Guest Column: Incline Village is not a resort | SierraSun.com

Guest Column: Incline Village is not a resort

Bob Sendall

At the July IVGID meeting on the Diamond Peak Master Plan, the division — and even insults — within the community was disappointing.

It was saddening that some of the younger residents believe that Incline Village is a resort; even a couple of the trustees may share that mistaken idea.

This article is to challenge that perception and discourage such a modification to the village. Just selling a few tee times or other recreation to the public does not make a community a resort.

In 1992, we bought a condo in IV, which later became our residence. We moved here because it was located in a beautiful natural environment with excellent recreation facilities. IV was a recreational community and not a resort.

We would not have considered Vail or Squaw Valley or Northstar, etc. We did not want a home at a resort that we may have loved to visit, but where we would not want to live.

In the ‘90s, there was a campaign for a major ice rink in Incline, with advocates claiming it could make IV into another Vail. That made us, and most residents, disgusted, and fortunately, it finally faded away.

Ten years later, a new golf staff that seemed to hate the residents and their clubs wanted to change the name of the Championship Golf Course to Incline Village Golf Resort.

After wasting money buying items with new logos, they found out that a “golf resort” had to have affiliated overnight accommodations. Their policies only succeeded in changing the personality of Incline golf and driving away much of the resident play.

Fortunately, the new management, starting with Charlie Kent and now Michael McCloskey and his staff, including Robyn Crabill at the Mountain Course, have fences coming down, and the friendly old atmosphere is coming back; along with the golfers.

The Bonanza TV set at Ponderosa Ranch was a tourist attraction that brought many visitors, even from Europe, because they wanted to experience the home of the TV show.

They may not have stayed at IV, but they at least visited. Some now think the potential for summer extension of Diamond Peak into a summer amusement park would bring similar visitors providing support for our local businesses.

It is not the responsibility of IVGID to start a business to bring in visitors for local businesses. IVGID’s responsibility is to manage facilities for the residents.

Any Diamond Peak expansion should be for the residents, and not as a pseudo business that a private company would not even consider.

The non-residents’ use of our recreation facilities should be viewed as a way to obtain additional funds to help reduce the cost of having outstanding facilities that are developed and optimized for the residents.

Even though none of us use all the facilities, all the facilities affect the community personality and the value of our property.

Whenever IVGID has decided to compete with commercial businesses, has been wrong and usually based on the fact the community will pay for/support capital expenses and losses — you often hear that IVGID is making a profit with a venue, but they usually define profit as not including items like depreciation.

We should not be looking for profit but only trying to minimize the expense of having exceptional recreation benefits. The current golf rates for residents, including the lack of any senior rates, seem to be trying to make a profit even off of residents.

Incline Village is definitely not and should not become a resort, but when you hire a premier resort planning organization like the SE Group to do the master plan for Diamond Peak, you should get a premier resort plan.

That does not mean it is what the local residents, who view this special place as their home, want or need.

I hope that Incline Village can continue as the wonderful community it has been since its inception, and that every weekend does not become like the Fourth of July.

Bob Sendall is an Incline Village resident.