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Outside mag needs the reality check

On July 12, Greyson Howard reported in the Sierra Sun that Outside Magazine, in its most recent August issue, named Truckee best skiing and snowboard town in the United States. Later on that day the issue showed up in my PO box and I was given the opportunity to read exactly what had been written about my new home town.While the honor is something Truckee should indeed be proud of, Outside magazine failed to responsibly and properly highlight Truckee in its review. I highly respect Outside magazine for the consistent quality of its content, however I was dissatisfied with the piece in a number of ways.The most inexcusable excerpt reads as follows: On Commercial Row, the brothels are gone, but a funky Wild West feel lives on in Truckee’s downtown historic district, where covered walkways lead to shops, low-key bars, and a wider range of restaurants than a town this size has any right to, from Cal-Asian cafes to wood-fired-pizza joints.How dare you, Outside Magazine? Truckee is a very large place, contrary to popular belief, and while yes, the town is home to a sizable number of places to eat, we have every right to every restaurant that exists here and in my opinion, every right to every restaurant that cares to take the plunge into the unique and inconsistent year-round business climate a town like Truckee must weather.So eat on, Truckee. Enjoy Tacos Jalisco’s like never before. Then treat yourself to a night at the Cottonwood. And to the two Greek guys that were talking about opening that Gyro joint go for it! We’re hungry, we have a right to eat, and you have a right to feed us. Thank you restaurant owners, for you give us something fun to spend our hard-earned dollars on. I’ve worked in my share of cafeterias, pizza joints, breakfast spots, as well as the fine dining restaurants, and I, for one, am very impressed with everything that everyone is doing here. And that’s why you’re still in business. Good work.There is also one other thing I would like to address, and that is the decision of the people at Outside to conclude their article, With the year-round population ballooning more than 70 percent since 1990 and golf courses multiplying, debates about growth and development threatening Truckee’s small-town vibe won’t end anytime soon.C’mon Outside. Throw us a bone here. I know you’re trying to keep your assessments somewhat hip, insightful, and socially-conscious, but what’s the purpose of this sentence? Here you are awarding us a top spot, and this is your reality check? Did anyone at your magazine pick up a local paper while you were here? Were you really here?You could’ve included that Truckee-Tahoe’s full-time population actually decreased by nearly a third since 2003 because there is little to no affordable housing here. Apparently you weren’t looking for an apartment.And debates about growth and development threatening Truckee’s small-town vibe won’t end anytime soon? What community wishes their debates about development to end? As a young person trying his best to contribute to those debates, I am insulted that you would print such a thing. And its not the small-town vibe that’s being threatened here. Its the ability of Truckee’s educators, cabinetmakers, pizza flingers, video store clerks, ski-lift operators, journalists and raft guides to not only afford, but also find, a place to live. That’s why we debate.So thank you, Outside magazine, for your recent decision to honor Truckee as the best winter destination, for we are flattered. But please don’t do so without first considering the hard-working people already living in this place, for we are working as hard as we can to insure that people like your readers can more easily find a place to live and work when they get here.Timothy D. Condon is a Truckee resident.


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