Environmental Stewardship – NTCA
What to Know About New Parking Requirements and the Easiest Ways to Get Around This Winter

Sat | Jan 6, 2024

What to Know About New Parking Requirements and the Easiest Ways to Get Around This Winter

Recently, the Mountaineer Celebrated its Fifth Anniversary and Impact and Influence on Lake Tahoe’s Transportation Solutions. The cumulative effort of all Tahoe/Truckee microtransit services lakewide has provided rides to over 1,269,235 passengers (from December 1, 2018 through Nov. 28, 2023).

Learn more about transportation options this winter below.

Whether headed to work, running errands, or going to a favorite place to recreate, sitting in traffic will undoubtedly put a damper on the experience. That’s why public and private entities in North Lake Tahoe are all focused on finding and implementing ways to reduce traffic congestion throughout the region. This winter, new and untested programs, as well as long-standing initiatives will be used to try to help solve our traffic, parking and transportation problems.

For them to work, it will require active use and participation by residents, visitors, local businesses and their employees. Our cumulative efforts to make use of parking reservations, park and ride, carpooling, and free public transportation options has the potential to make a difference for us all.

Here’s what to know about new parking management and reservation requirements and the easiest ways to get around this winter:

Resorts Implement New Parking Reservation Requirements

To help ease traffic congestion on area roadways and elongate the arrival times of resort guests during peak periods, both Northstar California and Palisades Tahoe will require parking reservations on weekends and holidays before 1 p.m. While some are paid, many are free.

Learn more about resort-specific parking plans and be sure to book parking reservations in advance; there are penalties for parking without a reservation when they are required:

Additionally, be aware that Placer County has been contracted to conduct parking enforcement within the Olympic Valley, Alpine Meadows, and Northstar communities to discourage unauthorized parking on residential streets and where parking reservations are required. Vehicles without valid resort parking reservations will be cited, and fine amounts will escalate for each additional violation. Find the fee schedule here.

Free On-Demand Microtransit Services Are Offered Daily

On the North and West Shores from Incline Village to Tahoma, TART Connect offers free, on-demand door-to-door shuttle service daily from 8 a.m. to midnight starting December 14. No transfer is needed in Carnelian Bay to connect to other zones, and shuttles are dog-friendly and have ski racks. Book rides using the TART Connect app or by calling (530) 553-0653.

To get from lakeside communities to Northstar or Palisades Tahoe, TART Connect riders can transfer to mainline TART buses which run routes to the resorts hourly. View route schedules online and download the Transit app for real-time arrival estimates. This is a great way to get to the resorts if you don’t have a parking reservation!

In Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows, Mountaineer’s free on-demand service will operate with 9-passenger, dog-friendly vans equipped with ski/snowboard racks between December 8, 2023 and April 7, 2024 as follows:

  • Daily in Olympic Valley from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., with service until 2 a.m. during WinterWonderGrass (April 5-7, 2024). Early morning service will also be offered beginning at 5 a.m. for the World Cup, Feb. 22-25, 2024.
  • Thursday through Monday in Alpine Meadows from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with additional service offered on Tuesday and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 19-20, Dec. 26-27, 2023 and Feb. 20–21, 2024.
  • Daily between Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Passengers can request rides through the Mountaineer app, which is free to download in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Inter-valley transportation will continue to be provided between the two Palisades Tahoe base areas by the Base to Base Gondola, which operates daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Carpool and Use Free Winter Park & Ride Service

This season, Palisades Tahoe and Northstar California have teamed up with the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association to offer free Park & Ride shuttles from locations in Truckee and Tahoe City on weekends:

To get to Palisades Tahoe, park at either:

To get to Northstar California, park at:

Choose Park & Ride to avoid parking reservations, cut down on fuel emissions and save some money at the gas pump!

Other Ways to Get Around

Heading to Palisades Tahoe from the West Shore on the weekend? The resort will resume its seasonal Sherwood Shuttle for those traveling to the resort from the West Shore this winter. Set to begin operations on weekends when the Sherwood lift starts spinning on the Alpine side of the resort, guests will be able to park in the Sunnyside lot and catch a free shuttle to the back side of Alpine. Weather and conditions permitting, the first shuttle leaves at 8:30 a.m. and the last shuttle returns at 4 p.m. Ticket, pass, or confirmation of a pre-purchased lift ticket is required to ride. Check here for schedule updates.

Lake Tahoe Stewardship Plan Draws National Attention

Mon | Oct 23, 2023

Lake Tahoe Stewardship Plan Draws National Attention

The multi-jurisdictional development of the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan and efforts to educate visitors about how to help take care of Tahoe has drawn the attention of national media outlets, including CNN Travel and Comstock’s in recent weeks.

Yes, Tahoe Has a Tourism Problem
Moonshine Ink
Megan Michelson 
October 12, 2023

Saving Lake Tahoe
Ashleigh Goodwin
September 11, 2023

The monster that feeds and eats away at Lake Tahoe
CNN Travel
Kimberley Lovato
September 7, 2023

In addition, in early August, NTCA president and CEO Tony Karwowski, Travel North Tahoe Nevada president and CEO Andy Chapman, and Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority CEO Carol Chaplin penned the joint op-ed you’ll find below. This op-ed was recently published in the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

To Take Care of Tahoe, Everyone Has a Role to Play.

By Tony Karwowski, Andy Chapman, and Carol Chaplin

Recent news stories have highlighted some of the impacts of tourism in Tahoe. While some of the efforts underway to help reduce human impacts and shift behaviors are mentioned, those stories rarely emphasize how reliant Tahoe’s economy is on tourism. After all, it is what supports local businesses and puts many of our friends and neighbors to work. Stories about tourism also rarely talk about how everyone has a role to play. Locals — “long-time residents” or “community members”, as one contributing writer recently said, have just as much responsibility as those who visit to change their behaviors and help take care of Tahoe.

For decades, Lake Tahoe’s local economy has relied on visitors and the many businesses that provide lodging, food and beverage service, and year-round outdoor recreation opportunities. Although the region had a robust tourism economy prior to 2020, the pandemic shifted how, when and where people spent time in Tahoe.

According to a report released by Dean Runyon Associates in March 2022, second homeowners came and stayed with greater frequency, and overnight visitation declined in favor of day visits by those located within an easy drive. This is common knowledge at this point, felt by all who lived here prior to and through the pandemic.

What is less understood, however, is that as a result, travel spending declined by nearly 12%. Local job opportunities declined by 16%, and it diminished tax revenues that are used to reinvest in community infrastructure by 12%. The increase in day visit traffic also highlighted the glaring limitations of our existing infrastructure — from transportation to trash.

Lake Tahoe has always been a desirable destination to live, work and play. Visiting Tahoe is perhaps what inspired so many of us to move here. That’s why we continue to do everything we can to make a living and keep calling it “home.” It’s also why there’s agreement that there’s more to be done to take care of this special place, and why our organizations have shifted their efforts from destination marketing to destination management and stewardship.

Lake Tahoe is not a national park, and therefore cannot “close the gates.” The Tahoe Basin is located within National Forest lands that are open to the public, so telling people not to come is not possible. Residents and visitors are equally welcome to recreate in Tahoe and enjoy all the region has to offer. The paradigm shift that’s needed is for everyone — whether you live here part-time, full-time, or are visiting — to help take care of Tahoe. That means practicing leave no trace principles, changing your own behaviors by getting out of the car and making use of paved and dirt trails, using public transportation options or carpooling whenever possible, and supporting local businesses.

An extensive stakeholder engagement and community visioning process began in early 2022 after our community felt the challenges initially brought on by the pandemic. Unlike other communities trying to create similar plans after experiencing similar challenges, the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan represents an unprecedented collaboration of 17 regional organizations from different jurisdictions. It includes the formation of the first destination stewardship council that represents the greater Tahoe region, outlines a comprehensive framework, and sets in motion action priorities to better manage outdoor recreation and tourism. Its goals also include ensuring the sustainability and preservation of an iconic natural treasure and its local community. 

Our goal has always been to support our local communities by ensuring a thriving economy that includes tourism. Many of those who visit are already familiar with our destination, so our current messaging is focused on responsible travel and stewardship education. Prior to the pandemic, but even more so now, encouraging people to spend time lakeside in the winter and at the resorts in the summer, as well as travel during off-peak periods, are strategies used to help mitigate human impacts.

There’s not a single solution or a single entity that can solve regional challenges, but the collective, collaborative efforts of many are already making progress.

Introducing the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan

Tue | Jun 20, 2023

Introducing the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan

Lake Tahoe destination management, land management, and non-profit organizations launched the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan by signing an agreement to create the first destination stewardship council for the greater Tahoe region. The plan outlines a comprehensive framework and sets in motion action priorities to better manage outdoor recreation and tourism and to ensure the sustainability and preservation of an iconic natural treasure and its local community. 

The plan’s vision and actions were developed in collaboration with 17 regional organizations and the participation of over 3,000 residents, visitors, and businesses through surveys, interviews, and workshops. By implementing this plan, member organizations and Lake Tahoe communities will reinforce their commitment to responsible recreation and tourism practices, ensuring the continued enjoyment of this national treasure for generations to come.

The Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan establishes a shared vision for the region’s recreation and tourism system: A cherished place, welcoming to all, where people, communities, and nature benefit from a thriving tourism and outdoor recreation economy. The plan identifies 32 actions across four strategic pillars:

  • Foster a tourism economy that gives back
  • Turn a shared vision into shared action
  • Advance a culture of caring for the greater Lake Tahoe region
  • Improve the Tahoe experience for all

Learn about the first ever Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan

Register for the virtual workshop on Jul 10, 2023 from 5-7 PM 


What Lake Tahoe Leadership Is Saying

“At its heart, this plan is about taking care of Tahoe for generations to come. With the entire region putting this strategy into action, we will be able to build a sustainable future for the Lake Tahoe environment that everyone can enjoy.”

Amy Berry, CEO, Tahoe Fund

“The launch of the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan represents a significant step forward in preserving the natural beauty and cultural heritage of this beloved destination. It demonstrates the commitment and partnership of the local community, government agencies, and tourism industry to safeguard Lake Tahoe’s future.”

Tony Karwowski, President and CEO, North Tahoe Community Alliance.

“This plan responds to the need to balance a robust tourism economy, a fragile environment and thriving local communities, and the collaboration and commitment by our lakewide partners to achieve that balance is extraordinary and powerful towards achieving our shared vision.”

Carol Chaplin, President and CEO, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

“As the Tahoe region’s primary economic engine, tourism must be nurtured and shaped to support the wellbeing of its communities, visitors, businesses, natural environment, and cultures. It is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard and improve Lake Tahoe and its surrounding lands, tributaries and forests. To protect the quality of the Tahoe experience, it is vital to manage use while providing opportunities for all to enjoy it.”

Erick Walker, Forest Supervisor, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest

“The culmination of this plan and creation of Tahoe’s first destination stewardship council underscore the commitment we all share to a brighter future where the lake, our communities and visitors, and the backbone of our regional economy can thrive together. The diverse makeup of our region has put Lake Tahoe on the forefront of collaborative conservation and today that spirit of partnership is taking us forward to be a model for sustainable recreation and tourism as well.”

Julie Regan, Executive Director, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

The Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan in Action

The Lake Tahoe Stewardship Council will actively engage with stakeholders, residents, and visitors to foster a collective sense of responsibility toward the destination’s sustainability. The plan will be continuously reviewed, updated, and adapted to address emerging challenges and opportunities.

This summer, visitors and residents at Tahoe will see destination stewardship programs in action, including Take Care Ambassadors at recreation sites and trailheads, expanded litter clean-ups, solar compacting trash cans, and coordinated stewardship education campaigns focused on visitors and outdoor recreation users.

What Can You Do To Be A Steward This Summer?

The Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship plan was developed in collaboration with 17 regional organizations including the California Tahoe Conservancy, City of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation, North Tahoe Community Alliance, Placer County, Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, Tahoe Fund, Tahoe Prosperity Center, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Travel North Tahoe Nevada, USDA Forest Service – Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Visit Truckee-Tahoe, Washoe County, Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.

Now Hiring Lake Tahoe Ambassadors

Mon | May 15, 2023

Now Hiring Lake Tahoe Ambassadors

The nonprofit Sierra Nevada Alliance is hiring Lake Tahoe Ambassadors and Program Supervisors for various sites around the Lake Tahoe Basin this summer. Primarily positioned at popular locations around the Lake during the busiest days and hours Thursday through Monday, ambassadors will motivate and inspire community members and visitors to recreate responsibly while enjoying Lake Tahoe’s parks, trails and beaches. High school and college students may be eligible for elective credit for work-based learning experience. Senior citizen docent positions are also available and will provide mentorship with youth. View job descriptions and compensation details and more here.

Apply Today!

About the Sierra Nevada Alliance

Since 1993, the Sierra Nevada Alliance has been working to protect and restore Sierra lands, water and wildlife. The organization manages a variety of service programs, legislative initiatives and community engagement programs to make progress on priorities including climate resiliency, resilient forests, and watershed protection and restoration. Created to be a hub for stewardship, the Sierra Nevada Alliance facilitates the successful ambassador program throughout the Tahoe Basin by empowering and collaborating with partners including the NTCA.

NTCA Launches Community Vitality and Economic Health Investment Program

Fri | May 5, 2023

NTCA Launches Community Vitality and Economic Health Investment Program

The North Tahoe Community Alliance (NTCA) has launched the first phase of its new Community Vitality and Economic Health Investment Program with a call for Letters of Interest (LOI) for sponsorship requiring multi-year investment. The Sponsorship and Multi-Year Investment Program will provide up to $7.2 million in funding for priority projects, programs, and services that require ongoing financial support over the coming three years. Funds will come from Transient Occupancy Tax generated in Eastern Placer County and assessments from the North Lake Tahoe Tourism Business Improvement District (NLT-TBID).

Created to reinvest funds generated locally in support of economic health, community vitality, and environmental stewardship that benefits residents, businesses, and visitors, the NTCA’s Community Vitality and Economic Health Investment Program will consist of four program elements:  Sponsorship and Multi-Year Investment Program, Annual Grant Program, Out of Cycle Investments and a Reserve Fund. The Sponsorship and Multi-Year Program application process is open and will accept submissions until June 15. The Annual Grant Program cycle will open for applications in the fall, and the Out of Cycle Investment process will be offered on an as-needed basis with program details to come for both.

Eligible submissions must fit within one of several categories, including:

  • Workforce housing
  • Economic development 
  • Transportation
  • Sustainability
  • Mitigation of tourism impacts
  • Trails

“The launch of the Community Vitality and Economic Health Investment Program is exciting for a number of reasons. It provides a framework to evaluate projects, programs, and services that TBID and TOT funds generated in our community will be used to support, and it officially kicks off the process by which businesses, nonprofits, regional agencies and others can request funding,” said Tony Karwowski, NTCA president and CEO. “The program also serves as a way to support the destination stewardship responsibilities the NTCA has taken on. We are excited to start receiving submissions and to support investment opportunities that benefit our residents, businesses and visitors.”

Committees convened by the NTCA including the TBID Advisory, TBID Zone 1, TOT committee, and the CAP committee, which is jointly convened by Placer County, will review the LOIs and determine which investment opportunities to consider for sponsorship. The NTCA Board of Directors will consider committee recommendations before taking final action on TBID-funded investment opportunities. They will also recommend TOT-funded investment opportunities to the Placer County Board of Supervisors for their consideration and approval.

“The NTCA’s new Community Vitality and Economic Health Investment Program will help streamline the process by which funding requests are evaluated against our region’s strategic initiatives,” said Cindy Gustafson, Placer County District 5 Supervisor. “I’m pleased that the NTCA has reached this milestone and excited to see the quality of life-enhancing projects, programs and services that will come from this in support of what our residents, businesses and visitors in Eastern Placer County need.”

All proposals must meet minimum program criteria with specific qualifications that include community vitality, economic health, environmental stewardship, budget, organizational capacity, investment readiness and match requirements.

Applicants have until June 15, 2023 to complete the LOI, including a summary, budget, matching funds, schedule, and measures of success as defined by the NTCA and implementing agency.

A hybrid workshop will be held on Friday, May 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach, and online via Zoom for interested applicants to ask questions and learn more about the process and timeline of the grant cycle. Business owners, nonprofits, agencies, and the general public are encouraged to attend and learn more about qualification and applying for sponsorship.

Learn more about the Sponsorship and Multi-Year Investment Program or submit an application for funding consideration here.