Opinion: Don’t turn Lake Tahoe into a year-round carnival
Last week, the Bonanza and Sierra Sun published the story, “Experts: Tahoe tourism shows room for growth.”
This past summer, we’ve had jam-packed beaches and bumper to bumper traffic like I’ve never seen, with cars parked and people crawling along the East Shore like ants. It’s been impossible for locals to enjoy their own backyard. A mid-week or off-season slowdown is a welcome relief.
We build more facilities and establish more services to serve the influx of visitors. Then, we try to attract more visitors to support the businesses. Then, we build more … And round and round we go.
When will we reach a comfortable equilibrium? We are already at capacity for reasonable enjoyment of the amenities, even beyond capacity too much of the time. Tahoe is losing the character that attracted us to it in the first place. Let’s not turn it into a year-round carnival.
Many of us are able to retreat from the hustle and bustle to our own quiet abodes. But I live on Ski Way in Incline Village, and it has been lined with boats and trailers this year such as I’ve not seen before. Now IVGID wants to expand Diamond Peak and add a zip line and who-knows-what, which will change the nature of our quiet enclave forever.
I don’t mean to be elitist; mine is a humble condo. But my friends and I who have purchased homes in Reno because we’ve gotten to the age where we need relief from Tahoe’s sometimes rough winters, have sworn off summers at Tahoe.
This should not be. Things are only going to get worse if we operate on the precept that “Tahoe tourism shows room for growth.” Let’s step back and think about the kind of community we want, where businesses can succeed without this destructive, unending spiral.