Letter to the Editor: Will resort association listen to ‘sustainable’ argument?
December 11, 2008
I have just completed the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s (NLTRA) Community Survey, and, as usual, I seriously doubt that my opinions will have any impact on the Association’s pro-tourism, pro-growth and pro-development policies, which are shared by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), Placer County, business associations and other agencies throughout the Basin.
The survey questions reflect the lack of concern for the environmental and quality-of-life habitat of the Lake and Basin, provided it does not impede the growth of numbers of wealthy tourists and part-time residents.
The survey does not ask any questions pertaining to the necessity for supporting the sociological environment of North Lake Tahoe by providing a more diverse economy based upon much greater numbers of full-time, year-round residents.
This, I believe, is the only possible solution for the seasonal “ups and downs” economy that is inherent in a tourism-dominated orientation. Admittedly, there are a number of problems to be overcome in achieving a diversified economy, but that does not mean it should be completely ignored.
As long as we promote an expanded tourism industry, our semi-rural mountain ambiance will decline with the exodus of residents who cannot afford and/or tolerate the citified environment of a tourism-only orientation.
The psuedo-European villages, a la developments at Squaw and Northstar, superimposed on acres and acres of residences occupied on a fraction of the time, do not provide the natural and socio-economic environments that emboldened many of us to move here.
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If this growth of tourism orientation of NLTRA (and TRPA) continues, it is time to restructure the charters and managements of these agencies so as to incorporate more-innovative direction and to reflect an understanding of the meaning of “sustainable natural, economic and social environments” for North Lake Tahoe.