Visitor center opens on the North Shore |

Visitor center opens on the North Shore

Chelsea Bahr sits under an umbrella next to racks of brochures, informational sheets on lake temperatures and depths, off-roading, horseback riding and about 20 topics geared toward vacationers at the new North Tahoe Visitor Information Center.

Bahr said most people are usually on the North Shore for a few days and come from the Bay Area and Southern California and are interested in where to eat, what to do, which way to Emerald Bay and the scenic lookouts.

“It’s a lot of families that want things to do with little kids,” Bahr said. “Many people ask about lodging on the North Shore.”

The new visitor center, located on North Tahoe Beach across from the Kings Beach Safeway, is the effort to turn the North Shore from a lunch spot and into a place to stay. Leaders of business associations on the North Shore have expressed concerns about visitors not staying on the North Shore when they visit Lake Tahoe.

Kathleen MacAllister, director of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce described the visitor center as one way to orient tourists who are typically looking for places to eat, activities to do and places to stay.

“The visitors that we have are looking at the outdoor activities. They are interested in hiking, biking … they want to get out on the boat, parasail, jet ski,” MacAllister said.

And good news to North Shore lodges, is that both MacAllister and Bahr noticed most visitors taking part in dining or playing on the North Shore, are also staying the night on the North Shore.

MacAllister also mentioned that with the Reno-Tahoe International Airport continuously scheduling more flights in and out, visitors have greater access to the corridor from Crystal Bay to Tahoe City.

“During the summer, we get visitors from all over the country ” the traditional family vacation … they will stay for week,” MacAllister said. “[This summer] thus far, we’ve been busy since late May, it looks great.”

But the visitor center is not only for out-of-towners. MacAllister said they are happy to help locals as well by being a good referral and reference center.

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