South Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev…Tahoe South, “America’s Best Lake,” (USA Today, Aug. 2012) is experiencing a renaissance this summer as entrepreneurs and investors are pumping millions into improvements and new construction. From total reconstruction of lodging properties — Landing Resort & Spa, Basecamp Hotel — to planned construction on The Chateau, confidence in the Tahoe market is rebounding with the economy (http://www.tahoesouth.com).
Part of this renewed confidence can be tied to the area’s plans for the future. A cornerstone of those plans, the U.S. Highway 50 South Shore Community Revitalization Project moved forward into the environmental analysis phase in April. Upon completion, this project that reimagines Tahoe South’s corridor between Pioneer Trail and Lakeview Parkway as a pedestrian friendly main street is projected to bring an annual retail sales increase of $16-$25 million.
The South Shore Vision Plan, commissioned by the South Tahoe Alliance of Resorts and finalized in 2011, complements the U.S. 50 project. It focuses on the 1.5 miles along the main boulevard between Ski Run Boulevard, one mile west of the state line, and a half-mile into Nevada to Kahle Drive. Plans call for initiating environmental enhancements including more green space and access to the lake.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency also successfully passed its new blueprint for the future in the Lake Tahoe Regional Plan Update. One of its priorities is streamlining the permitting process with the underlying goal of encouraging environmental redevelopment.
An alliance of Tahoe South lodging properties, in cooperation with the City of South Lake Tahoe, will launch the Lakefront District this summer. Spanning from Ski Run Marina south to just past Lakeview Commons Beach the area includes all properties and businesses that are within 200 yards of the water. The Lakefront District’s highlight is the centerpiece of Tahoe South – the lake – and integrates with the City’s Community Area Plans that call for neighborhoods with distinct personalities and attributes. Banners, maps, signage and a website will identify the place for visitors and locals.
At the water’s edge, a multi-million dollar renovation is transforming a piece of old Tahoe into a high-end boutique hotel. Construction began last fall on the grounds of the former Royal Valhalla Lodge. With an opening scheduled this September, the new Landing Resort & Spa will offer 77 upscale rooms, a restaurant which features wood-fired Greek seafood and outdoor fire pits, a full spa and fitness center, as well as a rooftop wedding site overlooking Lake Tahoe.
The Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, formerly Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe – Hotel & Ski Resort, assumed independent status on April 1, 2013 and along with the name change the hotel’s owners are investing more than $5 million in property and guest suite improvements. The resort’s location with four doors opening toward each of Tahoe’s amenities – beach, ski resorts, forest, and entertainment is offering more options through its reservation system. Guests can “click” to add Tahoe South’s most popular and authentic experiences.
Right across the street construction is scheduled to begin on the corner of Stateline Avenue and U.S. Highway 50 on the retail portion of The Chateau. This development will add to the already popular Heavenly Village shopping options and expand and enhance shopping and dining options near the California/Nevada border. Based on permits, construction will begin this July and is estimated to take 12-18 months to complete. The first phase will include a retail component with new shops and restaurants along the U.S. Highway 50 frontage road. The second phase of the project is scheduled to include lodging and meeting space.
Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course is continuing to prepare and conduct research regarding future development of the Edgewood Tahoe Lodge, a LEED designed, world-class lodge of approximately 120 rooms; additional parking and modifications of three holes.
In preparation for this new construction Edgewood Companies partnered with the City of South Lake Tahoe for the transfer of development rights from an outdated motel site to build the Bonanza Neighborhood Park. The park includes a children’s grass play area, picnic pods, basketball court, and a horseshoe toss. It also features an environmentally friendly design including solar lighting, recycling containers, low flow irrigation and a native demonstration landscape.
A new 160-foot pier was completed at Tahoe Beach Club just north of Edgewood Tahoe. One of the few floating piers in Lake Tahoe will serve as the summer recreational center at the first fully-owner residential lakefront development in 25 years. The private Beach Club will include 143 luxury villas and estate homes, an indoor/outdoor pool, boat-accessible beachfront restaurant, health club with work-out facilities, spa and locker rooms, concierge services, and business center.
The lakefront Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe, formerly Timber Cove Lodge, made its name change official Dec. 1, 2012. $4 million in renovations include new bedding, drapes, décor, bathrooms, and balcony furniture in all 262 rooms. Also new this summer is landscaping, fire pits and an outdoor event space for groups and special events. Beach Retreat has also re-launched the Boat House on the Pier restaurant offering lunch, afternoon cocktails and dinner with seasonal menu selections. Upcoming plans include a lobby renovation, on-site restaurant kitchen34eleven and additional meeting space.
The Ridge Tahoe Resort, adjacent to Heavenly’s Stagecoach Lodge in Nevada, is in the midst of a 10-year plan that includes more than $10 million in improvements, including new kitchens, bathrooms, TVs, and furniture in every one of the 300 units. Two buildings, the Plaza and Ridge View’s kitchens are currently being remodeled and will be completed this summer along with a new pickle-ball court (a mix between tennis and Ping-Pong) and game room.
Basecamp Hotel, a boutique 50-room establishment that celebrates Tahoe’s great outdoors, was completely renovated before its opening in 2012. This summer, visitors can dine family style in the hotel’s communal dining room or sample the Lakeside Beach House restaurant, located on the beach. Opening late-May, the restaurant will offer a new menu and an updated look with new furniture/tables. The view – Lake Tahoe – is just 50 feet and a world away.
Tahoe Beach & Ski Club is in its third year of a five year renovation. Recent improvements include new kitchenette floor plans to create a more spacious feel along with energy efficient appliances, granite bar and countertops and solid wood cabinetry. The bedrooms include new furniture, mattresses, bedding/ duvet covers, nightstands, lighting and Tahoe-centric photography from local artists.
The great outdoors is also part of the renaissance. The U.S. Forest Service is planning an $8 million remodel of Camp Richardson Resort Campground that will reduce water quality impacts and traffic congestion as well as upgrade the campground and day-use facilities, and improve parking for the popular recreation area.
Avalon Lodge, just two blocks from the beach and Heavenly Village has completely renovated and redesigned its 20 boutique hotel-style rooms with contemporary amenities including luxurious beds with plush mattresses, comforters and linens. The bath is stocked with personal care products, oversized towels and attractive tile designs. Fireplaces add warmth and ambiance for all occasions.
For real time updates on events, promotions, packages, conditions and events in Tahoe South, The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TahoeSouth, Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TahoeSouth, YouTube: www.youtube.com/LTVA. For Tahoe South information: 1-800-288-2463 or www.tahoesouth.com.