In response to Early Days of Tahoe Skier Glory
Then and Now
Thank you for [publishing this article]. Boy did this bring back some good old memories. It is always fun to see where your small town was in the deep and not-so-deep past. Moving to Tahoe to escape the rush of the cities was a great adventure then and now. I am still proud to be from Tahoe after 53 years. After a day of hard skiing and hanging out at our favorite gathering holes to watch the big 400-pound TV with the 27-inch screen and 8-track tapes of our friends and neighbors hucking off some cliff, charging down a mogul field or downhill course.
Go Jimmy, go Jonsey, go Tamara, go Troy, go Marko, go Jonny. We are still small town and proud to be a part of it. We will gather at our favorite places these next few weeks and watch that 100-plus inch flatscreen as our friends and neighbors take the world stage at the Olympics. Go Travis, go AJ, go Bryce, go Keely, go Mo.
~ Troy Caldwell, Alpine Meadows, via letter
Love the Look Back
I enjoyed growing up on the West Shore during the ’70s and ’80s, even got a cameo in Hot Dog the Movie! Mostly loved the Towne League Races on Exhibition. Head to Head modified SL. Thanks for the memories!
~ Rory Drake, Charlotte, North Carolina/Tahoe, via Twitter
Tone Deaf on STRs
This article is shamefully tone deaf to the seriousness of the problems created by the proliferation of STRs. And it leads readers to the false conclusion that all second homeowners choose to rent short term despite the economics, because they want to use the house part of the time.
First, your data is simply wrong. [Placer] County’s own database doesn’t reflect how much income people are earning from STRs. You used the median income “reported” to Placer County, which is self-reported. Actual STR income is proprietary data held by Airbnb. The system is broken; even your primary source of information for this article was recently fined by Placer County for not paying TOT on 30-plus properties he manages.
Secondly, even if the vast majority of STRs were owned by people who want to use them, this is not true for all STR owners. The house next door to me is owned by a realtor in Rocklin. (They have never stayed at the house since they bought it.) It rents for $450 to $500 [on] average per night and is rented 365 nights per year. That cabin brings in $1,200 to $15,000 revenue per month for a mortgage less than $2,000. Contrary to your numbers this is a profit-making machine.
It is exactly these outliers that we care about — the portion of the 3,900 STRs in Eastern Placer County that are not just renting some of the time to offset their costs but [also] making serious profit at our expense because they are not regulated as commercial enterprises. There are fair solutions: A maximum number of nights (30 to 60 days per year that STRs could rent) would mean second homeowners could still offset costs but the outliers would not have the incentive to turn our housing stock into commercial enterprises, and absolutely some portion of existing STRs would convert to long-term rentals.
~ Cheri Sugal, Kings Beach, via letter
Is Tahoe the Next Aspen?
These people making bank on Airbnb wonder why all their restaurants and stores don’t have staffing to fully function. Tahoe is the next Aspen.
~ Spencer Jaeckel, Truckee, via Instagram
This town has always had a great local community. Unfortunately, that doesn’t extend to many of the business ventures in the area.
~ Mark Beuerle, West Shore, via Instagram