Welcoming visitors back to North and South Lake Tahoe
UPDATE: U.S. Highway 50, the main artery into South Lake Tahoe from the Bay Area and Sacramento is scheduled to re-open Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 8 a.m. following a four-week closure due to the Caldor Fire.
NORTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev., – The official destination marketing and management organizations for the North Lake Tahoe region are officially welcoming back guests after asking visitors to postpone travel plans last month due to the Caldor Fire.
“The Tahoe Basin has experienced some hardships these past few weeks and the Caldor Fire has impacted the entire region,” said Andy Chapman, president and CEO of Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau. “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the losses around our communities and to our neighbors in South Lake Tahoe. We are incredibly grateful for the firefighters and first responders who continue to keep our community, residents and visitors safe. We look forward to welcoming back guests to the region.”
Most businesses within North Lake Tahoe are open with no wildfire-related restrictions, and are ready to welcome guests back for the fall season. Most recently, evacuation orders and warnings within the Tahoe Basin have been downgraded with full containment of the Caldor Fire expected by the end of September.
“We can’t thank our community enough for their generosity and support during this challenging time in the region from hosting evacuees to providing meals and other services for residents and fire personnel,” said Bonnie Bavetta, Interim CEO of North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “We also appreciate the outpouring of compassion and encouragement from afar and look forward to welcoming back travelers to North Lake Tahoe. Tourism directly supports our local businesses and economy, and we hope visitors will come enjoy the upcoming fall season with us.”
Visitors to North Lake Tahoe are encouraged to confirm travel plans directly with local businesses and lodging properties. Variable air quality and temporary closures throughout the Tahoe Basin may affect business operations.
“This has been emotionally draining for weeks over the numerous concerns, but we are resilient, and the countless ways our community has come together to support one another is heartwarming,”Carol Chaplin,CEO, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
South Lake Tahoe Opening
With more than 22,000 residents returning home, businesses opening their doors to employees and customers, and schools in session starting today (Thursday, Sept. 16), South Lake Tahoe is determined to turn the corner on the Caldor Fire and have its idyllic Sierra Nevada destination back to full operations.
Following nearly two weeks of evacuations over safety concerns for residents and their homes, officials, locals and businesses are pulling together to heal and return to normalcy.
“We have so much to be thankful for with the heroic men and women who saved our lives and community. Tragically our neighbors in Echo Lakes, and along the West Slope weren’t as fortunate with hundreds losing their homes. Perhaps the ultimate takeaway is to realize the fragility of our resources and the vulnerability of the places we love.” said Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.
While a full-fledged visitor outreach is forthcoming, the priority now is for residents to get settled safely and back to work. Increased openings at lodging establishments, restaurants and among recreational activities with even more opening in the next few days have also marked the community’s collective desire to rebound.
As individual plans for businesses are fluid and quickly evolving, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority recommends contacting accommodations, dining, and activities directly to confirm availability. Also, check Destination Update and @TahoeSouth social media channels for the latest updates on re-opening.
“The City of South Lake Tahoe was evacuated and closed down for almost a full week, starting Aug. 30,” said Tamara Wallace, South Lake Tahoe Mayor. “This was a challenging time for our residents and businesses. We appreciate how the community came together and evacuated safely in order to give fire fighters the time and space to protect the City and fight the fire with all available resources. Now that the order and warning have been lifted here in South Lake Tahoe, and our iconic blue skies are back, we are ready to get people back to work and welcome visitors with open arms. So come on out and enjoy Lake Tahoe in all its beauty!”
The list of businesses and individuals who have stepped up to help during the crisis has been uplifting and inspiring. The theme of small town and neighbors helping each other, and strangers was continually reinforced with acts of kindness and generosity from the start. From ongoing efforts with the hotel/casinos and California lodging properties providing accommodations, hot meals, laundry service for firefighters, police, first responders, as well as meeting space for the Emergency Operations Center; to all the restaurants, grocery stores, and chefs who provided meals; as well as monetary donations both large and small have helped those in need. For an ongoing list of those who continue to help make the community #TahoeStrong see https://tahoesouth.com.
“Many of our businesses supported our firefighters and first responders over the past few weeks and, we’re even more enthusiastic to welcome back visitors and share the experiences we’re known for,” said Jerry Bindel, general manager of Forest Suites and LTVA Board Chair.
Evacuation orders for all neighborhoods have been lifted, with Christmas Valley and Meyers still in an evacuation warning scenario, which presents the need to stay mobile if conditions shift. With the containment at 70 percent, it remains imperative to keep traffic at a minimum in residential neighborhoods, and areas where firefighters and first responders are still working so they can safely complete the job. Full containment is expected by the end of September.