Brett Williams: From Washoe to ?
From the first Washoe Native Americans to today, everyone who currently resides in Tahoe/Truckee started as a visitor and always will.
You, or someone before you, fell in love with Tahoe/Truckee as a visitor. Whether it be with a Red Sox hat coming out from New England or Giants hat coming up from the Bay both “only coming out for one winter,” or the Washoe, we all started as tourists.
My parents visited here in 1978 from San Diego as visitors and enjoyed north Tahoe so much they passed up Hanalei (still not sure about that one but then I digress). A 4th grade kid with a Padres cap was luckily accepted and quickly made what are now life time friends.
After completing North Tahoe High School in 1987, I couldn’t wait to get out of here fast enough, but by 1993, I was like most Tahoe/Truckee “boomerang” kids, I couldn’t wait to come back which I did.
Fast forward to today. Whether it be in the local papers or social media, what I see on the narrative is about how tourists are the sole cause of existing trash, noise, problematic parking, skiing, shopping, housing and driving problems. The pot holes are the only issue not associated with them. For example, short-term rentals account for 13% of the total inventory on the eastern slope of Placer County, but from thew narrative it sure sounds like they account for 100% of all the nuisances.
As a real estate broker and someone who has managed long-term rentals for 18 years, I have some stories about full-time renters or homeowners that makes some of these current stories read like a children’s book.
You started as a visitor. Visitors typically like to immerse themselves in the local culture as quickly as possible and blend in. Step back and look at your own travel behaviors.
So former visitor, ask yourself “does your current attitude and our current Tahoe/Truckee culture (this is how we do things around here) match how you want the visitor to behave?”
Are you exemplifying the same behavior as a current “local” that once was accorded you when you first arrived?
Someone a hell a lot smarter than us, Mahatma Gandhi, said it best: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Brett Williams of Agate Bay Realty is a member of the Mountain Housing Council and North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. He lives in Carnelian Bay.