Lake Tahoe Camping: 'Body-to-Body' over 4th
Independence Day meant a lot of people had a four-day weekend and that was great news for tourism up at Lake Tahoe. About 15,000 people spent the 4th of July on the beach at Zephyr Cove, KTVN-TV, Reno, reported.
It's estimated that more than 100,000 people visited South Tahoe for at least three nights, during the holiday weekend.
"It's nice to see the people that are coming back to Lake Tahoe," Mike Heath, Zephyr Cove Resort Sales Manager said. "A few years ago, it was a little bit slow around here and it's exciting that Americans are getting out to be able to see what's in their own country."
Heath says the resort's watercraft and property was all rented out on the Fourth of July.
"Everything was booked including our boats," Heath said. "We had three sellout boats out there, so it was great. And also we have 27 beautiful lakeside cabins over here."
The extra visitors also meant hotels, restaurants, and other places were packed.
"The camping was body-to-body," Mike Frye, of Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority said. "The campgrounds were full, all the RVs were in the RV park, people had their tents up."
The Bureau of Economic Analysis says nationwide spending on travel and tourism is up 6.8% in the first quarter of this year.
"In our case, because we are so tourism oriented, our business is up between 20% and 30%, depending on what sector you're in," Frye said.
If each visitor spent $100 a day for three days, it means $30 million in economic impact to the south shore.
"Tahoe's been down for the last four or five years and we're seeing an uprise in rates, rooms, and the visitors in the town," Eric Eymann, Best Western Plus Station House Inn general manager said. "You can see the traffic going better and the restaurants better."
Hotel managers say this is the best weekend they've had since the recession nearly crippled the tourism industry.
A year ago, Station House Inn still had rooms available on Independence Day.
"Last year, I was more worried about just covering employees and mortgage. Everybody else was put on hold. This year, we're back to normal."
Officials say they're hoping this is a sign of things to come for the next couple years for Lake Tahoe's tourism industry. Eymann says he's already got half of his rooms booked for next 4th of July.