Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tahoe Rental Picture Part II

.....Lets start the vacation rental year with the Christmas holiday instead of January 1. After a quiet fall with some weekend rentals in Sept. and Oct. the renters stay away from Tahoe until Christmas week except for Thanksgiving and maybe some Dec. weekends if the ski areas get open. But its quiet until Bang!....Christmas time and a full week rental at top dollar followed by New Years Eve and another full week at top dollar. Then a normal weekend and then MLK and a three night weekend, more weekends through January into Feb. until spring break hits and you may get a full week or two at the end of Feb. Weekend rentals will mostly be the norm until about mid April and then dry up. The Tahoe vacation renters disappear again for the most part until June and maybe they will come up for a weekend here and there until the 4th of July and then its mayhem again. If you own a lean-to in Tahoe you should be able to rent it. North Tahoe must triple its population on the week of the 4th. My guess would be that 30,000 people come to north Tahoe this week. After the 4th, you can count on some good business for all of the summer until Labor day weekend and then will start the cycle over with some weekend rentals in the Fall until Christmas.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tahoe City Building Permits

Talked to the building department today and they are fresh out of new construction allocations. (an allocation is issued first then a permit after the project is approved) This applies to Placer County around the lake. There were 45 avail. and 45 are spoken for. Now the kind lady on the phone said that those that do not get their project submitted(or approved?) by June 27th may lose them. So checking with them after this date could be productive. This limit does not apply to additions or remodels.

Locals Insight

Yeah, I'm a local I'm proud to say and here's a couple of things you may appreciate that I sure do. Maybe not quite secrets but more like insight. First, as of March 25th Alpine Meadows will be selling full season spring passes-good 'til they close. This year it might be an earlier season if we don't get more snow but I bet mother nature isn't finished yet. Whats also good about it is that the $129 is good towards a full pass next year. If we get some snow we could go into May at Alpine........

Next are two favorites for food. First, right smack and and in the middle of downtown is Java Stop. Refreshingly, they have $1 12 oz. coffees, sandwhiches, bagels, roll-ups- healthy type stuff, wheatgrass shakes etc. But what I like is the hole-in-the-wall, 10 foot wide self-serve space. Much preferred in my own tastes to the glitz and sensory overload of those Star people that sell some kind of acidic brew of brown stuff. Next is pizza, I dig pizza....I've eaten slices on the street all over Italy and in NYC like the original Ray's on Broadway, for that matter, if you're really into it there's whole site dedicated to NYC slices guessed it: Thin crust is the way to go but sauce matters too. To satisfy my pizza craving I like Front Street Station. Located on the Truckee River in Tahoe City across from Chevron in the old ski rental building, best marked by the vintage green and red Truck parked out front that says.....yep "Front Street" on the side. When the weather is warm you can eat outside just above the river, they pipe music outside and you can have a beer there too, not a bad place to hang out........

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Understanding the vacation rental picture

I spent a full year working for a rental company in Tahoe City when I first got my license and own a vacation rental property myself in Carnelian Bay. North Tahoe is a unique enviroment for vacation rental owners and renters both due to the demand and amenities that often are available to renters like beach access. North Tahoe compared to South Lake has fewer hotels-far fewer available beds to meet the demand of the big ski weekends and holidays like the 4th of July. Many home homeowners associations offer beach access, pools and things for kids to do. This is a big appeal. Frankly, the hotel experience in North Tahoe is pretty lacking.

First and foremost owning a vacation rental is exactly like owning a business, the product is providing shelter. So lets understand this business of a Tahoe Vacation Rental.

I. The demographic or the client: Primarily we draw renters from Northern California with Sacramento and the Bay area being the biggest entities. People come to Tahoe from Sacramento, Granite Bay, Folsom, Mill Valley, San Francisco, the peninsula, Marin, Contra Costa, Fairfield, Pleasanton, San Jose, Santa Cruz and Reno all the time! In the summer they will mostly be families coming up for a week for a vacation in July and August. In the summer, Tahoe will also be a So-Cal and national destination for the same reason. In the winter, we will primarily draw from Northern California weekend skiers and to an even lesser degree in the areas of So-Cal and the rest of the country. This crowd is often younger then the summer crowd. They will also stay shorter-often only Friday and Sat. nights. So nightly minimums are key in the winter. You can shoot yourself in the foot by having a 7 night minimum in the winter!

...more to come

Friday, March 16, 2007

Spring Has Sprung

Wow! What a time since around Feb 22. It started to snow, and then the storms got bigger and bigger, look at the storm totals at It was famine to Feast. Time to put away the rock boards and get out the Spatulas-although old they are still a lot of fun in the deep stuff. Scetchy though on the ice where the fluff was scoured off. It was a good time but traffice was a disaster around the weekend of the 25th of Feb. 4 hours to get from Tahoe City to Truckee!

Now we have been on to 60 degree days and sunshine for the last week until monday. Its been so hot the snow is melting fast and now the fear is the areas will not be able to stay open into May as the norm. Spring skiing though has been fun and the snow has been corning up nicely.

I think that with the snow came some North Tahoe real estate activity as well. I know that my own business saw a nice bump in the last month. I had a client ask me about the big Tuesday sell of in the stock market as he was about to write an offer. He wanted to know how it affected our market. I told him that part of the sell off was due to a computer glitch but the genuine part of the sell off only bolstered my faith in Tahoe City real estate as a sound investment. I think we've found our bottom and we'll see a healthy return to buying this summer. If the Fed cuts it will help.

Last weekend I was able to watch the skier cross event of the Honda Snow tour. I happend to be standing at the bottom to watch the two finalists crash. I heard in that last heat of four another pair crashed at the top. Watching those guys take air of the bumps was pretty amazing.
But I still haven't been able to find out who won if anybody knows. I have yet been able to get their website open. Some problem with mozilla/adobe flash.

Rain/sleet/drizzle is supposed to roll in Monday, it will be interesting to see how the spring goes and if there's any winter left. I could stand a few more powder days at Squaw and have yet to hit Alpine this year.