popular restaurant in Carnelian Bay. What was the previous name of this famous Tahoe lakefront eatery? Call us at 550-5035 or e-mail us at nnicholls@dicksonrealty.com with your answer.