Family REC Lake Tahoe

How Long will corona Virus Shut down Effect Travel to Lake Tahoe?

Lake Tahoe beach
Written by sierrarecmagazine

South Tahoe Beach Cooridor Closed til at least May 15th

Covid -19 Shut down already claims 4th of July Fireworks show in Incline Village

“The mountain town you love needs you to love it from a safe distance,” said Chaplin. “Stay home, stay healthy and we’ll see you when it’s safe to travel again.”

Sierra Rec Magazine – Lake Tahoe, April 20, 2020 – Summer in Lake Tahoe is a family tradition for millions each summer, yet this year we all stand in wait for notice that we can expect normalcy in our lives and plans as summer 2020 approaches. What will we have access to? When will we get to enjoy the Tahoe summer? What is happening with our favorite events? Can we enjoy the Wilderness?

This last weekend, we were notified that Incline Village has canceled their annual 4th of July Celebration and fire works show, that coincides with the shut down of South Lake Tahoe’s Beaches and the Camp Richardson Visitor Corridor.

“The amount of people that come up for the events and head to the beach is where we are concerned,” says Andy Chapman, CEO of the visitor bureau. “We see thousands of people on the beach throughout the days leading up to the Fourth of July. With those crowds and given the current situation with COIVD-19, we’re not sure where we might be in a few months.”

As far as the fireworks displays in South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe City, Kings Beach, organizers have not canceled any events. As of today the American Century Gold Tournament is still planning on a tournament July 7-12

Of Course the American Century Tournament attracts a record numbers of spectators, 91 celebrities last year for the week, and international media exposure for Tahoe South, the financial impact of the latest American Century Championship has been estimated at $30 million.

“The massive impact on lodging, dining, activities, events, gaming, entertainment, shopping, airport activity, non-profit organizations, and myriad businesses directly and indirectly involved with the event is proven,” said Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “Additionally, as a result of network television, national and social media coverage, the event positively reflects the
community’s singular vibe and personality and confirms the branding and reputation of Lake Tahoe as a premier destination.”

Yet this last week South Lake Tahoe was given authority to hand out fines of $1000 to visitors who are currently in South Lake Tahoe with out essential purpose and in the recreation corridor fines between $5,000 to $10,000 have been authorized for accessing or gathering on the public beaches and the Camp rich and Taylor creek regions.

The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, representing California and Nevada on the South Shore, is encouraging visitors to reschedule non-essential travel for a later date when health officials determine it’s safe. While there are no cases of COVID-19 in South Lake Tahoe, health experts and government officials have ordered no public gatherings, school, and tourism-related closures and are highly recommending self-quarantine practices and social distancing at this time.

“This is something I thought I’d never have to say throughout my tourism career, but please stay home at this time,” said Carol Chaplin, CEO and president of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “The safety of our visitors and locals alike is of utmost importance, and in order to combat this pandemic, we all need to do our part so we can enjoy the destination we love sooner. Once it is deemed safe by the health experts, we can welcome you with open arms and will be joining you.”

Within the last week businesses surrounding South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Stateline, Nev., have been making the difficult but necessary decisions of canceling/rescheduling special events, fundraisers, meetings/conventions and gatherings. In addition, numerous hotels, all Stateline casinos, bars, wineries, ski resorts, restaurants (excluding take out services), are closed anywhere from two to four weeks, or until further notice.

South lake Tahoe pier

While Lake Tahoe’s natural geography makes social distancing possible with its many outdoor activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, trails, bike paths, beaches, etc., the impact of visitors on a small community would quickly overwhelm existing resources and risk lives with the limited capacity of health facilities. For current information, preventative recommendations, and updates visit

“The mountain town you love needs you to love it from a safe distance,” said Chaplin. “Stay home, stay healthy and we’ll see you when it’s safe to travel again.”

As of two weeks ago California was still targeting a mid May relaxing of the Covid -19 lockdown, however in the past week numbers have shown that California may still not have peaked and now expects mid May to be around a peak season for the outbreak. So is Memorial day weekend travel in jeopardy? It would seem with the federal government giving control of the pandemic shut down back to the governors that these decisions and notices will start to come out soon as the economic impacts of summer tourism start to challenge the crisis management of the Covid-19 virus outbreak and its impact on small rural communities such as Lake Tahoe.

Perhaps we will see signs of relaxed rules on travel and outdoor access to camping and hiking trails as well as the ability to book travel to Vacation Homes, but still see large events such as fourth of July canceled and events such as the American Century played this year with out the fans on the course.

Or maybe, by July things will relax a bit further and events like Summer Concerts and Casino action will return with some new guidelines for crowd controls. Only time will tell as our local communities and local governments now face uncertain times and extreme public pressure to do what is right in the best interest of the majority and with an eye on a future.

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