I bleed North Lake Tahoe blue. In search of a lifestyle and community that matched my values, I arrived in Tahoe City 42 years ago and never left. I am still employed by the same restaurant group that I started with in 1979 and have had the endearing privilege of meeting and marrying my wife here, and watching my daughters and grandkids grow up in this community.
I have the tenure to provide input on what is a positive step forward for North Lake Tahoe, which is why I support the proposed Tourism Business Improvement District. As loyal as I am to this community, I have been equally loyal to T S Restaurants, whose portfolio once included Jake’s on the Lake and currently (for the past 34 years) includes Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge. Having spent my career in the North Lake Tahoe restaurant industry, I have a deep awareness of seasonal impacts, among our workforce and with visitors. Our challenges as a resort town are not unique; many outdoor destinations face similar problems. The TBID gives us an opportunity to implement change while also establishing local oversight and control of funds. It will allow our community to evolve and enhance our quality of life.
We need more housing options so the local workforce can afford to live here. We need a stronger year-round economy so that tourism-based industries don’t have to lay off the majority of their employees in the shoulder season. We need infrastructure to support visitors in peak season, and we need destination marketing to help fill in visitation gaps in spring and fall. We need this for local business survival.
Through the TBID negotiation process with Placer County, the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association focused on retaining the full portion of Transient Occupancy Tax — approximately $4.1 million dollars — for North Lake Tahoe. I believe that demonstrates not only NLTRA’s commitment to community, but also the confidence Placer County has in the organization. The NLTRA has specific committees devoted to their purposes and goals. Their decisions require a board vote and include direct input from a broad spectrum of large, medium, and small businesses.
It’s important to remember what a TBID means for local control. Instead of Placer County managing the funds that are generated in North Lake Tahoe, the local business community will. I trust the NLTRA to facilitate and lead our community through the TBID and am excited to see this come to fruition.
~ Jeff “Ox” Oxandaboure has been a resident of Tahoe City for 42 years. He’s a managing partner of T S Restaurants, which includes Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge.