August 10, 2007
Have you noticed how ski resorts are becoming more and more like upscale towns? Nowadays, a ski slope just isn’t enough. There has to be shopping. And a pool. And a fitness center, spa, exclusive restaurant, ice skating rink, and of course, lots and lots of condos, all disguised under a thin veneer of eco-consciousness.
The latest “conservation community” proposed by the cross-country ski resort Royal Gorge doesn’t even involve much skiing. Instead, it offers four unimpressive downhill runs with a residents-only connection to Sugar Bowl, and a dramatically different cross-country experience ” now you ski through a subdivision!
The question is: how many million-dollar condos and multi-milion-dollar second homes do we need in our forests? Kirkwood is busy building 1,413 homes, Northstar’s new development will involve 1,450 residences, Sugar Bowl is building 213, and Squaw Valley just added 441 residences to its resort. It won’t be too long before these ski villages completely overrun the forest they’re supposed to enjoy. And if the villages offer more entertainment than nature, why build them in the mountains in the first place?
Let’s enjoy our wilderness in its natural state, and stop pretending to “improve” the outdoor experience with so many indoor pursuits.
The guest columnist (“My Turn: Etiquette on the path: ‘Yield to Wheels'” Sierra Sun Aug. 5) needs a serious “attitude adjustment.” Face it, a maximum of two months each year in the summer, the Tahoe City bike path becomes a multi-use path and with a little humor and consideration for each other we can all share the “bike trail” for fun, excercise and recreation. Let peole know on what side you are passing and if they are clear across the path, call out in plenty of time that you are coming through and they usually apoligize, give you space and we all have a laugh and part feeling good.
Above all, slow down. The one person that I would like to blow off the path is the biker, no helmet, with a dog on a leash stretching across the path. For fast bikers there is always Highway 89 with a wide shoulder between River Ranch and the Mousehole, Alpine Meadows, Old 40 and the fiberboard freeway for challenging work-outs and few cars.
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We are a tourist destination and it is those tourist dollars that make it possible for the rest of us to live in this beautiful place and we enjoy it year round. So give a little, ride defensively, Labor Day will come much too soon, and we’ll have it all to ourselves again.
After reading the guest column (“My Turn: Etiquette on the path: ‘Yield to Wheels'” Sierra Sun Aug. 5) regarding etiquette on the bike path, we found the author to be self-absorbed, petty and lacking in knowledge and sensitivity to the Tahoe summer visitors who are sharing our amenities.
Perhaps the writer should remember that locals and visitors alike Lake Tahoe and want to experience and enjoy our wonderful enivirons. We all need to and be patient during this very busy time of year. So, let’s all take a deep breath, relax and enjoy these great days, for goodness sakes!