EnvisionTahoe

Lake Tahoe Basin Prosperity Plan 2.0

How do We Diversify and Strengthen Tahoe’s Economy?

COVID-19 accelerated the shift to remote work, freeing thousands of Bay Area workers and others to relocate in mountain towns. The pandemic also exposed how much the Tahoe Basin’s $5 billion annual economy relies on tourism. Today, the tourism industry accounts for more than 60% of Lake Tahoe’s $5 billion regional economy, up from approximately 40% in 2010. While tourism will always be a mainstay in Tahoe Basin and a vital part of our economic future, relying so heavily on just one industry for our livelihoods and tax base for our schools, healthcare, police and fire is risky. As our economy begins to reopen, it’s the right time to study and take action to diversify our economic base. We have the talent and the means to do so if we join together to focus our collective energies and resources toward this goal.

The Tahoe Recovery and Resiliency Strategy

As a function of working with our many partners to create breakthrough strategies to our housing, broadband and workforce challenges in the Tahoe Basin, the Tahoe Prosperity Center was recently selected by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to facilitate a Regional Economic Recovery and Resiliency Strategy for the people of the Tahoe Basin and received $164,000 in seed capital for the planning and community engagement effort. Since being awarded this crucial funding, Tahoe Prosperity Center has begun putting the economic diversification strategy in motion.

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“Diversifying tourism and recreation-based economies like Tahoe is a decades-old challenge that many communities in the U.S. and abroad have tackled, with some success stories to inspire us.”

The Consulting Team

The Tahoe Prosperity Center issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) and selected Integrated Communications Strategies, LLC (ICS) to engage local business people and associations, concerned citizens, governments, education, environmental and community organizations to develop strategies and tactical action plans to diversify Tahoe’s economic base, backed by the latest data and evidence.

What we’re most looking forward to facilitating in a two-state, five-county region comes directly from ICS:

“Diversifying tourism and recreation-based economies like Tahoe is a decades-old challenge that many communities in the U.S. and abroad have tackled, with some success stories to inspire us. But experience tells us that what works in one community, works in that community precisely because of its unique history, system and political constructs, area leadership, public and private sector actors, the resources available (or not), and sometimes simply good luck or good timing. We believe the diversification strategy for Tahoe in the next three to five years can be inspired by others, but it must be designed and enacted in a way that matches Tahoe’s unique socio-economic context and systems, and include greater equity and inclusion.”

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