Our Efforts to Foster Revitalization
The past eighteen months have been a very challenging economic time for all of us. North Lake Tahoe’s Economic Indicators have clearly documented declining trends. Sales tax collections reported in the region remain down. Our participation in the Mountain Travel Research Project (MTRIP) has accurately forecasted the decline in lodging occupancy.
Consistent with our respective missions, the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association are actively engaged in several strategic initiatives to support economic and community revitalization.
Placer County Economic Development Strategies
With input from stakeholders and participants throughout the County, the Placer County Economic Development Board (ED Board) and Office of Economic Development (OED) are leading an effort to prepare and implement economic development strategies, including strategies specific to eastern Placer County/North Lake Tahoe. We used the forums of our Chamber of Commerce Advisory Committee and NLTRA Board of Directors to develop written input which was presented to the ED Board, OED, and consultant team preparing the strategies at a workshop held September 16, 2009 at Northstar.
In summary, the two main points of our input were:
• Establish a Redevelopment Agency office and staff presence at North Lake Tahoe. Staff should be at a senior management level, empowered to work with the community on the implementation of redevelopment projects and programs, including affordable workforce housing projects. Success will necessarily involve resources, expertise, consistent and sustainable leadership, and a partnership approach to implementation.
• Embrace Existing Plans and Strategies. These include the Strategic Plans for Business Retention, Expansion and Attraction for Tahoe City (2000) and Kings Beach/Tahoe Vista (2002), and the Implementation Strategy for Redevelopment of Kings Beach and Tahoe City (2007).
The recommended Economic Development Strategies are scheduled to be published late this year. Our focus will immediately move to implementation.
Lake Tahoe Prosperity Plan
This project has established an economic development partnership focused on the Lake Tahoe Basin. Organized by the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce/NLTRA and the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce, the project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), to be matched by funds from each of Tahoe’s six local governments. The project steering committee includes representatives from each of these governments, one each from the two chambers, two representatives from the education sector, one from the South Shore and one from the North Shore, and one from the Western Nevada Development District (WNDD) which is responsible for grant management.
The principal purpose of the Lake Tahoe Prosperity Plan is to:
• Identify and develop strategies for the enhancement of existing economic clusters (activities), including (but not limited to) tourism, hospitality, entertainment/cultural, recreational, recreation, health care, education, government, research and science;
• Identify and develop strategies for new economic development clusters, including (but not limited to) environmental technology, information technology, international recreational equipment research, telemedicine and sports medicine, accelerators for green businesses and general business, clean energy, transportation, cultural and historic preservation.
Thirteen firms responded to the project’s Request for Proposals. We expect that a contract will be awarded in early January. Preliminary recommendations are due in the spring, with a final report next fall.
Lake Tahoe Regional Plan Initiative (RPI)
Also organized by the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce/NLTRA and the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce, the primary purpose of this project is to develop a greater understanding of the financial feasibility and overall effectiveness of the revised land use system proposed for the draft TRPA Regional Plan Update (RPU). In order to achieve the TRPA’s stated objectives, the updated TRPA land use system, Code of Ordinances, and the Agency’s project review process must be designed to achieve optimal, real environmental gain in a way that preserves the financial feasibility of private sector investment (e.g., the private sector’s ability to invest in needed environmental, economic and community improvements with a positive return on investment).
We intend to use the information and understanding gained through this Regional Plan Initiative to inform and assist TRPA and other Regional Plan partners, including Tahoe’s local governments, and advocate for a Regional Plan Update that will allow private sector investment to participate effectively in Plan implementation. New tools for economic and environmental analysis are being developed in conjunction with this Regional Plan Initiative.
The NLTRA’s marketing strategies, which include many partnerships, are also key to the economic prosperity and sustainability of North Lake Tahoe. In partnership with the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau through the North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative, the NLTRA works diligently to balance destination and drive marketing, with emphasis as appropriate on leisure travel marketing and sales, conference marketing and sales, public relations, special events and promotions, specialty marketing, ski resort cooperative marketing, sales of the Ski Tahoe North Interchangeable Lift Ticket, visitor information, and “in market” promotions.
Our Web site, www.GoTahoeNorth.com, is the internet gateway to North Lake Tahoe, complete with a top position on all search engines and engaged with all popular social media. The NLTRA/North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative is an active partner with the California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) in international markets including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, with the Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT), and with the Regional Marketing Committee (RMC) (promoting travel to the Reno/Tahoe market through the Reno/Tahoe International Airport). The NLTRA and North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative are also partners with the Mountain Travel Research Project (MTRIP).
For more information and details about these initiatives or the NLTRA’s marketing strategies, contact Sandy Evans Hall, 530.581.8739, sandy@PureTahoeNorth.com