Tahoe/Truckee businesses gear up for Memorial weekend
May 26, 2011
TRUCKEE/TAHOE and#8212; Undeterred by high gas prices, a survey reports Californians are expected to travel en masse this Memorial Day weekend, and businesses in Tahoe and Incline Village are prepping for crowds and#8212; good weather pending.
A travel survey released Monday by AAA reports 4.2 million Californians plan on traveling 50 miles or more during the three-day weekend, representing a .2 percent increase from last year.
Expounding on the numbers, while a projection of 3.5 million motorists will hit the roads during the holidays (representing a .04 percent decline), 460,000 residents are expected to travel by air, an increase of 11.4 percent, despite airfare prices rising by 14 percent, according to AAA.
An influx of visitors to the region is needed, said Bryne Falke, proprietor of Village Ace Hardware in Incline, who said Memorial Day Weekend is crucial to his business.
and#8220;My business doubles in the summer,and#8221; he said. and#8220;In the winter, we’re basically selling snow shovels and ice melt, but once the summer comes, people need gardening equipment, patio furniture and outdoor living items.and#8221;
Tahoe businesses are eager for anticipated Memorial Day tourism, especially in light of the disappointing cancellation of Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California bike race on May 15 due to snow, and for the relocation of Stage 2 out of the region.
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Nick Miley, a salesperson at The BackCountry bike shop in Truckee, said staff is preparing bikes and doing mechanical work for cyclists looking to ride over the weekend.
and#8220;We draw a lot of people who are core mountain bike people, but the flipside is also a lot of passerbys,and#8221; Miley said.
While many of the mountain bike trails are buried under snow, Miley said there are a few trails on the South Shore that are dry, and one or two near Truckee for riders to enjoy over the weekend.
Jordan Spenella, manager and co-owner of Burger Me in downtown Truckee, said everything is dependent on weather for the weekend.
and#8220;If the weather is good, people will come,and#8221; Spenella said. and#8220;We’ve traditionally been pretty busy during the weekend when the weather’s been great.and#8221;
While it snowed yet again on Wednesday and is expected to continue Thursday with light accumulations, initial forecasts from the National Weather Service in Reno show partly clear skies for the holiday weekend, with highs in the upper-40s to mid-50s and#8212; although there is a chance for white stuff on Saturday.
Memorial Day weekend is very important for Perennial Landscape and Nursery based in Tahoe Vista.
and#8220;This is the first weekend we really get busy,and#8221; said Dana Yu, an employee there. and#8220;Until the cold spell, passes we really don’t get the ball rolling.and#8221;
Bill Cushway, co-owner of Olympic Bike Shop, said he is hoping for a strong Memorial Day Weekend, but, again, it largely depends on the weather.
and#8220;Our bike sales and rentals are better when the sun shines,and#8221; he said. and#8220;People come out of the woodwork on sunny days. I’m sure a little cabin fever has something to do with that.and#8221;
Deborah Lane, owner of the Truckee and Tahoe City Bookshelf book stores, said she is putting discounts on hardcover books for the holiday tourists and hopes for similar sales as last year.
and#8220;We’re going to give people deals and hope they bring people into the store. If it’s not a good weekend, that’s not going to bode well,and#8221; Lane said.
Lane said her two book stores are still doing well, but she’s finding it difficult to compete with digital book sales and e-reader devices such as the Apple i-Pad and the Amazon Kindle.
Other businesses also are hoping the holiday gives their businesses momentum going into summer.
and#8220;It’s typically a pretty good kick-off to the summer season,and#8221; said Scott Zumwalt, manager at The Bridgetender, a Tahoe City-based restaurant and bar. and#8220;Depending on the weather, we can open our patio and an outside bar.and#8221;