A little more than a year ago, a virtual meeting convened Lake Tahoe’s leaders and decision-makers to discuss the future of the region. In the middle of the pandemic, Tahoe was coming to terms with the rapid growth of tourism and the fallout. Median housing prices soared beyond the reach of local employees. Trash, pollution, a hiring crisis pushing small businesses to the brink – it was all coming to a head.
Tourism in Lake Tahoe has long been the driving force of the region’s $ 5.1 billion economy. But in that pursuit of profit and growth – a trend that has been in place for the last decade but spiked during the pandemic – the region has been ill-equipped to deal with the aftershocks. And finally, Tahoe’s leaders were speaking honestly about the issues at hand.