INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — As temperatures drop and people begin to gather indoors, officials warn that COVID-19 cases will continue to increase.
With more potential restrictions in the near months, restaurants may have to adapt similarly to how they did in the spring of this year.
In the beginning of the pandemic in March, when restaurants closed and shelves at grocery stores were limited, people began resorting to the roots.
Sourdough starters became the new pet, people stocked up on non-perishables and many tried sprouting roots from veggies they had bought.
Katie Merino, manager of Lake Tahoe Food Bank Garden and board member of Slow Food told the Tribune in April that there has been a huge resurgence in people interested in gardening partially because they are worried about food security, supply chain and are also wanting ways to be more self reliant.
While ordering groceries online also surged, specialty meals from our favorite restaurants couldn’t be replaced. For the restaurants who could, take-out and curbside pickup kept local restaurants afloat and employees working.
According to a press release from the California Restaurant Association in late August, before the pandemic, 1.4 million Californians worked at restaurants; however since March, between 900,000 to 1 million of these workers have either been laid off or furloughed.
In early September, restaurants in El Dorado County were allowed to open limited, indoor seating again after the county moved into the less restrictive orange tier after being in the red for some time.
Now that the seasons are changing and less seating outside will be available, officials worry cases will increase.
In efforts to help curb the hit on local restaurants on the north shore, the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association recently launched Takeout Tahoe, an initiative to support and promote local restaurants through all seasons.
The campaign includes a downloadable guide to help visitors and locals explore over 150 different restaurant options around the area including West Shore, Tahoe City, Carnelian Bay, Tahoe Vista, Kings Beach, Incline Village, Crystal Bay, Northstar, Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows. The guide also includes a list of places for the best spots to enjoy your takeout order.
Along with the North Tahoe EATS Facebook Page, NLTRA is running a contest throughout November and December that will award $150 in restaurant gift cards. Submit a restaurant receipt to either of the two North Tahoe vVisitor centers that are located in Incline Village or Tahoe City.
“We recognize the innate need to keep North Lake Tahoe communities safe and local businesses open,” Jeffrey Hentz, CEO of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association said in a press release. “Our goal with the Takeout Tahoe campaign is to highlight the range of culinary options throughout the region and support local businesses as they continue to modify operations due to state guidance and cooler temperatures.”
Parallel to the pandemic, the basin is also battling trash issues. Take-out orders are usually served in plastic, styrofoam and paper containers, which if not disposed of properly can litter nature areas and beaches.
Because NLTRA says they recognize that take-out options mean extra waste, with all Takeout Tahoe promotional materials they highlight a leave no trace message.
NLTRA also asked businesses to communicate the following with guests and patrons:
– Use proper receptacles and make sure the garbage ends up inside. If a trash bin is full, find another.
– Pack it in, pack it out and bring a reusable bag to store your waste.
– Be mindful about food storage — don’t store food in your car and adhere to trash regulations if you’re in a vacation rental. Use bear boxes and make sure to lock it.
For more information, visit GoTahoeNorth.com.