Tahoe City revives nightlife – for teens | SierraSun.com

Tahoe City revives nightlife – for teens

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun

Young and bored in Tahoe City? This summer, area youths can hit up the North Shore’s most notorious club, formerly known as Pierce Street Annex, in its new identity as teen club The Deep End.

“It’s a nightclub, a dance club ” a place for kids who have nowhere else to go,” said owner JoJo Saunders. “… This is going to be a very posh, fancy nightclub for the kids.”

The club, which is slated to premiere before summer kicks off, will likely be open Wednesday through Saturday offering live music, DJ’s and food for youths aged 15 to 20 years old.

In Anytown USA, teens routinely complain that “There’s nothing to do.” And while the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe and the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District Teen Center offer a plethora of after-school activities and the occasional nighttime event, Tahoe-Truckee teens have limited evening entertainment.

“There’s not too much to do ” we end up just hanging out or whatever,” said 16-year-old North Tahoe High student Aly Raymer. “There isn’t very much to do around here.”

Raymer said she’s excited for the club to open this summer as new place to hang out with her friends.

“I’ve gone in there already and there are a couple spaces for just couches and they’re going to have food and counters to sit at. You can go and dance or just hang out.”

Not just teens but their parents, too, agree that entertainment here can be limited.

“One of the frustrating things for being a teen in this town is there are not a lot of activities except what’s offered at the school,” said North Tahoe parent Kelly Atchley, who is also the executive director of the Tahoe City Downtown Association.

“It would certainly be nice to have a place where teens could gather safely and enjoy each other’s company.”

“We’re not there to train kids how to go and drink … we’re not there to make mini-martinis. It’s going to be a place that kids are going and their parents won’t mind them going there,” said Saunders.

Drugs and alcohol will not be permitted under any circumstances at the new club, Saunders said, and security will be on the premises.

“The sheriff’s office is working very closely with the owner to maintain a fun, youthful, safe environment,” said Dave Hunt, Placer County community and youth service deputy.

The operation is privately funded, and Saunders said the business plan will work because of the need for nighttime teen activities ” for locals and tourists alike.

“Opening a business is always a risk … I think it will be well-attended. I think kids will come from all spots,” Saunders said. “It’s better than having them out and about on a Friday or Saturday night.”

A Truckee resident since 1994, Saunders has worked with youths for nearly three decades. He runs summer camps ” Tahoe Extreme Sports and Squaw Valley Soccer ” and has tried two other times to get a teen dance club up and running in North Tahoe.

“I’ve always wanted to get one of these opened up and it’s just finding the right location,” Saunders said. “A lot of people always talk about how we need to do things for the kids, but no one ever does anything.”

Saunders doesn’t have any children of his own but looks forward to operating his business according to what the teens want ” music, food and dancing.

“The whole thing comes down to the location ” a perfect location with a time-tested idea. I think Tahoe City is taking that turn. We’ve lost the 21- to 32-year-olds, but that doesn’t mean the kids are necessarily gone,” Saunders said.