Report on Economic Conditions in Basin
The Tahoe Prosperity Center, a regional community and economic development nonprofit for the Tahoe Basin, has published 2021 Baseline Report for the Tahoe Basin: Living and Working Today in and Around the Tahoe Basin. The report measures demographic and economic conditions in the Basin that are impacting employment, household earnings, housing, tax revenue, and community services, among other aspects of life in the region.
The report is intended to establish baseline conditions that will inform discussions and planning around diversification strategies to help Tahoe’s economy recover from the pandemic and, more recently, the Caldor Fire, and become more resilient to economic disruptions. TPC is leading this community engagement and economic planning effort, which is called “Envision Tahoe: Prosperity Plan 2.0.”
The key findings of the report include:
- Approximately 65% of Tahoe households make less than $93,500, which is what it takes to cover housing and common living expenses in Tahoe
- Average home prices have increased 35% since 2020, now averaging $875,000 in the Tahoe area
- Not including the influx of workers related to Covid-19, the number of year-round residents in the Basin has declined 11% since 2010, down to 53,688
Tahoe’s economic base has become more concentrated in a few areas since 2010, with three industry clusters (and the businesses that support them) contributing 95% of all economic output in the Tahoe Basin: visitor services, environmental innovation, and health and wellness. (All three sectors experienced flat or declining job growth and economic output over the past 10 years.)
For more information or to read the report, visit tahoeprosperity.org/envision-tahoe.
~ TPC press release
Acquisition of Tahoe Biltmore
EKN Development Group, with its financial partners, Garn Development and Stack Real Estate, acquired the Tahoe Biltmore Lodge & Casino for an undisclosed amount on Sept. 16. During the pandemic, EKN accelerated its expansion activities, which resulted in securing over $250 million in equity commitments for projects slated to break ground in the next year.
In Lake Tahoe, EKN will continue the operation of the 113-room Biltmore hotel and casino while finalizing plans for the development of the 15-acre site. The group intends to develop the property into a branded marquee destination for both locals and visitors to Lake Tahoe’s vibrant North Shore.
The project has also been designated to qualify for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Community Enhancement Program. This program seeks to promote developments that provide substantial environmental, social, or economic benefits to the Lake Tahoe Basin. The project on the Biltmore site will also incorporate state-of-the-art sustainable environmental and water conservation technologies.
Founded in 2012 by CEO Ebbie Khan Nakhjavani, EKN Development Group specializes in developing hotel, retail, mixed-use, and high-density multi-family properties across the United States.
~ EKN press release
Sierra Business Council Launches Forgivable Loan Program
Sierra Business Council, on behalf of the Town of Truckee, is introducing a program that provides affordable, flexible, and potentially forgivable financing to eligible small businesses in Truckee. Funded by Community Development Block Grant-Coronavirus funds, these programs are designed to stimulate economic growth and provide support in the recovery from Covid-19 through job retention.
The program offers two types of loans of up to $30,000 for Covid-impacted eligible businesses within Truckee town limits. Both loans offer forgiveness if all program requirements are met and the funds are spent within three months of disbursement. Eligible use of funds includes inventory, payroll, equipment purchases, operating capital, and more.
Accompanying the loan program is access to the council-run Sierra Small Business Development Center’s confidential, no-cost, one-on-one advising with a team of experts in many technical assistance areas. The Sierra SBDC consultants can assist with cash flow management, financials, capital access, marketing, web design, growth strategy, and much more. To learn more about the loan program and its eligibility requirements, visit sierrasbdc.com.
~ Sierra SBDC press release
Tahoe Food Hub’s Farm Shop Reopens as The Farmacy
After being closed for 17 months during the pandemic, Tahoe Food Hub’s Farm Shop has reopened under a new name: The Farmacy is a reminder that food is medicine. The food choices we make not only have a positive impact on our health but also on our environment.
Tahoe Food Hub works with over 40 farms and ranches within 100 miles of North Lake Tahoe. Farms use regenerative farming practices that help mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil. The Farmacy is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 6 p.m., Wednesdays 3 to 6 p.m., and Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Come in and see what produce is fresh in the medicine cabinet each week, and browse a wide selection of local specialty products including oils, grains, dairy, and other prepared foods.
Order ahead using Tahoe Food Hub’s online marketplace, Harvest to Order, and have the order waiting for you at pick-up. The Farmacy is located at Tahoe Food Hub’s warehouse next to the Truckee Airport, across from the new Raley’s, 12116 Chandelle Way, Unit D1. For more information, visit tahoefoodhub.org.
~ Susie Sutphin, Special to Moonshine Ink
Squaw Alpine Transit Company Expands Mountaineer Service
Squaw Alpine Transit Company, a nonprofit created to provide free on-demand shuttle service within Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows, announced it will expand the hours of its free Mountaineer service within the two resort communities for the 2021/22 winter season. New this year, SATCo will partner with Placer County to offer free on-demand service through TART Connect between Olympic Valley and Tahoe City on Friday and Saturday evenings.
This winter, Mountaineer’s shuttle service will operate from Dec. 10, 2021 through April 10, 2022 daily between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. in Olympic Valley, and on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Alpine Meadows. Passengers can request a ride through the Mountaineer app. Inter-valley transportation services between Palisades Tahoe base areas will continue to be offered via the Palisades Tahoe Shuttle operated by Palisades Tahoe ski resort.
New this year, in collaboration with Placer County, on-demand shuttle service will be offered through TART Connect to provide free weekend evening service between Olympic Valley and Tahoe City. (See news briefs, p. 16 for more detail about this program.)
Mountaineer users will be required to download the free TART Connect app to request rides between Olympic Valley and Tahoe City.
Mountaineer is funded through the combination of a 1% assessment on daily lift tickets sold by Palisades Tahoe and a 1% assessment on transient lodging and vacation rentals within Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows. Additionally, Palisades Tahoe continues its volunteer contribution of a 1% assessment on its daily lift ticket frequency products to assist in funding Mountaineer services.
Learn more about SATCo and Mountaineer online at squawalpinetransit.org.
~ SATCo press release
Utility Parent Company Provides Updates on Net-Zero By 2050 Goal
Algonquin, the parent company of Liberty Utilities, has announced its net-zero by 2050 goal, as well as the issuance of its 2021 environmental, social, and governance report. The 2050 pathway to net-zero report includes a comprehensive summary of the progress already being made in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Highlights of Algonquin’s accomplishments include:
- Achieved goal to reduce emissions by one million metric tonnes from 2017 levels
- Demonstrated a 31% reduction in emissions from 2017 through 2020
- Achieved goal to embed sustainability into compensation model
- Achieved goal to publish a disclosure document aligned with the task force on climate-related financial disclosures
- Improved sustainability ratings and index inclusions
~ Algonquin newsletter
Plumas Bank Commits $50,000 to its Own Dixie Fire Fund
Plumas Bank, in partnership with The Community Foundation of Northern Nevada, established a Dixie Fire Fund to provide disaster relief and long-term revitalization for communities affected by California’s largest wildfire in history. The fire began in mid-July, burning nearly 964,000 acres across five counties. It has destroyed more than 1,300 structures and damaged nearly 100 more. The fire was at 100% containment at press time.
The Dixie Fire Fund launched in August and has raised more than $95,000 so far. To spur additional donations to the fund and inspire others to help Northeastern California communities affected by the fire, Plumas Bank itself is committing $50,000 to the fund.
While Plumas Bank branch locations extend from Northeastern California to Northern Nevada, its call for donations is nationwide. An advisory committee has been formed that includes representatives of the counties directly impacted by the fire, and the bank is collaborating with other funders to coordinate disaster relief efforts leading to the long term sustainability of the communities in need. Residents in affected areas will be able to apply to the Community Foundation for emergency hardship grants from the Dixie Fire Fund, and monies will be disbursed directly to businesses and organizations, including local nonprofits. Donations to the Dixie Fire Fund are accepted via credit card, check, or by visiting a Plumas Bank branch.
To make a donation online by credit card, visit nevadafund.org/donate/dixie-fire-fund. Checks can be made payable to the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada, mailed to 50 Washington Street, Suite 300, Reno, NV 89503. Checks must have Dixie Fire Fund noted in the memo line. Plumas Bank locations are listed on its website at plumasbank.com.
~ Plumas Bank press release
Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up
TTCF Announces New Director of Impact Investing
On Oct. 14, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation announced that Saché Cantu will join the team as the foundation’s director of impact investing. Cantu has worked on cross sector collaboration for social good for two decades.
She holds a B.A. from the University of Texas, Austin and a Masters in Public Administration from George Washington University with a concentration in budgeting and public finance. Cantu lives in Grass Valley, where she was raised, and is an avid trail runner. Connect with Cantu at Sache@ttcf.net.
~ TTCF press release
Daron Rahlves Joins Palisades Tahoe Ski Team
Daron Rahlves, renowned World Cup and Olympic ski racer, is joining the athletic team at Palisades Tahoe. Rahlves has represented Sugar Bowl for two decades, where he worked on building ski events like the Banzai Tour and mentoring local youth athletes. Rahlves grew up skiing at Palisades, formerly Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Rahlves joins legendary athletes Jonny Moseley, Jeremy Jones, Cody Townsend, Michelle Parker, JT Holmes, Travis Ganong, Bryce Bennett, Amie Engerbretson, Connery Lundin, Sammy Luebke, Keely Cashman, and AJ Hurt on the Palisades Tahoe Athlete Team.
Executive Director of Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association Retires
The Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association announces the retirement of its executive director, Christine Maley-Grubl. TNT/TMA is now embarking on a regional search for a creative, confident, and entrepreneurial self-starter who can lead the next phase of growth for the organization. Formed in 1991 and celebrating its 30th year in 2021, the TNT/TMA is a nonprofit membership organization with a mission to advocate and facilitate transportation solutions in the greater Truckee/North Lake Tahoe region. The TNT/TMA Board recently completed a strategic plan that defines the organization’s important roles in transportation demand management, clarifies its goals, sets priorities, and increases accountability. The document can be found at tnttma.com/strategic-plan-2021-2024.
Application Process: Position is open until filled; to be considered applicants must apply by November 19, 2021, by 5 p.m. Send a one-page cover letter, a resume, and three references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Full instructions at tnttma.com/employment/.
~ TNT/TMA press release