Tahoe City, Truckee see business influx over July 4 weekend
TAHOE CITY/TRUCKEE and#8212; Many locals consider Fourth of July weekend the kickoff to the summer tourist season.
And if the past weekend’s influx of people is any indication of how area tourism will fare in the coming months, the stage could be set for a busy summer.
and#8220;It was great to see all of the people because we know it’s good business for us and the town as well,and#8221; said Tahoe City Inn desk clerk Yatira Magallanes, who said the hotel was fully booked for the weekend.
After the fireworks display in Tahoe City on Saturday night, the masses flocked to bars and restaurants to celebrate the final hours of Independence Day.
and#8220;There were probably just as many, if not more, people around Tahoe City this Fourth of July compared to last year,and#8221; said Scott Zumwalt, manager of The Bridge Tender. and#8220;For us, business was about the same as last year, and last year was good.and#8221;
Likewise things seemed to be as good or better than last year in Truckee.
and#8220;We had a wonderful weekend,and#8221; said Becky Cavender, owner of Sweets Handmade Candies in downtown Truckee. and#8220;It was about in line with and#8212; or may have been better than last year.and#8221;
Especially after the slow winter, business owners and managers said they were happy to see the crowds.
and#8220;It was refreshing to see all the people in the store and outside at our tent sale this weekend,and#8221; said Tony Hetrick, manager of Porters Sports in Tahoe City. and#8220;It’s seemed like Tahoe City has had a better vibe the last few months; hopefully we’re rounding the bend of this slump.and#8221;
On Donner Lake, the hub of Truckee’s firework activities, Roger Gannam, owner of Donner Pines Market said the good weekend was welcome after a rough spring.
and#8220;The spring has been horrible between the weather, the road construction, and the economy,and#8221; Gannam said. and#8220;But this weekend we were very busy, it was as big as previous years. In the summer people don’t seem to want to stay away.and#8221;
As for the fourth landing on a Saturday, Mike Preaseau, owner of the Cooking Gallery, said the loss of a long weekend can reduce business.
and#8220;Being on a Saturday things are a little slower, but not as slow as they have been,and#8221; Preaseau said. and#8220;I feel like people feel better, more optimistic. Our per-sale price hasn’t changed since last year but there are more people coming in the door.and#8221;
On the Truckee River, daily raft trips this weekend exceeded those from last Fourth of July weekend, said Truckee River Raft Company owner/manager Aaron Rudnick.
and#8220;We were a bit worried at the beginning of the season but the rafting business hasn’t been hurt at all,and#8221; Rudnick said. and#8220;The vacation style has changed a bit with the economy and we have benefited from those large populations of people who have decided to vacation closer to home.and#8221;
Also, with alcohol ban in its second year on the Truckee during Fourth of July weekend, Rudnick said he noticed a slight shift in the rafting demographic.
and#8220;There was a bit less of the younger crowd and a few more families this year,and#8221; Rudnick said.
Zumwalt noticed a similar trend across the river at the Bridge Tender.
and#8220;There were definitely more families in town this year than previous years,and#8221; he said. and#8220;It seemed like Tahoe City was more toned down, but everything ran smoothly.and#8221;
And over at the Tahoe City Gas Station, it would take more than a two hour raft rush on Friday afternoon to break the spirits of clerk Lydia Logan.
and#8220;People were lined up to the back of the building,and#8221; she said. and#8220;It was crazy but it was also fun because everyone was really nice and polite.and#8221;
Tahoe City business owners and managers consider Fourth of July weekend one of the most important weekends of the year.
and#8220;It’s the biggest day of the summer,and#8221; Zumwalt said. and#8220;Having it fall on a Saturday helped a lot this year.and#8221;
That said, there’s still a lot of summer left to go.
And though Tahoe City will likely not see a weekend that rivals the Fourth for the remainder of the summer, most expect there to be steady business up to Labor Day.
and#8220;Weekends through August should be steady and then it will probably pick up a bit more right near the end of summer,and#8221; Rudnick said. and#8220;Nothing will be as crazy as the Fourth, but it will be steady.and#8221;
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The Truckee Town Council has unanimously approved of a pilot program to remove snow on privately maintained paved trails in the area.