SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — According to a March 2022 Community Report For The Tahoe Region, two-thirds of respondents say that things in Tahoe are on the wrong track.
The Tahoe Prosperity Center is a non-profit organization that works locally with businesses, community members, and other non-profits to "better the environment, community, and economy for everyone living and working in Tahoe," according to their website.
The Tahoe Prosperity Center promoted their survey on their social media along with the help of other news outlets and local organizations. They managed to receive 1,799 responses between Jan. 5 and Jan. 31.
One question asked was, "Overall, do you feel things in the Lake Tahoe basin are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel things are on the wrong track?"
Results came back with 63% of Lake Tahoe citizens saying it's on the wrong track, 20% said it's on the right track, and 17% had no opinion.
There were 36 respondents who took the Spanish-language version of the survey, and 75% of this group said Tahoe was on the wrong track, compared to 63% of the entire population surveyed.
"We're on the right track to try and to solve problems that every major city, every major jurisdiction is struggling with," Placer County Supervisor and co-chair for The Tahoe Prosperity Center Cindy Gustafson said.
In addition, the survey found that Tahoe’s population today is less white and more diverse than 10 years ago. It became more diverse between 2010 and 2020.
The African American or Black population in the Tahoe region is less than 1%, so there are around 277 people who identify as African American or Black in the Tahoe region, according to the survey. Over the past 10 years, that population added 31 people who identify as Black or African American.
The Asian and Asian American populations also grew over the past 20 years in the Tahoe region with a 23% increase.
However, the total American Indian and Native American populations as well as the total Hispanic and Latino populations took a slight fall between 2010 and 2020 in the Tahoe Region.
In terms of factors that pose a possible threat to the Tahoe region's environment, citizens said that there was too much traffic congestion and lack of transportation options, too many wildfires, and too many vacation rentals or second homes.
Many citizens also don't like the attitudes and behaviors of some tourists, and they think tourism plays a big part in the lack of economic diversity.
Recommendations for the betterment of the Tahoe region's environment include improving the transportation system, reducing traffic and prioritizing local residents over tourists.
"The plan is to invest in a better recreation experience for the visitors," Mayor of South Lake Tahoe Devin Middlebrook said. "We can strike that balance to create a more sustainable system for the region, for our local workforce to thrive, for local businesses to thrive, and for us to have a higher quality of life for our residents."
The Tahoe Prosperity Center hopes to publish a final report of the Envision Tahoe initiative, by late spring of 2022, to promote economic resiliency and diversification, as well as efforts to address the housing crisis within the region.
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