Lake Tahoe is open and ready for business |

Lake Tahoe is open and ready for business

Keep your calendars clear this weekend as events up and down Lake Tahoe’s West Shore will be sure to entertain all weekend long.

The West Shore Association, a business group that revitalized itself in 2005, is premiering a weekend-long celebration to promote the organization and to kick off Lake Tahoe’s summer season earlier.

Fittingly, the new event is called Opening Day of the Lake.

“What we’re trying to do is get people in the mindset to use Lake Tahoe earlier than July,” said Ralph Silverman, West Shore Association board director and one of the brains behind the new operation.

“As a local business organization we felt it was worthwhile to spearhead this on our own at the West Shore Association,” he said.

This year’s events, many which are not new in themselves, are being re-packaged by the West Shore Association, such as patio- and deck-opening parties, the first summer tours with California State Parks, and boat shows.

“By combining all these events we are giving exposure to people who wouldn’t otherwise realize that all these things are happening,” Silverman said.

But in producing this event a number of other West Shore businesses have shown interest in the organization and have created new events for Opening Day.

“It’s a marketing effort to get people to come up and stay up,” said Ron Parson, Granlibakken general manager. “We’re looking to extend that summer season to the beginning of June.”

The First Annual Mike Brown Seaplane Splash-in will take place on Monday afternoon. A parade of more than a dozen seaplanes will put on a show off of Obexer’s. And a Grumman Mallard will be just one of the highlights.

“This will be a pretty big event for seaplanes. There aren’t that many of us on the West Coast,” said Dave Linde, secretary of the Truckee Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1073, the group working to promote the ceremony.

The West Shore Association initially targeted homeowners and boat owners for the first year of the event, but the overall goal is to attract full-time residents, second-home owners and tourists alike.

“We’ve got these wonderful periods like the end of May and June where people don’t come up to the lake because they get distracted,” said Parson. “Once you’ve opened your house and once you’ve put your boat in the water it’s more likely you’ll come up earlier.”

Parson said the business group has encountered minor glitches in the planning process, which it will refine for next year, but the sponsors are hoping for a good turnout at the inaugural event.

“What we’re seeing is a pretty good response … I think it’s coming together as something that, ‘Wow, there’s a new festival in Tahoe,'” said Parson.

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