Bay Area developer to manage North Tahoe Event Center
KINGS BEACH, Calif. — A new public-private partnership with a familiar Bay Area developer could lead to renovations and other changes to the North Tahoe Event Center.
The North Tahoe Public Utility District voted July 12 to negotiate a partnership with Laulima Partners for management of the center, which is located on the lake side of Highway 28 in the heart of Kings Beach.
“The ultimate goal would be a partnership that’s beneficial to Laulima and to residents as a whole,” said Loren Holt, NTPUD’s Administrative Manager.
The North Tahoe Event Center, which until now had been managed by the public utility district, has an average annual deficit of about $90,000 in operating costs, according to a news release from the PUD.
“The district has supported community use of that facility at a lower rate than it actually costs to operate,” said Holt.
According to the PUD, San Francisco-based Laulima Partners — the firm that recently took on the commercial redevelopment project at the nearby Ferrari Crown Resort property — would lease the North Tahoe Event Center from the district, by way of a memorandum of understanding.
The district would still own the facility and use the space for public events.
“In their proposal, Laulima said they would take over some of the expenses,” said Holt. “In other words, they’d pay for things like utilities and maintenance.”
According to the company, Laulima would pay all property taxes, insurance premiums, utilities charges and maintenance costs for the event center.
The company is also interested in paying for renovations.
“To do a successful hospitality project, we really thought that we needed to do this,” said David Bouquillon, Managing Partner at Laulima. “We’ve made a big investment in the community already with the Ferrari property.”
Bouquillon said that having a large space to host events, like weddings for instance, is hugely important to hotel businesses like the Crown.
He said Laulima was considering building its own event center on the Ferrari property, but he stumbled upon on the North Tahoe Event Center and started to look into it.
That’s when he found out about the center’s money problems.
“Instead of building our own, we said ‘Hey, how can we help?” he said.
Bouquillon said it was a financial-based decision, because renovating the existing event center would cost Laulima less money than it would for them to build their own.
“But I think it’s a win-win because now the community doesn’t have to pay out of pocket,” Bouquillon said.
And if the community wants to use the space, there still will be a discounted rate offered for locals.
“It’s going to be less expensive than it is today based on our numbers,” he said.
Bouquillon wouldn’t give any specifics about possible renovations, but he did say that since Laulima isn’t proposing any changes to the square footage of the building, there are no plans to provide additional parking.
He added that because Laulima now owns the Ferrari property, they have some flexibility to use that space for parking if needed.
Exact details of how the partnership would work are just beginning to be negotiated and could take several months, according to the PUD.
Bouquillon said once the MOU is completed, Laulima would initiate an environmental review of the building, which would take 60 days.
“We want to hold community meetings and get input. We’re not going to knock it down but it’s a full remodel of the building,” he said.
Christal Park Keegan’s professional experience includes working as an attorney for the National Judicial College in Reno and for the Chapman Law Firm in Northern Nevada.