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Here's how new stay-at-home orders are impacting South Lake Tahoe's winter tourism

Mayor Tamara Wallace is worried about how local businesses will be impacted by the upcoming stay-at-home orders.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Harry Sandhu, an owner of Stateline Brewery and Restaurant in South Lake Tahoe, said new stay-at-home restrictions would impact his business, but he's most concerned for his employees.   

"(It's the) Time of the year they make a lot of money, lots of tips," Sandhu said. 

South Lake Tahoe Mayor Tamara Wallace said, as a leader, the orders this time around have been especially confusing. 

"It's a weird nuance of all this because restaurants and lodging are closed," Wallace said. "However, ski resorts are still open and yet people are not supposed to travel here."  

The Greater Sacramento Region, which includes Sacramento, Yolo and Placer counties will move into the state's stay-at-home orders starting at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. The region could exit out of the order as early as Jan. 1, 2021.

According to the health guidelines, all lodging accommodations for non-essential travel are to be closed. However, Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, said those closures don't stop people from staying on Tahoe's Nevada side. 

"Where people have been looking forward to finally getting out and going skiing with family and friends, it's gotta be very frustrating because our number one industry is tourism," Chaplin said.   

Tahoe Lake usually reaches 90% capacity during the holiday seasons, and that leaves Chaplin worried for her town and the shops that bring life to the city. 

"We just want them to get through this," Chaplin said. "Lots of business with employees struggling. We're mountain folk. We get by. Can't wait for 2021."  

Chaplin suggested that travelers make day trips rather than stay overnight. Anyone with lodging reservations in Tahoe should immediately call up their hosts, as many stays could be canceled.  Chaplin also recommends that would-be visitors click HERE before traveling to Tahoe Lake.

Duane Wallace, with the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, said the city is divided over the new health order and only time would tell if people follow it. 

"I'm sensing a real resistance this time from the business owners out of concern to feed their families," Wallace said. "As a rep of business, they are just scared to death and very untrusting that the state doesn't have its act together."

WATCH MORE: California's COVID-19 exposure alert tool for smartphones goes live 

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