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Demography and Economy

Basin Topics > Demography and Economy

The Socio-Economics of the Lake Tahoe Basin encompasses a wide range of issues including: the state of the Lake Tahoe Basin’s economy, demography, community design, and the social well-being of the residents. The consideration of Socio-Economics(SE) is necessary to understanding the linkage between environmental regulation, economic activities and the community. To date there has been little formal research and analysis of SE topics and issues on a basin-wide scale. In order to provide more informed management and policy development, it is critical to understand the dynamics of Lake Tahoe Basin’s social and economic environments.
[Photo]: Skier on snow-covered slope.   Copyright: Heavenly Mountain Resort - click for more informationThe Tahoe Basin is influenced by a number of factors both within the region, and outside. Several influencing factors must be considered and analyzed when discussing the socio-economic environment of the Lake Tahoe Basin.
• Part-time residents: The Lake Tahoe Basin includes two very distinct groups of part-time residents: a relatively high-income group associated with the many vacation homes located within the Lake Tahoe Basin; and a second group that includes the relatively lower-income wage earners, consisting primarily of seasonal workers in the tourism and recreation industry.
• Regional Growth: Significant population shifts are occurring in the surrounding regions of Northern California and Nevada. The suburban regions of both Sacramento and San Francisco continue to grow, as well as the over-all populations of Reno and Carson City. These demographic and geographic changes will impact travel to and within the Lake Tahoe Basin.
• National Economy: As a tourism based economy, the Tahoe Basin is responsive to significant changes in the country’s over-all economic trends. Economic performance, strength of the dollar and gas prices will affect the disposable income of Americans to which leisure activities are ultimately tied.
Current conditions indicate that the primary source of economic activity in the Lake Tahoe Basin is generated by the following businesses related to tourism:
Accommodation and food services
• Retail trade • Arts
• Entertainment • Recreation