North Lake Tahoe Business Association’s Passport to Dining on Nov. 2
By: Zoe Myers, Sierra Sun
Grab your passports and prepare for an adventure right here in North Tahoe. Join North Tahoe Business Association for Passport to Dining on Thursday, Nov. 2, from 6- 9 p.m.
Indulge in a delightful and entertaining experience of unlimited tastings, with an array of up to 30 tasting stations featuring restaurants, caterers, breweries, and wineries. While savoring these tastings, attendees also have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets and bid on items and packages in the silent auction.
The auction and raffle are renowned as some of the best in North Lake Tahoe, offering enticing Northern California Getaway Packages and other valuable items.
“It brings everyone together in one room. The customers, the employees, the businesses. The whole of everybody,” said Alyssa Reilly, Executive Director, NTBA.
The event will be held at the North Tahoe Event Center, located at 8318 N Lake Blvd, Kings Beach. Advance tickets are priced at $60 and grant access to unlimited tastings in a responsible manner. Please note, tickets are available for guests aged 21 and above, and a valid ID will be required upon arrival. Your ticket purchase also includes a special commemorative wine glass. Only advance tickets will be available for the year 2022, and total tickets sold will be capped at 350, so be sure to secure yours early. Visit Eventbrite.com to purchase your tickets.
Passport to Dining is NTBA’s largest annual fundraiser as a non-profit organization. Each year, NTBA carefully selects a non-profit partner to whom they donate the proceeds. This year, they have chosen the Tahoe Truckee School of Music, an organization with a mission to cultivate life skills and nurture a sense of community through music, welcoming individuals of all ages, regardless of their musical experience, abilities, or financial means. The remaining money goes back to NTBA.
“We break even. Our events are where we make money to then survive to do everything,” Reilly said.
Reilly started working at the North Tahoe Business Association in June of 2019, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. For Reilly, witnessing the impact of COVID on local businesses was truly heart-wrenching.
Every business owner has an immense passion for what they do, which made the struggle all the more palpable. It became evident during the pandemic how many of the local businesses were not equipped for an online presence.
“We don’t exist without businesses. If there’s no businesses, there’s no business association,” Reilly said.
Even now, many local businesses are still in the process of recovery. This year marks the first time there’s been a return to some semblance of normalcy.
As a South Lake Tahoe native, Reilly holds a deep affection for the lake, its surrounding communities, and its residents.
“My favorite part of my job is engaging with the community whether that be business owners or individual community members,” Reilly continues, “I love listening, learning, and trying things. My staff joke around that I never say no. If it’s what the community wants and needs, I want to do it.”
The Economic Vitality Committee at North Tahoe Business Association takes a holistic approach, considering the entire community and never saying no. Unlike towns with mayors, North Lake has supervisors as the governing authority. Because North Tahoe isn’t officially incorporated, Kings Beach, Carnelian Bay, Crystal Bay, and Tahoe Vista lack the direct decision-making power that Truckee or South Lake possess. So, NTBA serves as the intermediary, acting as a vocal advocate for the community.
The prospect of North Lake becoming incorporated has been a topic of much discussion. If brought to fruition, the revenue generated in North Lake would ideally stay within the community rather than being dispersed county-wide. Given that North Lake generates a significant portion of the county’s income, it’s disheartening for Reilly not to have a say in how it’s allocated. With full control, NTBA could implement vital initiatives like public transportation and workforce housing.
“Our dedication to community issues is just as strong as our commitment to businesses,” Reilly said.
One pressing issue the NTBA has tackled is the abundance of summer cars clogging North Tahoe neighborhoods, particularly in Kings Beach. It’s reached a point where it’s become unlivable and difficult to navigate. During summer months, Reilly receives emails daily about issues ranging from trash disposal to tailgating. Through collaborative efforts, NTBA has made strides in partnering with Clean Tahoe to address these concerns.
In addition, NTBA worked with the county to improve parking enforcement, ensuring that visitors aren’t encroaching on residential spaces. Many visitors are day-trippers and don’t necessarily contribute to local businesses, so finding ways to engage and appeal to these individuals has become a priority.