Officials in the Lake Tahoe region are asking non-primary homeowners to stay at their primary residence to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Jeffrey Hentz, CEO of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, said it's difficult to ask those who support their economy not to visit now, but they want to limit the exposure as much as possible. "We're encouraging and emphasizing that your primary residence is your shelter in place location. That's where you should be."
Tourism is dwindling as result of the statewide shelter in place order. "Every few days we get a notification that another business has decided to close," Hentz said.
In an effort to still show support for local businesses during the pandemic, the association is encouraging non-primary residents and visitors to buy gift cards to use at a later date and send messages of support through social media.
"We have to keep in mind that our community is what keeps our businesses open and thriving," said Hentz. "Without that, we don't have a destination."
Some other ways to help Tahoe-area small businesses are to participate in a virtual reality field trip or tour, livestream an exercise class or donate to the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe's COVID-19 Relief Efforts or the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation's Emergency Response Fund.
The travel and leisure industries comprise over 60% of the jobs in North Lake Tahoe, with visitor spending averages over $835 million annually.
Visit California already anticipates a statewide tourism loss of over $10 billion in revenue and a loss of 554,000 jobs this year.