News Briefs

Former Tahoe Biltmore to Become Waldorf Astoria Lake Tahoe  

LAKE TAHOE

Hilton announced the signing of a brand and management agreement with EKN Development Group to welcome the all-season Waldorf Astoria Lake Tahoe to Nevada’s Crystal Bay and Incline Village community, expected to debut in 2027. 

Situated on a 15-acre site at the former Tahoe Biltmore Hotel and Casino property, the mixed-use development will introduce 76 guest rooms and 61 Waldorf Astoria branded residences to the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. Managed by Hilton, the new luxury hotel will mark Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts’ first property in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

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The construction of Waldorf Astoria Lake Tahoe includes restoration of Lake Tahoe with an expected 90% reduction in sediment runoff into the lake and a 38% reduction in total water and energy use.

The property will boast distinctive restaurants and bars, including Waldorf Astoria’s signature Peacock Alley lounge, a signature poolside restaurant, and brasserie with terrace. The resort will feature a community grove that provides a lively promenade and hub for guests, residents, and locals alike to enjoy shops, exceptional dining options, and more. Paying homage to the popular gaming history of Nevada, Waldorf Astoria Lake Tahoe will offer an upscale casino with live entertainment and a speakeasy for a contemporary getaway. 

The luxury resort will feature a spa and fitness facility with an outdoor terrace connecting to an expansive resort pool along with a dedicated pool for residents. 

The resort will offer a three-acre lakefront beach club on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, a gondola-side mountain club at Northstar California Resort, and transportation to nearby golf clubs, hiking trails, and slopes.

Waldorf Astoria Lake Tahoe’s branded residences will be represented for sale by Mike Dunn at Chase International. Visit Waldorf Astoria Lake Tahoe to learn more about the project.

~ Hilton press release 

DA’s Office Urges State Legislature to Act on Fentanyl Crisis

PLACER COUNTY

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office has a clear message for the 2023/24 class: The time is now to act on the fentanyl crisis in a meaningful way.   

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl is now the number one killer of 18 to 45-year-olds, surpassing car accidents and suicides. Placer County saw a 450% increase in fentanyl deaths from 2019 to 2021. The Drug Enforcement Administration recently released a report stating a 50% increase in deadly street drugs that are being distributed into local communities.  

The DA’s office has made fighting the fentanyl crisis a top priority and has been a leader in prosecutorial approaches to the issue. From the filing of murder charges against drug dealers who are aware of the deadliness of the drugs they sell, to admonishments in court warning of the dangers of fentanyl, the office is continuously looking for avenues to hold drug dealers accountable and reduce the fentanyl supply in the county.  

Even more critically, the DA’s office is working with community partners and families affected by the fentanyl epidemic to increase awareness and reduce the fentanyl demand through participating in an aggressive proactive outreach campaign: 1 Pill Can Kill Placer. The campaign has reached hundreds of thousands of residents through school presentations, billboards, movie theater ads, bus wraps, tax inserts, social media marketing, and more.  

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office has created a petition for residents to sign to encourage the state legislature to act on the fentanyl crisis this legislative session. The petition can be found here: placer.ca.gov/8458/fentanyl-petition.

~ Placer County press release 

Educators at Impasse with School District 

TAHOE/ TRUCKEE 

In the midst of record district revenues, Tahoe Truckee Education Association educators are standing firm in their commitment to smaller class sizes for younger students, more in-person instructional time, and salaries and benefits that attract and keep teachers and local schools stable and strong. 

Local teachers have filed for impasse after rejecting a contract offer from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. TTEA educators say negotiations failed and teachers overwhelmingly rejected the district’s offer because it does not do enough to provide the resources and support teachers and students need to succeed. 

A state mediator appointed by the Public Employment Relations Board will now be brought in to assist the parties in reaching an agreement. TTEA declared an impasse for the 2022/23 school year on salary, health benefits, class size, leaves, transfers, and hours of employment. The teachers have proposed language to protect class sizes, increase in-person instructional time with students, and increase salaries to keep up with inflation and to be more competitive in attracting and retaining local educators. 

“Despite TTUSD receiving a 9.5% increase in ongoing revenue to its general fund this year through increased local property taxes, creating yet again a record setting budget, TTUSD is not willing to pass on a fair share of this new money to keep teachers from falling behind inflation,” said TTEA Bargaining Chair David Steakley. “At the same time, the district has increased its unrestricted reserve last year to over $15 million (18.88%), well above the state-mandated 3% reserve for economic uncertainty and the higher locally adopted board reserve level. The district has expressed a clear priority to increase its savings at the expense of members falling behind inflation and having no means to save on the home front.” 

~ TTEA press release 

County’s First-Ever Recreation and Resiliency Master Plan

NEVADA COUNTY

Nevada County is embarking on the development of a countywide Recreation and Resiliency Master Plan. The plan is not only a first for Nevada County, but also one of the first of its kind in the state of California to comprehensively integrate solutions for adapting to extreme weather, wildfire, drought, and other impacts as part of planning for parks, trails, open spaces, and recreation amenities. Sierra Nevada Conservancy has awarded $200,000 through the Vibrant Recreation and Tourism Grant Program for this effort. Nevada County has also allocated $250,000 through American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Over the next 12 to 18 months, input from all residents is needed. Interested community members are invited to sign up to receive an invitation to take the online survey and notifications on the plan’s progress and opportunities to contribute at nevadacountyca.gov/recreation

In addition to identifying recreation needs and articulating a long-term vision for managing open spaces and recreation resources, the plan’s recommendation and projects will integrate strategies to do the following:

  • Reduce the county’s risk of natural disasters like wildfire, flooding, and extreme heat.
  • Provide support for state and federal first responders in the event of a disaster.
  • Facilitate healthy lifestyles.
  • Establish compelling public spaces that contribute to the county’s economy and sense of place.

The plan will identify specific project recommendations along with funding sources and strategies to implement them. Partnerships with tribal interests, recreation districts, Tahoe National Forest, California State Parks, BLM, Nevada Irrigation District, land trusts, and nonprofit organizations engaged in local recreation, arts, health and wellness, conservation, forest health, and management of open space and trails will be developed and leveraged to move projects forward.

~ Nevada County Community Development Agency press release 

School District Two-Hour Delayed Start 

TAHOE/TRUCKEE 

Tahoe Truckee Unified School District has been exploring the option of a two-hour delayed start on mornings impacted by weather. This would allow roads to be cleared while still getting TTUSD scholars into school learning. After conversations with regional partners, including the Town of Truckee and Placer County, and internal discussions on operational impacts, the district has concluded that two-hour delayed starts can be implemented and should be an option for our Snow Watch Committee — the folks who call snow days.

For a delayed start, all schools will begin two hours later and will be released at the regular dismissal time. All delayed start school schedules can be found on the Delayed Start webpage on ttusd.org. There, access the Master Bus Stop List, which shows bus pick-up times on the delayed start schedule. Phone calls, emails, and text messages will be sent in the mornings, similarly to on a snow day. Additionally,  notifications will be posted on ttusd.org and through the TTUSD app by 5 a.m. 

Please note that TTUSD staff will not be available at school sites to watch students if a delayed start is called. The Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe plans to open its Kings Beach Clubhouse morning program two -hours delayed, at 8:45 a.m. on these mornings. Truckee-Donner Rec & Park will begin its programs with a two-hour delay, and run from 9 to 11 a.m. on these mornings. 

~ TTUSD newsletter 

Remodeled Long-Term Care Center at Hospital Accepting New Residents

TAHOE/ TRUCKEE

The Tahoe Forest Hospital long-term care center is accepting new residents. 

Offering 37 beds, the long-term care center was recently remodeled to create a warm and friendly environment that includes renovated residential rooms, an outdoor courtyard, a beauty salon, activities room, and physical therapy room.

The long-term care center serves as an option for a loved one requiring specialized care after hospitalization to enhance full recovery, who lives alone but requires assistance with daily activities, or who lives with a partner who is overwhelmed with caregiving duties. Staff, residents, and their families work together to develop and coordinate care plans that cater to residents’ everyday needs.

The long-term care center provides 24-hour care that enables residents to maintain an optimal level of functioning and wellbeing. With above-average staffing ratios, services offered at the center include: 

  • Skilled nursing, rehabilitative, and hospice care
  • Physical therapy, pharmacy support, and nutritional services
  • Onsite beauty salon and daily laundry services
  • Daily activities, offsite outings, transportation van

For more information about the Tahoe Forest Hospital Long-Term Care Center, please call (530) 582-3251.

~ Tahoe Forest Health System press release

Tahoe Backcountry Safety Awareness Week Begins

TAHOE CITY

From athlete panel sessions about backcountry safety to expert talks about snowpack science and the impacts of wildfires on snow conditions, the third annual Tahoe Backcountry Safety Awareness Week is chock full of in-person and virtual events curated by Take Care Tahoe that focus on the dangers of the backcountry. From Dec. 12 to 17, just as avalanche danger will be increasing in the area due to the weekend storm, both novice and experienced backcountry users will have opportunities to learn how to safely recreate in the backcountry this winter. 

According to Snowsports Industries America, the pandemic boosted participation in backcountry/alpine touring by 57% during the 2020/21 season. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center also reported that a total of 37 avalanche related fatalities occurred in the U.S. that season. The rise in deaths was attributed to both inexperience and challenging snowpack conditions.

The 2022 Tahoe Backcountry Safety Awareness Week schedule can be found here.  

~ Take Care Tahoe press release 

Business Briefs

Far West Auction and Raffle Tickets Now on Sale

TAHOE DONNER 

Kick off the 2022/23 Nordic season with the party of the year! The 2022 Far West Auction and Raffle will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Tahoe Donner Cross-Country Ski Center in Truckee. This is the first time since the start of the pandemic that this event will be held in person.

Sample delicious bites from an abundance of appetizers as you listen to special guest speaker Olympian Hannah Halvorsen and bid on prizes like gift cards for local sports shops and dining experiences, as well as apparel, top-notch gear, and experiences like a PistenBully ride-along and guided rock climbing.

This year’s auction will also have a virtual component, with bids on an amazing array of items running online one week before the dinner from Dec. 10 to 17, and a few special prizes reserved only for in-person bidding. Tickets are $85 per person. Go to farwestnordic.org to get your tickets today because the 2022 Far West Auction and Raffle will be a sell-out event.

~ Far West Nordic Ski Education Association press release 

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