My Turn: Don’t ruin quiet, little Tahoe Vista
July 22, 2008
My husband and I bought the Rustic Cottages in Tahoe Vista in 1996, then the “Tahoe de Casa” property, at the west end of Tahoe Vista, in 2002.
Both were “distressed” properties when we bought them, but with a little vision and hard work we’ve been able to build a successful business in this small town. We were attracted to these properties because of their age ” built in 1925 and 1945 respectively ” because they are two of the few remaining cottage resorts left at Lake Tahoe, and because of their location on the quiet side of Lake Tahoe. They are now places where people can come to experience Lake Tahoe in a relaxed atmosphere with an “Old Tahoe” ambiance in relative peace and quiet.
I’d like to think that what we’ve done with our resorts over the years has helped the community ” through the additional Transit Occupancy Taxes we’ve collected, though the improvements we’ve made to our properties, and by attracting more tourist dollars to the North Shore. There are certainly easier ways to earn a living, but it’s worth the hard work knowing that we’ve been able to build our business significantly without impacting the community in a negative way.
So what does the future hold for Tahoe Vista? Why is Tahoe Vista in the crosshairs of so many developers lately? I’m all for some redevelopment, but why such high density in so many proposed projects? I don’t understand why it would even be considered. I do not want to pass judgment on anyone ” and most certainly not on anyone I don’t know personally ” but it sure looks like there is a small contingent that wants to take advantage of the fact that the Tahoe Vista Community Plan hasn’t been updated yet. I’d like to think that we all have the best interest of our community at heart. Unfortunately, appearances contradict that hope.
We are very fortunate to live and work in one of the few small towns left at Lake Tahoe. We can make Tahoe Vista better, we just need a shared vision for our future. Once we go down the road of high-density, over-built developments, there is no turning back. The chance for small and tasteful will be gone forever and our legacy to future generations will be lots of people (and their cars) crammed into a small area.
It doesn’t make sense to make such drastic, overwhelming changes to this small community especially in such a short amount of time. It would be in everyone’s best interest to put together a plan that will keep the small-town ambiance of Tahoe Vista, then proceed with any plans for redevelopment very carefully. Let’s not ruin this quiet little town forever.