League to Save Lake Tahoe staff have been working with the Tahoe South Events Center proponents, TRPA and other stakeholders since the New Year to advocate that the project include better protections for the community and Lake Tahoe environment. With the changes presented at today’s TRPA Governing Board meeting, we are now comfortable that the Events Center plan includes adequate and enforceable safeguards for the Lake and the South Shore community to prevent unwanted impacts, such as more traffic, increased parking strain and pollution.
The League is pleased to see that the changes we advocated for have been included in the project. The project now includes a fully coordinated parking management plan for the Stateline casino core and a microtransit shuttle program serving the South Shore from Stateline to Al Tahoe, each backed by performance and adaptive management measures to ensure targets are being met. If they are not, the plan has a dedicated funding source to fix its transportation impacts.
However, the League neither opposes nor supports the project. We don’t object to the project in its current state, but we do object to the process, which failed to adequately include public input, require safeguards to protect the community and environment, or coordinate with other project planning efforts, such as the Mainstreet Management Plan and Highway 50 Loop Road Project. It also relied on analysis that left significant amounts of uncertainty regarding traffic impacts, creating a shaky foundation for a project of this scale.
It’s only because of direct engagement from the League and other stakeholders, as well a very unique set of circumstances, that the project has improved significantly. This environmental review and approval process must not become a model for future projects anywhere in Tahoe.
The proponents deserve credit for changing elements of their plan based on input from the League and others. Now, with an expanded public transit component and strong accountability measures, the project not only holds great economic promise for the South Shore community, it will lay a foundation that we can build on to improve transportation in the Stateline casino core in the future.
News coverage - "TRPA approves 6000 seat Tahoe South Event Center," SouthTahoeNow.com
The Tahoe South Events Center is an exciting, 6,000-seat, multi-purpose meeting and events venue to be built in the parking lot of the Montbleu casino at Stateline. It was approved by the TRPA Governing Board on March 25, 2020. Construction could begin as soon as May 2020 with doors potentially opening in spring 2022. On January 13, 2020, an Environmental Assessment for the project was released publicly, which left many unanswered questions concerning the project's impacts on traffic and parking at Stateline. Given the scale of the project and its potential impacts to the South Shore and Lake Tahoe's natural environment, the League's policy experts worked closely with project proponents, TRPA and the California Attorney General's office to ensure safeguards were in place to protect the community and Keep Tahoe Blue.