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135 River Road | PO Box 1904

Tahoe City, CA 96145

1.650.290.3008

amie@tluxp.com

Balancing our Mindset on the Tahoe Truckee Influx

First and foremost, I want to provide a disclaimer: I am a luxury real estate agent in Lake Tahoe.
Some of you may read this and think my mindset and motives are only to further my own
success by selling houses to buyers who will use it as their second home. Hell, many of you
might even say I’m part of the problem. That is your prerogative and I welcome your thoughts,
opinions, and challenges to this opinion piece.

For those of you who know me, you know how deeply involved I am in this community. Helping
locals achieve the goal of homeownership has been embedded in me since I first received my
handy dandy little real estate license in the mail back in 2014. I have hosted numerous (and
complimentary) first time home buying seminars, assisted many locals in their home
purchases, spearheaded the initiative for the ADU white paper by the Mountain Housing
Council, and have always been an advocate for the people who call Tahoe and Truckee home.
At the end of the day, I truly care about this community and what happens to it.
But lately, I have been hearing, reading, and experiencing what I consider to be a dangerous
mentality and I want to share my thoughts on it. This is, again, solely my opinion and I
recognize it may be an unpopular one amongst locals.

As we all know, the real estate and rental market landscape has shifted quite dramatically since
the lockdown. Understandably so, people living in high-density areas who may be trapped in
very small apartments or flats, are now shifting their focus to low-density areas.
That makes a ton of sense when you really start to think about it. If you lived in a 500 square
foot apartment in Oakland and for months, the most meaningful exercise you could get was a
walk around the block, wouldn’t you, too, be seeking refuge?
Now, think about this: What if the company you worked for offered you a fully remote position?
Would you stay cooped up in your high rise apartment, or would you go to your second home
in Tahoe, to a place where you had more freedom to be in nature? A home that you had always
attempted to spend more time in but previously couldn’t do so because of your demanding
work schedule.

I will be honest with you. If I had a second home on the beach during those first few months of
quarantine, I would definitely be splitting my time.
For those reasons, I understand why people are seeking refuge in Tahoe. Now, don’t get me
wrong, I understand the other side of the argument and being that my family and I live here,
too, I share the same concerns.

I understand that people are bringing the virus up to Tahoe.

I understand that people are being irresponsible in many ways.

I understand that it is frightening for you and your family when you see visitors not wearing a
mask.

I’m in the same boat. I feel those same feelings and share those same fears. But we can’t close
Tahoe while also reaping the benefits of a thriving economy.
I fear the divide between locals and visitors is only growing deeper.
Our economy thrives on tourism and is incredibly dependent on it. Without it, we simply can’t
survive. March, April, and May were a stark reminder of that.

So we need tourism to survive, we desperately needed tourism when it wasn’t happening, and
now that it is here, we are upset, too?
There has to be a balance. We have to work on finding a balance because the constant
narrative of hating people from out of town is exhausting.

Lately, I’ve seen harassing comments {on Truckee Tahoe People} from locals to people who are
planning to move up to Tahoe full-time. I really can’t wrap my head around that.
I know very few people who grew up in and stayed in the Tahoe Truckee area. So aren’t we all,
to some degree, transplants?

I moved here from the bay area 10+ years ago and perhaps my ego is getting the best of me
when I say this, but I feel like I am a positive, contributing member to this community. Am I just
another bay area transplant or have I earned my right to be a Tahoe local?
Many of my friends own local businesses and very few of them grew up in Tahoe. Does that
mean that they are not worthy of being considered a local because they, too, were a transplant
at one time?

I think we should be embracing people who want to call this place home full-time. Each person
brings their own unique set of ideas, opinions, beliefs, innovation, and exciting stories to share.
Why are we so quick to judge when new people decide to make the move here? Weren’t we in
those same shoes at one time?

Hearing locals close the door on new, full-time residents is so disheartening for me. Do we all
have some type of unearned chip on our shoulder because we have lived here longer?
Although I recognize there are vast differences between asylum-seeking families and people
fleeing from the bay area, the basic premise feels eerily similar to me. Many families from the
bay area are protecting their children and, like us, would do anything to keep them safe.
Moving to a low a density area to many feels like the safest thing they can do to protect their
families and yet, here we are, not even giving them a chance because “we were here first”.
That isn’t the Truckee Tahoe way.

What if we embraced change, welcomed our new residents, and let them flourish here? What if
we encouraged them to work alongside our current local population to create or expand on
new and already existing businesses?
Where is the balance?

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Amie Quirarte

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